Habitat on Juers
Versatile Structures played a crucial role in the installation and manufacture of the shade structure for Habitat on Juers, a social housing project located in Logan, Brisbane. This project was part of the Queensland Government's initiative to develop twenty social and affordable housing demonstration projects. Habitat on Juers consists of sixteen adaptable and accessible units, including a mix of one, two, and three-bedroom dwellings.
The planning intent for the site focused on arranging the buildings into three north-south orientated clusters, prioritizing cross ventilation and passive solar gain for all units. The clusters are connected by a central biophilic heart-space that serves as a shared amenity area for the residents. The site layout emphasizes pedestrian and universally accessible orientation, aiming to separate vehicular and foot traffic by locating cars at the periphery. Clear layering and separation of public, semi-public, and private pedestrian access to each unit contribute to a well-organized and functional community design.
At a micro level, the architecture of the dwellings reflects a commitment to legible lightweight, compact, and human-scale forms, drawing inspiration from the local vernacular and responding to the immediate street context. The building clusters include ground-level homes with multiple shared entries connecting to front and back yards, while the upper-floor homes feature high-level terraces that promote connection to the biophilic heart-space and passive surveillance of the site.
Energy efficiency and occupant comfort were key priorities for the project. To achieve this, the units were designed to perform exceptionally well in terms of energy consumption and thermal comfort. The construction employed cross-laminated timber structures, exposed double-brickwork, and lightweight cladding. A first-principles approach to orientation, passive heating and cooling, and connection to the landscape further contributed to the units achieving an average 8.5 NatHERS rating, demonstrating their high energy efficiency.
The successful execution of the shade structure installation and manufacture by Versatile Structures added to the overall excellence of the Habitat on Juers project. The project's architectural and design achievements were recognized through prestigious awards. Habitat on Juers was the winner of the Overall Logan Urban Design Awards in 2023, and it also received the Architecture Award in the same category. These accolades highlight the project's outstanding contributions to urban design and architectural excellence in the Logan community.