What is LAB Design?
A family-owned company providing designs for residential buildings for superior performance with respect to liveability without costing significantly more.
Liveability in a home is being comfortable; it costs little to run; is low maintenance, healthy to live in and aesthetically pleasing.
We primarily use the Passivhaus / Passive House method to achieve this performance-based design.
Smarter Building for Better Living
We are Scott and Madonna. We both served as Navigators in the RAAF for a combined total of 32 years before moving over to the Design field.
This extensive experience in challenging environments trained us to problem solve with a different approach. We approach design by looking systematically. Operating complex aircraft systems gave us the unique ability to step into the design and building industry with a fresh and innovative approach encompassing design with scientific principles.
You can’t unlearn Passive House it just makes sense. Once you experience living or working in a Passive House, you will literally breathe easier.
Why Work With Us?
We are constantly searching the world for smarter ways to build homes with better livability.
An Engineer and a Scientist, we design and advise on smarter, sustainable, beautiful homes bettering the residents’ health and reducing running (heating or cooling) costs.
Also parents, we believe that all families have the right to live healthy lives in our homes.
Our homes ensure families get stronger in their health quicker in an environment which has fresh, filtered air and temperate indoor climate. Growing up in this environment has proven health benefits.
All our homes are designed with liveability considerations including solar orientation, cross ventilation, flow and circulation of traffic, proportion, sun shading etc.
What really sets us apart is our use of the German designed Passivhaus system and standard. It is the only internationally recognised, performance-based energy standard in construction.
A constant supply of fresh and filtered air is supplied through a mechanical ventilation system with heat/cool recovery. Moisture is also controlled through a combination of insulation and ventilation thereby preventing mould inside the home.
Double-glazing is part of the design system assisting with temperature maintenance, nil condensation on the inside of windows and noise control. Depending on the budget, we can also include additional features such as solar or geothermal heating, waste water systems etc.
Some people argue that by using such a science based design method means losing the beauty in the design. While it is true that certain fashionable materials, products and design ideas do not perform well within our designs, we are always able to find a sustainable, equally beautiful alternative.
We love creating pleasing aesthetics for innovative and authentic homes.
We work hard to ensure all our designs are beautiful to look at and holistically represent the owner-residents.
Our designs are tailored specifically to the client according to their design wishes and any other requirements but also to their unique location and climate.
We input detailed meteorological data into our software so we can test the performance of the home throughout the seasons.
We use a combination of Passivhaus software (PHPP, Flixo) and REVIT (architectural 3D modeling software) to assess the performance of your house before its built. This takes the guesswork out of home design, you will know exactly what you are going to get and how your home will perform sustainably throughout the year.
“We have both experienced European and Canadian winters and despite the climate, found winter warmer in those countries because the homes and workplaces are built for such extremes. This led us to devise a system that adapts the best of European design practices and specifications for the diverse Australian climate.
We kept asking ourselves ‘how can we do things better?’. By continually asking this question we design homes that address common problems faced by many everyday Australians. This includes houses that are cold in winter, hot in summer, rising electricity bills, mould in the home, poor circulation/ventilation…”