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Sum Of Its Parts

Small steps make a big difference in designing for sustainability, as demonstrated by Nota Group’s chairman Keat Ong.

A single-storey terrace house that’s more than 50 years old may be something that many house-hunters overlook, but not Keat Ong. With his trained eye for design, the design director of Nota Group knew that it offered much potential. The 1,722-sqft house was to be home to Keat, his wife and two young children. But in the process of designing the space, he took into consideration several overriding factors. Keeping costs down was one, but at the same time, it was also necessary to carve out a conducive living space for his family. More importantly however, this home was to be an exercise in sustainability.

The motivation came not just from “saving the world, but also because these materials have a weathered effect that you cannot get from new materials”. One of which is the wooden trellis at the front of the house. Steel members hold up horizontal wooden pieces that were salvaged from a decades-old ceiling structure rather than new plantation wood. The timber decking of the patio at the front of the house came from an old swimming pool.


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