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    Editor’s picks: our favourite 2017 Sustainable House Day dwellings

    Nicholas Rider

    Sustainable House Day will once again open the doors to some of Australia’s leading green homes.

    To be held on Sunday 17 September, the national event will give visitors an insight into homes designed, built or renovated with sustainability in mind. Additionally, visitors can talk to the homeowners.

    For more than 15 years, Sustainable House Day has provided an opportunity to visit homes that are not only environmentally friendly, but cheaper to run and more comfortable to live in. In 2016, 17,287 people visited 154 homes across the country.

    There’s plenty on offer this year, but here’s some of our favourites to get you started:  

    THE 10 STAR HOME

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    When: 10am – 4pm
    Where: Cape Paterson, Victoria 3995

    Built by The Sociable Weaver and designed in collaboration with Clare Cousins Architects, the 10 Star Home is Victoria’s first 10 star home and the first home to be 10 star, carbon positive and built to zero waste and building biology philosophies.

    SKY FARM

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    When: 10.30am – 2pm
    Where: Mullumbimby, NSW 2482

    Designed and built by Balanced Earth Building, this hemp and reclaimed-timber studio hovers above the ground on a timber platform (elevated to reduce mould). While the dwelling is only 60sqm, it houses a family of four.

    BLUE HOUSE

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    When: 10am – 4pm
    Where: Coombs, ACT 2611

    Featuring a passive solar design, plenty of salvaged and recycled materials, and an innovative whole-block water harvesting system, this little owner-built home provides a comfortable base for a young Canberra family. The house designed by Bespoke Building Services also features double glazing, cross ventilation, a concrete slab for thermal mass, a heat pump for hot water and 3kW of solar PV.

    EARTHSHIP IRONBANK

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    When: 10am – 4pm
    Where: Ironbank, South Australia 5153

    Earthship Ironbank – designed by Martin Freney – is Australia’s first council approved Earthship, and it’s also a BnB. Following Earthship design principals, the dwelling boasts features such as earth floors, a ferro-cement earth covered roof, earth filled tyre walls, and an off grid renewable energy system with a battery bank. 

    SOUTH COAST CONTAINER HOUSE

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    When: 10am – 4pm
    Where: Long Beach, NSW 2536

    This house – designed by Matt Elkan – is built around four containers, with a flat roof and insulated external cladding for thermal performance. The containers are exposed internally and house sleeping and service functions. The floor and decks step down with the site to create generous ceiling heights, views down the block and connection with the ground at all points.

    EARTH SHELTERED HOUSE QUINDALUP

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    When: 10am – 4pm
    Where: Quindalup, Western Australia 6282

    This house is an earth sheltered steel tunnel structure that has been used in the mining sector for around 75 years. It requires no heating or cooling, and has high level protection from fires and storms. Earth Sheltered House Quindalup was designed by Baldwin O’Bryan Architects.

    HAYDAZE

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    When: 10am – 4pm
    Where: Jandakot, Western Australia 6164

    HayDaze – designed and built by M. Raayen – was built with straw bales in an octagonal shape with reciprocal roof. The house has north facing living and outside entertainment spaces (designed to passive solar design), and an east facing mezzanine.

    GARDEN ROOM HOUSE

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    When: 10am – 4pm
    Where: New Farm, Queensland 4005

    This subtropical renovation has not only connected a new farm house with its garden but converted a ‘rarely used’ swimming pool into a no-cost hydronic heating/cooling system. The design reorganised spaces to bring in more light, garden, openness and coolness.

    ORGANIC LIVING

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    When: 10am – 4pm
    Where: Sheffield, Tasmania 7306

    Designed and built by the owner, this house used a timber/post and beam structure was built using rough sawn Oregon and hardwood from a local sawmill and local plantation. All doors, timber floors, kitchen, appliances and furniture have been upcycled. The house has an instant hot water heater (no storage cylinder) and has plans for solar panels at a later stage.

    BELLAIRS AVENUE

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    When: 10am – 4pm
    Where: Bellairs Avenue, Victoria 3011

    The Bellairs Avenue project – designed by Studio Faithfull – saw a recycled brick and radially sawn timber extension to a single storey house. The house includes sustainable design and building principals, particularly with the use of recycled materials, orientation and building practices.

    Images: Sustainable House Day

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