Carter Holt Harvey and Lifehouse Design have achieved a valuable trifecta by creating a new modular home that is affordable, sustainable and features striking design.

The key to the winning combination is using simple, raw materials such as Ecoply that require minimal handling and maintenance.

“When we came up with the LIFEHOUSE modular concept we were seeking materials that were raw and honest and didn’t need any finishes,” says Lifehouse Design partner and Building Designer, Robyn Gibson. “Our aim was to maximise the energy efficiency of the overall house, to get back to basics, to reduce the amount of trades, resources and labour needed for finishing and maintenance.”

Lifehouse Design had worked with Carter Holt Harvey plywood on several previous homes and found that Ecoply covered all their requirements for usability, re-usability and cost effectiveness.

“It’s such a great product because it is lightweight, incredibly durable and easy for builders to work with so it ticks all the boxes,” reveals Gibson.

Ecoply CD grade structural plywood is used to line all the ceilings, exterior soffit and verandah in LIFEHOUSE along with the joinery of the living areas including shelving, a study area and built-in seating-storage.

It has been lightly lime washed to fit in aesthetically with the cement sheet cladding but requires no maintenance and the joinery can be re-fitted to allow for changes in living needs.

The LIFEHOUSE built recently at Campbell’s Creek, showcases how the concept delivers an award-winning result for design and sustainability. The home won the 2013 Green Lifestyle magazine awards 'Home – Energy Saving' category, the BDAV 2013 Building Design Awards: Best Energy Efficient Design – Residential and the BDAV 2013 Building Design Awards: Residential Design – New House up to $300K construction cost.

Gibson said choice of materials was vital for achieving sustainability ratings and goals.

“One of the key objectives of the LIFEHOUSE project was to use products like Ecoply with good environmental credentials, low emissions and FSC accreditation,” he explains.

For LIFEHOUSE, as with many other smart design projects, Ecoply is really starting to make a name for itself for delivering environmental, economic and design benefits right across the board.