On the drawing board: Testing out 10 Stars

On the drawing board: Testing out 10 Stars

What does it look like to aim for the top of the Star rating scale, and can it be done without costing an arm and a leg? Builder Craig Riddle set out to design and build a very high-performing house using iterative energy rating assessments, careful construction and standard, readily available materials.

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A knotty issue: Responsibly sourced timber

A knotty issue: Responsibly sourced timber

While timber is a renewable resource, its harvesting is often associated with deforestation practices that are harmful to the environment. We look at the current state of sustainable timber in Australia, and how to make sure the wood you use for your build is as responsible as possible.

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On the drawing board: Passive House meets multi-residential

On the drawing board: Passive House meets multi-residential

The Fern serviced apartments in Sydney’s Redfern are the first Passive House-certified apartments in the southern hemisphere. Architect Oliver Steele explains why he chose this approach for the project, the challenges they faced and what they learned about the potential of Passive House principles for delivering more sustainable multi-residential buildings.

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Upcycled glasshouses

Upcycled glasshouses

Are we in a new golden age of conservatories? Secondhand glazing is being given a new life as greenhouses – but far from being plant-only spaces, we visit five conservatories which double as cosy extra rooms for relaxation.

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Fair dinkum wood: Locally sourced ecologically sustainable timber

Fair dinkum wood: Locally sourced ecologically sustainable timber

CERES Fair Wood has established itself as an honest broker, linking people seeking environmentally and socially responsible timber with small local farm foresters and salvage sawmillers who can struggle to find a market for their resource. While still small in scale, could this social enterprise’s local ‘chain of custody’ approach become a new model for sustainably sourced timber?

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