From fibro to fabulous

From fibro to fabulous

Often poor performing and riddled with asbestos, is Australia’s ubiquitous fibro shack worth keeping? These two families on opposite sides of the country said yes, opting for renovations and extensions that vastly improved the liveability of their humble homes.

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Material difference

Material difference

Homeowner Danny Mathews had plenty of ideas and knowledge about low impact materials and how to use them to improve his period cottage, but he sought the guidance of architect Penny Guild to make it happen.

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Work the room

Work the room

Shrinking the footprint and redesigning and rebuilding one part of this simple beachside house improved its layout, comfort and energy efficiency.

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Cottage cathedralette

Cottage cathedralette

Reversing the room layout and building on the same footprint as the original cottage were key to achieving a spacious, flexible new home that preserves this Melbourne horticulturalist’s beloved inner-city food garden.

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Natural lightbox

Natural lightbox

With thoughtful passive solar design, ageing terraces can be sensitively revitalised to achieve high levels of sustainability – even if the party wall is along the north side.

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Eighties revival

Eighties revival

A standard, single-storey brick house in Brisbane sets a precedent for how 1980s housing stock can be renovated to suit a sub-tropical climate.

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Back to basics

Back to basics

Good design need not be expensive – as architect Andrew Kerr demonstrates with his Tassie ‘apple crate shack’ built to 7.1 Stars on a $100k budget.

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Island off-grid

Island off-grid

Fitted with a modern take on punkah fans and the latest in battery tech, an experimental off-grid house on South Stradbroke Island is the result of a dynamic collaboration between architects Tim Bennetton and Gabriel Poole.

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Passive resistance

Passive resistance

A heritage house in Melbourne’s inner east has collected two major sustainability awards, just as a new report highlights the need for existing houses to be retrofitted to tackle climate change.

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Coastal cliff hanger

Coastal cliff hanger

Too steep for use as a backyard, the rear of a Central Coast block now hosts a versatile, energy-efficient studio with enviable sea views – thanks to some ingenious engineering solutions.

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