Sanctuary 56 out now: Sustainable House Day special
Sanctuary 56 is our annual Sustainable House Day special, tying in with this year’s event themes with deep dives into building and design, retrofitting, building materials and climate-resilient homes.
Each year, Sustainable House Day is a much-anticipated event on the spring calendar, enabling homeowners and designers to share their knowledge with others keen to build, retrofit or renovate sustainably. This year’s program has been revamped and expanded, and will see four weeks of in-depth webinars leading up to a full day of online panel sessions on Sunday 17 October – plus, of course, you can explore all the open houses at your leisure via the informative virtual tours on the event website.
This issue, we take a closer look at nine of the best homes participating in the event, including an owner-built hemp masonry house on the Central Coast of New South Wales and a 9-Star urban strawbale build in Adelaide that impresses with its clean, modern lines. There’s a pair of Passive Houses just completed at The Cape ecovillage in coastal Victoria, including the snug split-level beauty by EME Design that’s on our cover. A renovation of a classic Queenslander showcases gold-standard flood-resilient design, and a modest Mittagong fibro cottage gets a ‘deep energy retrofit’. Meanwhile in Bendigo, simple design and savvy sourcing of materials allowed one homeowner to achieve her dream sustainable house for just $210,000.
In a new series, ‘Experts explore’, familiar Sustainable House Day faces share their latest knowhow: Andy Marlow writes about achieving good indoor air quality in increasingly airtight homes; Uta Green explains how she used the design of her practice’s new Hobart office as a testing ground; and Perth duo Sid Thoo and Dannielle Robertson explore the value of carefully targeted retrofits for thermal comfort. We also get a glimpse into the building materials of the future when we visit a Sydney apartment exhibiting innovative ‘green ceramic’ building products made from glass and textile waste.
Also in this issue: In our Design Workshop, energy-efficient homes expert Geraldine Petit brainstorms a design for a family retreat in Goolwa, South Australia, to accommodate any number from two to a dozen. Rebecca Gross explores the growing urban homesteading movement, and we bring you a Climate Resilient Homes campaign update, looking at what’s at stake as the National Construction Code is updated in 2022.
Adored for its thermal mass benefits and durability, concrete remains one of the most popular building materials in the world, but its shockingly high embodied carbon footprint cannot be ignored. Luckily, there are now a number of greener alternatives available. Jacinta Cleary examines how they have performed in three different homes.Read more
Concrete is a beloved building material for its thermal mass benefits, versatility, strength and durability, yet comes at the cost of shockingly high embodied carbon. Happily, more environmentally friendly mixes are coming online. Experienced sustainable designer Dick Clarke looks at the problem and some of the latest solutions.Read more
What does it cost to build a house in Australia these days? What factors are at play, and what’s the most affordable way? Late last year Sanctuary’s editor Anna Cumming moderated a panel discussion with three expert practitioners to dig into this subject.Read more