Sanctuary 58 out now: Small change special

Sanctuary 58 is our ‘small change’ special, in which we visit amazing eco-home projects that are modest in size, cost or footprint, or cleverly fit on tiny blocks – and sometimes all of the above.

Building smaller and smarter – only what you really need – is an oft-quoted first step to achieving a sustainable home, and keeping things simple is sensible for your hip pocket too. In this issue of Sanctuary we explore the idea of ‘less is more’. There’s an off-grid cottage in central Victoria whose 72 square metres provides everything one pair of tree-changing apartment dwellers needs, a low-budget family house in subtropical Rockhampton, and a transformative renovation of a truly tiny inner-Sydney terrace. In Brisbane, an orange brick ‘ugly duckling’ is upgraded with small interventions into a high-performing sharehouse, with scope to be a dual-occupancy dwelling too.

Across the ‘ditch’ in New Zealand, a compact, small-footprint Wanaka house takes its design cues from Japanese architecture, and in Tassie, a local designer creates a blueprint for affordable housing with his 26-square-metre home built with locally sourced natural materials for just $85,000. An award-winning 9-Star hemp house near Margaret River is the result of one family’s desire to downsize and achieve greater flexibility, while careful Passive House-inspired design and prefab construction was the answer to achieving Marina’s efficient three-bedroom Perth home on a tight site and a modest budget.

Take a look inside Sanctuary 58

Also in this issue: In our Design Workshop, a young couple gets some advice on how to make the most of their small Canberra apartment, with spaces designed for multiple uses. Experienced sustainable designer Dick Clarke lays out the pros and cons of concrete – a beloved material for its thermal mass benefits, versatility, strength and durability, yet with a shockingly high carbon footprint – and looks at the latest options for greener mixes.

Our editor Anna Cumming talks to three experts about the rising cost of building in Australia today, what factors are at play, and tips to keep it more affordable. And in a pair of articles, we explore a couple of different ways people are taking practical action in their local communities to address the global climate emergency: through our publisher Renew’s network of volunteer branches around the country, and by joining the growing movement to create and nurture urban microforests. Plus much more.

Sanctuary 58 will be on its way to subscribers shortly, and on sale in newsagents from 7 March. If you haven’t already, subscribe now to get every issue delivered. 

We welcome your feedback. Perhaps there’s something else you would you like to see in Sanctuary? Let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram or by email.

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Family affair

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Pocket forests: Urban microforests gaining ground

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Often no bigger than a tennis court, microforests punch above their weight for establishing cool urban microclimates, providing wildlife habitat and focusing community connection. Mara Ripani goes exploring.

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On the drawing board: Pathways to carbon zero

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