Sanctuary Issue 36

Issue highlights:

  • Tips for greening your courtyard or balcony
  • Six stunning light-filled renovations
  • Should you quit the grid?
  • Picking a site with potential
  • 9.4 Star home on the coast
  • Sustainable House Day special
  • Recycled timber, smart tech and more

Issue contents:

Beyond brilliant

A narrow, dark, cold Northcote terrace gets a light, bright rethink, connecting it to the world beyond and allowing a young family to remain in their close-knit community.

Inspired by nature

WA owner-builders set out to create the most sustainable, natural and comfortable home they could afford. Their reef-inspired home achieves an impressive 9.4 Stars!

Resilience & light

In growing cities, having access to sunlight is invaluable. Discover how resilient design has future-proofed a 1930s-era house to protect against high-density development next door.


A new living space renovation does not need to be a ‘boring glass box’ at the back of the house. We visit a home where simple, smart changes were enough to improve function and comfort.

8 Star addition & retrofit

An 8 Star renovation not only preserves the ‘patchwork charm’ of the original Blue Mountains cottage but transforms it into an open and warm family getaway.

Sustainable house day 2016

Opening for SHD 2016, an inner-urban Sydney renovation uses hempcrete to improve acoustic and thermal performance, with stunning results. We also visit off-grid homes in Tasmania and Toowoomba, where solar and micro-hydro power systems are used.

A collective effort

With a new rammed earth wall and concrete slab in the extension, a classic Melbourne weatherboard now achieves 6.8 Stars and has gained a new lease on life.

Simple pleasures: saving energy in the smart home

Smart tech has the potential to save energy in the home – but are ‘smart’ solutions always more effective than ‘simple’ ones?

Picking a site with potential

Searching for that ideal house or site to turn into your sustainable home? Building designer Dick Clarke gets you started with what to look for and what to avoid.

Should you quit the grid?

Renewable energy expert Andrew Reddaway steps through the multiple ways households are connected to the grid and explains what’s involved with cutting ties.

Recycled timber: material that tells a story

Recycled timber is becoming more popular as a beautiful feature in a new build or renovation. We investigate how best to use this valuable material in the home.

Small spaces gardening

Higher density living affects outdoor spaces as well as our homes – but small in size doesn’t have to mean short on greenery. Kate Smalley from Small Spaces Garden Design explains how to make the most of courtyards, balconies and vertical spaces.