Sanctuary Issue 42

Issue highlights

  • SPECIAL Prefab performers: 16 modular and prefab homes
  • Build without skip bins
  • Paving the way to owner-building
  • Stairs with flair: how stairs can fulfil many functions
  • The rise of the courtyard
  • Treat your site right: Protect your garden during the building process
  • Open source home automation
  • Phase change material (PCM) cost-benefit
  • Towards off-site construction
  • Take two: re-renovating success
  • Playtime design
  • Photosynthesis house
  • Small footprint, smart ideas
  • Best results with passive solar and renewable energy

Modular & prefab special

Prefab performers

Almost any design is now possible with prefabricated housing. In this special feature, we focus on 16 companies offering modular and panelised construction products that are cost-effective, use renewable materials and can achieve high building energy star ratings.

Towards off-site construction

Factory construction is seen as the future of housing, but are we ready to fully embrace the changes prefabrication will bring?

House profiles:

Photosynthesis house

An incredible Sydney renovation which connects house and garden has led the owners to dub it ‘The Photosynthesis House’.

Playtime front and centre

Creating kid-friendly spaces with playful details was as important to this Melbourne family as achieving an energy efficient, light-filled home.

In the saddle

Saddle Hill House near Wellington, New Zealand, is a comfortable family home, achieved through passive solar design and renewable energy.

Small footprint, smart ideas

A renovated worker’s cottage marries age-old passive solar principles with bleeding-edge technology.

Take two

The second renovation of a South Fremantle house renews the owners’ love of the home they’ve lived in for over 40 years.

Design focus:

Paving the way to owner-building

The pathway to owner-building has been smooth for Mara Ripani, but there were some missteps that could have been avoided had she known what she does now.

Build without skip bins

Owner-builder Greg O’Byrne went without a skip bin when constructing his sustainable home, and you can too.

Are PCMs living up to their promise?

Do phase change materials (PCMs) offer bang for buck when it comes to home energy performance? Richard Keech assesses the market.

Stairs with flair

Anna Cumming shows that with a bit of creativity, stairs can fulfil multiple purposes and become a spectacular feature.

The rise of the courtyard

As courtyards replace backyards as the primary outdoor space, architect Marie Carrel explains how they are best designed to maintain liveability.

Open source home automation

Home automation need not tie you to one brand or another. Architect Paul Hendy explains how he used open source software to augment his passive solar home.

Treat your site right

If you protect your soil and vegetation during a building project, you’ll reap the rewards in your new garden, writes Michael Tanner.