Sanctuary Issue 52

Issue highlights

  • This issue, we explore the challenges and opportunities of a global pandemic for building a sustainable ‘new normal’
  • Profiles of eight innovative, sustainable homes around Australia opening their doors (virtually) for Sustainable House Day, online this year
  • A stylish, compact Passive House on a modest budget
  • Higher-performing volume builds: the easy wins, pitfalls to avoid and questions to ask; plus, in Design Workshop, a Melbourne couple get tips for a greener project home
  • Sustainable timber: how to make sure the wood you use is as responsibly sourced as possible
  • Garden design for mental health and wellbeing

House profiles

Urban earth house
This couple dived headfirst into the challenge of building their own Earthship-inspired self-sufficient home in outer Melbourne.

More than a pretty face
A beautiful, modern Perth home on a tiny and challenging block shows that the Passive House standard can be achieved on a modest budget.

A place of their own
A set of freely available sustainable home plans was the perfect solution to achieving a cost-effective and high-performing home in coastal Victoria.

Novel solution
This modest bungalow in Adelaide has been transformed by a compact loft extension and renovation introducing natural light and sun.

Positive energy home
This straightforward family home in the Gold Coast hinterland is the second 10-Star house the owners have built, fine-tuning their learnings to great effect.

A house made for life
The first strawbale house in its urban area, this flexibly designed and efficient Perth family home is adapting well as the needs of its occupants change.

Project home powerhouse
This Melbourne couple worked with their volume builder to improve the sustainability of their standard project home, achieving a 7.5-Star multi-generational family home.

Keeping the cottage
A renovation and small extension bring home the benefits of passive solar design for a Wollongong family.

Design features

Volume-built wins: Steps to a more sustainable project home
Erika Bartak explains the easy wins, the pitfalls to avoid, and the important questions to ask for those wanting a more sustainable project home.

On the drawing board: Testing out 10 Stars
Builder Craig Riddle explains how he designed and built a very high-performing house using iterative energy assessments and readily available materials.

A knotty issue: Responsibly sourced timber
We look at the current state of sustainable timber in Australia, and how to make sure the wood you use for your build is as responsible as possible.

Design Workshop: A higher-performing volume build
Kirsten and James are keen to make their project home as energy-efficient and comfortable as possible. Our experts give them some pointers.

Avoiding the winter cold: Housing retrofits as a health intervention
Upgrading your home’s building envelope can have a positive effect on your health and wellbeing, explains Dr Toby Cumming.

Nourished by nature: Garden design for mental health and wellbeing
We speak to the experts about designing gardens for improved mental health, and what we can do at home to create green spaces that give back in a therapeutic way.

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