Sustainable House Designs

Our Building Standards have been developed in support of our Vision, Mission and Aim and our commitment to ecological and social sustainability. The standards  encourage small and inexpensive houses thoughtfully designed to provide thermal comfort, low water use and low energy consumption.

While there are no aesthetic design restrictions, the standards support innovation from community members in the design of their homes and the use of recycled and locally sourced materials wherever possible. The aim is for homes with a significantly reduced impact on the environment when compared to the “average” house currently built in NSW and in Australia as a whole.

Below are a number of examples of community members’ house designs:

Hempcrete Home

Hempcrete Sun-Dial Family Home

Deb and Dan Mohr + Family

The house is placed like a sun-dial around true North to maximise solar heating during the cooler months. The external walls are made from hempcrete to regulate moisture. The internal walls are made from compressed earth to regulate temperature. Louvre windows and clerestory windows maximise vertical and cross airflows. The clerestory windows bring in natural light and warmth into the hallway and the southern rooms during the cooler months. The house is expected to need no mechanical heating or cooling based on extensive thermal modelling.

Two Bedroom Bungalow

Libby Crichton

This single-level residence, designed in accordance with Liveable Design Guidelines, uses prefabricated building materials to take advantage of new green building technologies and expedite the construction timeline.

The construction utilises lightweight framing of timber and steel, which minimises site excavation and use of concrete. Walls will have high levels of insulation and the windows and glazed doors will have high-performing UPVC double glazed windows. Breathable linings and membranes minimises condensation. Natural and Low VOC paints, sealants and adhesives as well as ample ventilation ensures good indoor air quality.

Solar orientation has been optimised with window eaves to ensure shading in summer and adjustable shading in the pergola offering flexibility in controlling the summer sun. High level clerestory windows bring winter sun, light and ventilation into the rear of the house.

The landscape design is based on permaculture principles, incorporating water/energy-efficient appliances and using onsite rainwater tanks to supplement garden irrigation.

Energy efficient home

Energy Efficient 3 Bedroom

Teresa and Tony Farrell

This energy-efficient, passive solar house has been developed with thoughtful orientation of house, windows and shading to gain maximum winter sun and minimal summer heat– which is wrapped and well-sealed to keep out hot and cold drafts.

Materials include:

  • Small concrete lower floor for thermal capacity
  • Brick internal wall around laundry for thermal mass
  • Insulation batts everywhere R2.0 in floors, R2.5 in walls and R5.0 in ceiling
  • Double glazed UPVC windows
  • 5 kW PV system connect to NEV mini-grid
  • Heat recovery ventilation system – 24/24 active ventilation system which allows the introduction of fresh air with minimal heat loss/gain
  • Phase change material in the ceilings to increase thermal capacity. This works like concrete floors and walls, but is made of a lightweight, plant based by-product, which is easily installed, and works well to maintain a stable interior temperature.

Read more ›


Jazz Mozzi

Typical External Walls: Weathertex or similar BAL29 rated cladding on timber stud frame, R 2 .7 High density insulation, internal lining TBC

Typical Windows / Doors: Aluminium framed double glazed with fire rated screens to openings

Roofing Typical: Corrugated Iron roofing, 60mm anticon insulation, R 2 .7 high density batts in between rafters Soffit Lining and Fascia Corrugated Iron lining and metal fascia / gutter guard