"Convertible" House at Stringybark 2017

"Convertible" House at Stringybark
Scarsdale 3351
(Full address of homes will only be displayed 2 weeks prior to SHD)
10.00am to 4.00pm
Housing Type
Standalone House
Project Type
New Build
Designology - Kevin Starling
House Size
136m2 approx
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms

The unique design of the convertible house with its barrel vault ceiling gives a small space a big feel. The aim was to create a home that had minimal impact on the environment through the use of good orientation for passive solar gain and use of the natural resources available on site – rainfall and solar.

Innovation is the key. We wanted to use as much new technology in building practice as possible. This included “Mega-anchor” foundations – minimal soil disturbance, no trenches, no concrete. Pre-fabricated Hopley’s steel forms the structure of the building and because the external wall is the only load bearing wall, we were able to custom-design the interior dividing walls. Large sliding, double-glazed doors form most of the north wall with small skylight windows on the south side, again, all double-glazed. A colorbond roller shutter covers the double-glazed doors on the east side.

The building is rated BAL40 for bushfire protection. A 10,000L Bladder bag collects water from the roof. The house relies on off-grid solar power and a battery bank with generator backup. Hot water is supplied via solar evacuated tube with gas booster. All waste water from the house goes directly to a worm farm for processing and doesn’t leave the site. The house is nestled in 20 acres of native bushland and uses exterior colors that blend with that environment. The design and insulating properties of the house make it comfortable all year round with minimal heating and cooling, even in Ballarat.

Designed and built by Designology


Previously Open
Cost estimate of sustainable home/features
Estimate of annual savings
$2,000 per year
Universal Design Features
Disability access
Adaptive design
Other: Barrel vault walls/roof with operable awnings
Window and door types
Double glazing
Recycled and reused
Recycled rubber/cork composite flooring
Sustainable materials
Steel, compressed cement sheet
Insulation - Ceiling
Type: Aircell Insulbreak sarking, R4 batts
Rating: R4.0 + 1 layer of foil
Insulation - Under floor
Type: Wet areas = 18mm compressed cement sheets, dry areas - 19mm plywood
Rating: R3.0
Healthy home
Non toxic paints
Energy star rating
7.2 Stars
Connected to gas?
Renewable energy
Solar PV off-grid
Energy storage
Water heating
Solar hot water (evacuated tube)
Passive heating cooling
Cross ventilation
Active heating cooling
Ceiling fans
Small slow combustion wood heater
Energy efficiency
Efficient lighting
Draught proofing
Efficient appliances
Water harvesting and saving
Above ground storage
Type: Standard tanks plus bladder bag under house
Size: 85 - 90,000 L
Greywater system
Water wise plants
Native plants