Boolarra steel frame house 2019

Boolarra steel frame house
Boolarra VIC 3870
10am - 4pm
House Open Style
Open House - No Booking required
Housing Type
Standalone House
Project Type
New Build
Eureka Sheds, Traralgon and Owner Builder
House Size
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms
Open with support of
Baw Baw Sustainability Network

The Boolarra Steel Frame House is an alternate method of framing a new house or build. It relies on the old post and beam construction principle. This very inexpensive completed steel frame and roof is the low foot-print structural backbone of the build. In this case the walls will be an infill of timber, cladded externally with fire proof compressed fibro-cement sheeting. The internal walls will be lined with some ply and some plaster.

The build is currently up to frame inspection stage. It is very interesting to view the ease of construction and enquire about the choice of building materials and fixings.

The house is designed to benefit from solar gain and the pleasant views. It was an early choice to remain off grid for all services although the grid power passes over the property. The area is prone to blackouts off grid is the short term electricity reliability & resilience insurance.

Experience has shown the heating and cooling advantage of living areas up stairs. This easterly oriented build benefits from 180 degree views of the Morwell River Valley, from Lou Yang to the hills of Mirboo North. The 4acre block is densely vegetated with native plants and trees, ( especially numerous large Spotted Gums ); this in itself is a beautiful feature to be enjoyed rather than destroyed.

Be advised that this house is still under construction. Please take care on site as there will be construction materials and tools around, we will make the site as safe as possible, be vigilant.

This home is supported by



Years Open
Cost estimate of sustainable home/features
Total cost of home when constructed
Estimate of annual savings
Universal design accessability
Adaptive design
Universal Design Features
80cm minimum door opening width
Contrasting colours and material for vision impaired
Flush thresholds (no lip) to all external doors
Hobless showers
Kitchen bench/table for wheelchairs to access (75-85cm high)
Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
Minimum 110cm wide hallways
Power points at 60cm above floor level and 50cm from internal corners
Ramps and path gradients must be less than 20:1
Shower head on rail for various heights
Window openings easily accessible
BAL Rating
BAL – 29: Increasing levels of ember attack and ignition of debris with a heat flux of up to 29kW/m2
Roofing materials
Metal (Colorbond)
Wall materials (external and internal)
Lightweight construction (timber frame)
External BAL29, Fireproof Compressed Fibre Cement Sheeting, BGC Duragroove, 9mm
Window and door types
Double glazing
Double hung
Weatherall BAL29 fireproof PVC clad frames, woodgrain timber tone permanent finish
Window and door shading
Recycled and reused
Shipping container
Steel frame
Sustainable materials
The nature of the strong steel post and beam building style makes for a very easy fix for the non load bearing wall framing. The sheer strength of the build will be lost to the eyes once the cladding is fixed. Ideally all of the wall framing could be pre cut and assembled off site, then carted to site for installation, making the overall build not only very quick but also very cost effective. Sustainability is a whole of build concept here not just sustainable products. Whilst the 2 shipping containers on site are quite butt ugly they do enjoy a very practical role on this site. Not only obvious storage but when separated then with a strong roof added these two beasts provide site water, shade, and a great spot for a fire pit in winter. Sadly the containers will be recycled back onto the market once emptied into the new build. The container's roofing , ie timbers and roofing are in fact to be re-utilised in the construction of sizeable shed on site.
Insulation - Ceiling
Type: Bulk – glass wool
Rating: R4, note all household insulation is Knauf "Earthwool"
Insulation - Internal walls
Type: Bulk – glass wool
Rating: R2.5
Insulation - Other
roof space insulation blanket applied prior to roofing
Healthy home
Cross flow ventilation
Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
Natural fibre furnishings
Natural light and ventilation
Natural oil sealer/finishes
All electric home
Renewable energy
Energy storage/battery
Solar PV off-grid
Size of PV system
Water heating
Hot water heat pump
Water heated by PV system
Wood fire wetback
Passive heating cooling
Cross ventilation
Passive solar designed home
Thermal mass
Active heating cooling
Split system airconditioner
Slow combustion wood heater
Energy efficiency
Draught proofing
Efficient lighting
Efficient appliances
Energy monitoring
Smart home features
Water harvesting and saving
Above ground rainwater storage
Type: Polyester
Size: 6,000L
Blackwater system
Grey water system
Stormwater management
Low flow shower heads
Low flow taps
Drip irrigation
Garden / Outdoors
Bee hotels/friendly
Drip irrigation
Native plants
Water wise plants
Waste Reduction
Swap with friends and neighbours