From fibro shack to cosy eco family home 2017

From fibro shack to cosy eco family home
Cape Paterson VIC 3995
Entry fee or Donation
Gold coin donation
Donations supporting
MSF (Doctors without borders)
Housing Type
Standalone House
Project Type
House Size
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms

We purchased the cheapest place in town, an asbestos 70’s beach house, 10 years ago and renovated it into a cozy sustainable and beautiful family home.

With a 2.6KW solar PV system we pretty much break even with power bills. We have an evacuated tube solar hot water with gas boost; the boost isn’t needed over summer. As a family of 4 we only go through 4 bottles of gas a year for hot water plus our gas cook top.

A second hand kitchen was installed plus a custom built cool-cupboard for produce storage. Everything is as non-toxic as possible including zero-voc paint, chemical free curtains, pine with no glues for wardrobes and kids bed frames, and natural latex mattresses. Insulation has been installed below the floor, in the roof and in the walls, plus double glazed windows, which mean our fire takes very little wood to heat the whole house.

We planted indigenous shrubs for animal habitat, privacy, and a lovely cool micro climate in summer. We have five raised vegie beds and 9 fruit trees plus grapes and berries. We prune and mulch our shrubs and make our own compost (plus worm farm).

The kids cubby, tree house and sandpit areas are all made with recycled or left-over building materials.


Years Open
Universal Design Features
Window and door types
Double glazing
Recycled and reused
Kitchen/bath cabinets
Sustainable materials
Radial timber for decking,
Insulation - Ceiling
Type: Recycled plastic batts
Rating: R3.0
Insulation - Internal/external walls
Type: Recycled plastic batts
Rating: R2.4
Insulation - Under floor
Type: Polystyrene and aluminium board
Rating: R3.0
Healthy home
Zero-voc paint, chemical-free curtain material, natural latex mattresses, hardwax floor oil,
Connected to gas?
Renewable energy
Solar PV grid connect
Water heating
Solar hot water (evacuated tube)
Passive heating cooling
Cross ventilation
Active heating cooling
Ceiling fans
Energy efficiency
Efficient lighting
Draught proofing
Efficient appliances
Water harvesting and saving
Low flow shower heads
Low flow taps
Drip irrigation
Garden / Outdoors
Drip irrigation
Water wise plants
Edible garden
Native plants