Sydney's Sustainable House 2019

Sydney’s Sustainable House
Chippendale NSW 2008
Booking required – see link below
10 am - 4 pm (last tour starts at 3 pm)
House Open Style
Guided Tours – Booking essential (address will not be listed on website)
Entry fee or Donation
Donations supporting
Sustainable Chippendale road gardens for urban farming
Housing Type
High Density Housing
Project Type
Michael Mobbs Sustainable Projects
House Size
149 square metres over two floors on a 5 m wide 20 m footprint
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms
Open with support of
Sustainable Chippendale

Book your tickets here to visit Sydney’s Sustainable House.
This home is open for pre-booked tours only, the address will not be displayed. 

It’s easy. All I’m doing in the city is what farmers do every day in the country – use the sun and rain that falls freely on my property.

You’ll see, discuss, get details about how anyone can do this, work with local plumbers, electricians and handy folk to install, build, operate and use a very, very ordinary household where, since 1996, two adults and two children lived for energy and water bills less than $300 a year. Anyone can. You just need to be who you are, no one else. Come and copy and do better than we’ve done here in this old terrace house built in 1894 and turned into an elegant, simple, off-the-grid joint, about ten minutes walk from Sydney’s Central Railway Station.
Since November 1996:

  • Not connected to town water or sewer
  • Solar power

Energy and water bills less than $300 for 23 years

Since March 2015 not connected to grid electricity.

Kept over 2 million litres of treated sewage on site and over 2 million litres of stormwater on site in a 2m square area of clay soil – and waste and pollution kept out of the mouths of the whales and marine life off Sydney where it otherwise goes.

Tours available on the day with Michael Mobbs and Nada Hasic. Please arrive at least 10-15 minutes before the scheduled tour. Book your tickets here 

  • 10am-11am
  • 11am-12pm
  • 12pm-1pm
  • 1pm-2pm
  • 2pm-3pm
  • 3pm-4pm

My two books, “Sustainable House Book” and “Sustainable Food Book” are available on my website or may be purchased during the tour.

Free parking permits available for SHD visitors, please ask at the registration desk.

Michael Mobbs talks:

Money collected on the day will buy equipment for road gardens and parking stickers as per poster below


Years Open
Cost estimate of sustainable home/features
$48,000 in 1996 for water, energy, recycled water systems
Total cost of home when constructed
In 1894? No idea. The 1996 reno cost $168,000 including the energy, water, recycled water and food systems
Estimate of annual savings
$3,000+ - with no water or sewage or electricity bills, including no fixed charges.
Universal design accessability
Adaptive design
Universal Design Features
Hobless showers
Roofing materials
Corrugated iron
Wall materials (external and internal)
Double brick
Typical inner city terrace shared brick walls
Window and door types
Clerestory windows
Double glazing
Louvre windows
Low-e, films
Window and door shading
Adjustable Shading
Awnings (external)
Deciduous tree/vegetation
Recycled and reused
All water and sewage stays on site - for 23 years
Sustainable materials
Recycled timber, water, sewage, food waste
Insulation - Under roof
Type: Bulk – polystyrene board
Insulation - Ceiling
Type: Bulk – glass wool
Insulation - Under floor
Type: Other
Healthy home
Chemical free cleaning products used
Cross flow ventilation
Indoor plants for air filtration
Lime render/wash
Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
Natural light and ventilation
Natural oil sealer/finishes
No carpets
Wax based sealer/finish
All electric home
Renewable energy
Energy storage/battery
Solar PV off-grid
Size of PV system
Water heating
Solar hot water (flat panel)
Passive heating cooling
Cross ventilation
Thermal chimney
Active heating cooling
Energy efficiency
Draught proofing
Efficient lighting
Efficient appliances
Energy monitoring
Water harvesting and saving
Underground rainwater storage
Type: Concrete rain tank (10,000L) and concrete recycled sewage tank (3,000L)
Size: 13,000L
Blackwater system
Stormwater management
Low flow shower heads
Low flow taps
Sump well with dry wall sandstone blocks through which surplus overflow water from the rain tank may drain and be absorbed below ground
Garden / Outdoors
Bee keeping
Edible garden
Green walls
No stormwater has left in 23 years due to absorption pond; all treated sewage re-used and excess of average of 300 litres absorbed on site
Average Daily Energy Consumption Per Person
Average Daily Water Usage Per Person
Waste Reduction
Compost all food scraps
Swap with friends and neighbours