The Hive 2019

The Hive
Narara NSW 2250
Booking required – see link below
House Open Style
Narara Ecovillage Event: Booking required
Entry fee or Donation
$10 (suggested donation amount to visit all houses open at Narara Ecovillage)
Donations supporting
Narara Eco Living Network
Housing Type
Standalone House
Project Type
New Build
Viva Living Homes
Viva Living Homes
House Size
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms
Open with support of
Narara Eco Living Network

The Hive is a beautiful, functional and comfortable family home in the Narara Ecovillage. Completed in 2018 and constructed out of rendered strawbale panels with internal cob walls. Our designers and builders at Viva Living Homes share our passion and create healthy homes which are thermally efficient and soothing to the soul.

The Hive is constructed primarily out of straw panels and cob with lime to the external walls, and a clay render on the internal walls. The ceiling linings feature pine lining boards, and the floors are Blackbutt timber. The majority of the house can be recycled and returned to the earth at the end of its lifespan.

Internal fixtures have been sourced secondhand as much as possible – kitchen cabinetry, tapware, tiles, curtains and doors have been ‘bowerbirded’ in our mission to live more lightly on the planet.

With three small children, our home really is a hive of activity, and this house stands up well to our daily needs. Come and learn more!

This home is open as part of the Narara Ecovillage Open Day. To see other homes that are open at the village, click here. To visit this house and the ecovillage, book tickets here.

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
Disability access
Universal access
Wheelchair access
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
Minimum 110cm wide hallways
Semi recessed basins
Window openings easily accessible
Flush entry door with a ramp, low windows for people in wheelchairs to see out, flooring and wall finishes extend under cabinetry so it can be retrofitted for people with additional needs down the track.
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)
Cob construction
Lightweight construction (timber frame)
Window and door types
Double glazing
Louvre windows
Pocket doors
Casement windows
Window and door shading
Recycled and reused
Bathroom cabinets
Kitchen cabinets
Light fixtures
Sustainable materials
Insulation - Under roof
Type: Blanket
Rating: R1.3
Insulation - Ceiling
Type: Bulk – polyester
Rating: R4.0
Insulation - External walls
Type: Straw (stawbale walls)
Rating: R3.4
Insulation - Internal walls
Type: Bulk – polyester
Rating: R2.5
Insulation - Under floor
Type: Bulk - polyester
Rating: R3.0
Healthy home
Cabinet design to minimise dust collection
Chemical free cleaning products used
Cross flow ventilation
Indoor plants for air filtration
Lime render/wash
Natural light and ventilation
Natural oil sealer/finishes
No carpets
All electric home
Renewable energy
Solar PV grid connect
Size of PV system
Water heating
Hot water heat pump
Passive heating cooling
Cross ventilation
Passive solar designed home
Thermal mass
Active heating cooling
Ceiling fans
Energy efficiency
Draught proofing
Efficient lighting
Efficient appliances
Water harvesting and saving
Above ground rainwater storage
Size: 8,000L
Stormwater management
Low flow shower heads
Low flow taps
Drip irrigation
Garden / Outdoors
Bee keeping
Community vegetable garden
Drip irrigation
Edible garden
Our beekeeping, chicken farming and large vegetable garden are part of the community resources inside the Narara Ecovillage.
Waste Reduction
Compost all food scraps
Swap with friends and neighbours
Community children's clothing exchange, homeschool resource library, toy exchange are all community resources we use at the Ecovillage.