The Nest 2018

The Nest
Brunswick West VIC 3055
Full address will be displayed on 05 Sep 2019
10am – 4pm
House Open Style
Guided Tours – Booking essential (address will not be listed on website)
Entry fee or Donation
All profits from tickets go to SHD2019
Donations supporting
Sustainable House Day 2019
Housing Type
Standalone House
Project Type
Macasar Building
House Size
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms

All tours for this house are now booked out for 2018

Tickets are $5 each (children 12 years or younger, free). All profits will go to the Alternative Technology Association for SHD 2019.

The renovation of this Californian bungalow sought to create better spaces for a resourceful and low-impact family life.

The original house had poorly configured small rooms, lacked natural light, felt closed-in and chewed through the energy in winter. The owners, Phil and Bec, were keen to open the home to the productive veggie gardens and warmth of northern sunlight.

Designers Brave New Eco and Geometrica collaborated to revise the layout, remove the lean-to back of the house and rebuild a passive solar extension in which a kitchen, walk-in pantry, bathroom, laundry and dining room were configured in a modest 32m2.

An outdoor deck and pergola opened the house to the north, and the space was made to feel more expansive than it really was with a high-pitched ceiling and a deep window seat running along the north side of the room.

The overall footprint was actually reduced by 1m2 from the original, yet encompassed a second bathroom, larger bedrooms and more spacious living areas through clever space-saving design. Thermal mass was introduced with an insulated concrete slab, and space heating installed so the new area could be zoned from the old for heating. Old technologies and systems were upgraded, including solar hot water, a PV array, induction cooking and water tanks. Extensive recycled, locally made and sustainably manufactured materials and furnishings were used throughout, as well as best-choice low VOC materials and sealants.

Built by Macasar Building.


Previously Open
Cost estimate of sustainable home/features
Estimate of annual savings
$1200 p.a. approx.
Universal design accessability
Universal Design Features
Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
No stairs/steps
No corner cupboards
Washing machine/dryer on plinth for easy access
BAL Rating
BAL – Low: There is insufficient risk to warrant specific construction requirements
Window and door types
Double glazing
Recycled and reused
Sustainable materials
Boral Envirocrete 32MPa 20mm 30% cement replacement with recycled aggregate in-slab. Timber is sourced from sustainably managed forests and accrues timber credits in the Green Star Materials Calculator (including KDHW recycled messmate timbers, Laminex EO range, ABS edging – natural finish, Laminex MR EO whiteboard melamine, Eco specifier Global GreenTag GreenRate Level A certified products). Furnishings: Recycled interior doors, saved skirtings and architraves for reuse, refurbished vintage light fittings, reused existing spa bath – reconditioned motor and relocated to new bathroom. Vanity: Repurposed Art Deco vintage drinks trolley – restored. Reused existing laundry tub. Exterior: Reused exterior bricks throughout landscaping, reuse of drop-down exterior awning to western windows, reuse of existing large window and weatherboards for exterior shed, reuse of existing timber sleepers for seating.
Insulation - Ceiling
Type: Tontine insulation
Rating: Thermal batts and rolls: R4.5 (225mm) polyester batts over existing ceiling insulation. Thermal and sound batts: 2 layers R2.5 (90mm) polyester batts. Total R5.0 (180mm) in new.
Insulation - Internal/external walls
Type: Wall sarking Ametalin ‘SilverSark-xR’ double-sided medium vapour barrier/reflective foil laminate (over studs/under battens)
Rating: External walls (new) Tontine insulation ‘thermal and sound batts’ R2.5 (90mm) polyester. Internal walls (new) Tontine insulation ‘Thermal and sound batts’ R1.5 polyester to all new internal stud walls.
Energy star rating type
First Rate
Energy star rating
4.7 Stars
All electric home
Renewable energy
Solar PV grid-connected
Size of PV system
Water heating
Solar hot water (evacuated tube)
Passive heating cooling
Thermal chimney
Active heating cooling
Ceiling fans
Space heating – gas log fire
Energy efficiency
Draught proofing
Efficient lighting
Efficient appliances
Energy monitoring
Water harvesting and saving
Above-ground rainwater storage
Garden / Outdoors
Edible garden
Native plants
Water-wise plants