The Recyclable House – Beaufort 2019

The Recyclable House – Beaufort
Beaufort VIC 3373
10am – 4pm
House Open Style
Regular Guided Tours – No booking required
Housing Type
Standalone House
Project Type
New Build
Quentin Irvine
Inquire Invent Pty Ltd
House Size
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms

Completed in December 2015, The Recyclable House was designed and built by Quentin Irvine, Managing Director of Inquire Invent Pty Ltd. Aesthetic inspirations for the house were drawn from iconic Australian galvanised steel wool sheds, hand crafts and industria. The house was designed with passive heating and cooling in mind, like most sustainable houses. What sets it apart is the use of experimental, closed-loop design and construction methodologies. The house is a cutting-edge example of the application of cradle-to-cradle design philosophy.

Although the components of this house are recyclable or biodegradable, it has been built to last and is of exceptionally high quality. The solar passive highly insulated design ensures warmth in Beaufort’s harsh winters. Coupled with the super-efficient Pyroclassic wood fire stove with wetback and solar hot water system, the house is cozy even on the coldest days of the year. It is extremely high-performing and therefore economic, with minimal running costs whilst still being comfortable to live in. The one-room-width of the house enables cross-flow ventilation and this, coupled with first- and second-storey shade sails, keeps it cool in summer.

Quentin took a variety of mainstream building techniques and tweaked them here and there to improve recyclability, thermal efficiency, building longevity and indoor air quality. This was an important design objective so that the design ideas would be readily replicable by the building industry as a whole.

Extensive research went into the design of the house for recyclability. The house is made of recyclable materials and is screwed/nailed together. Wherever glues/paints/sealants have been used, they are natural and biodegradable in all but a very few instances.

A bi-product of designing a house built with natural materials and finishes for their recyclability and biodegradability is the sensational indoor air quality that follows. Therefore, this design philosophy is also compatable for those afflicted with ‘sick building syndrome’ (SBS)/multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), i.e. sensitivity to environmental toxins.

Article written by Anna Cumming and professional photos taken by Nic Granleese – see more and read the full article from Sanctuary issue 44.

Read more about this home on BowerBird.

If you would like to spend a little extra time at this home, you can stay a night or two by booking here.


This house achieved a NatHERS rating of 7.6 stars using NatHERS accredited software (FirstRate5). Find out how the star ratings work on the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) website.



The house also achieved 8 stars with the Victorian Residential Efficiency Scorecard. If you would like to find out more click here.

This home is supported by


Years Open
Cost estimate of sustainable home/features
Total cost of home when constructed
$380,000 (built in 2015) TOTAL COST
Estimate of annual savings
$800+ p.a.
Universal Design Features
80cm minimum door opening width
Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
Shower head on rail for various heights
Various heights for benches in kitchens
Cradle-to-cradle design philosophy
BAL Rating
BAL – Low: There is insufficient risk to warrant specific construction requirements
Roofing materials
Metal (Z600 galvanised steel)
Wall materials (external and internal)
Lightweight construction (timber frame)
Charred timber cladding and Z600 galvanised, corrugated steel
Window and door types
Double glazing
Low-e, films
Shade sail used to adaptively shade the house
Window and door shading
Adjustable Shading
Shade Sails
Shade sail used to adaptively shade the house
Recycled and reused
Kitchen cabinets
Plaspanel, floorboards, earth
Sustainable materials
Earth, steel, timber, aluminium, glass, cement sheet, natural paints, natural oil finishes, Purebond plywood with soy-based glue, Plaspanel... but most importantly, all installed in such a way that they can be recycled!
Insulation - Under roof
Type: earchwool blanket with foil
Rating: R1.8
Insulation - Ceiling
Type: Bulk – glass wool
Rating: R5.0 ceiling
Insulation - Internal/external walls
Type: Plaster, 90mm stud wall, ProctorWrap, 35mm pine batten/air gap, aluminium tin foil, burnt timber or galvanised steel cladding
Rating: R2.5 HD Earthwool
Insulation - External walls
Type: Bulk – glass wool
Rating: R2.5 HD Earthwool
Insulation - Internal walls
Type: Bulk – glass wool
Rating: R2.5 HD Earthwool
Insulation - Under floor
Type: Bulk - glass wool
Rating: R4.0 bulk Earthwool between joists, then wrapped with ProctorWrap
Healthy home
Airtight house design
Cabinet design to minimise dust collection
Indoor plants for air filtration
Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
Victorian residential efficiency scorecard rating
All electric home
Water heating
Solar hot water (evacuated tube)
Wood fire wetback
Passive heating cooling
Cross ventilation
Passive solar designed home
Thermal mass
Cool cupboard
Active heating cooling
Pyroclassic wood fire
Energy efficiency
Draught proofing
Efficient lighting
Efficient appliances
Water harvesting and saving
Stormwater management
Drip irrigation
Garden / Outdoors
Drip irrigation
Edible garden
Native plants
Water wise plants
Waste Reduction
Compost all food scraps
Swap with friends and neighbours