Two Storey Strawbale Family Home 2019

Two Storey Strawbale Family Home
Narara NSW 2250
Booking required – see link below
House Open Style
Narara Ecovillage Event: Booking required
Entry fee or Donation
Suggested donation of $10 for entry to all homes on display at Narara Ecovillage
Donations supporting
Narara Eco Living Network (NELN)
Housing Type
Standalone House
Project Type
New Build
Viva Living Homes
Viva Living Homes
House Size
140m2 (including deck)
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms
Open with support of
Narara Eco Living Network

We’ve had a passion for natural building since studying permaculture in our early 20’s. Initially drawn to the aesthetic of earth building we trained in and constructed an earth bag dome in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.

On balance, we opted for strawbale construction to build our small family home in the sub-tropic climate of the Narara Ecovillage. The insulate properties of straw have so far proven to live up to our hopes and the use of thermal mass ( concrete ground floor and earthen interior walls) has made this the cosiest house we’ve ever spent a winter in.

With a young family and some previous experience with a small owner-build project we opted to have the experts build it for us – the quality of Viva’s work, as you will see, speaks for itself.

Designed and built by Viva Living Homes

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
Total cost of home when constructed
Estimate of annual savings
BAL Rating
BAL – 12.5: Ember attack with heat up to 12.5kW/m2
Roofing materials
Metal (Colorbond)
Wall materials (external and internal)
Cob construction
Window and door types
Double glazing
Window and door shading
Recycled and reused
Insulation - Under roof
Type: Other
Rating: R1.3
Insulation - Ceiling
Type: Bulk – polyester
Rating: R4.0
Insulation - External walls
Type: Straw (stawbale walls)
Rating: R4.1 (panels upstairs) - R7.1 (full bales downstairs)
Healthy home
Chemical free cleaning products used
Lime render/wash
Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
Natural fibre furnishings
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
Split system airconditioner
Energy efficiency
Draught proofing
Efficient lighting
Efficient appliances
Energy monitoring
Water harvesting and saving
Above ground rainwater storage
Type: Colourbond Tank
Size: 7000L
Low flow shower heads
Low flow taps
Reticulated water system in place within the village for gardens
Waste Reduction
Compost all food scraps
Swap with friends and neighbours