Zacoli Organic 2019

Zacoli Organic
Blackburn VIC 3130
Booking required – see link below
11am - 4pm
House Open Style
Guided Tours – Booking essential (address will not be listed on website)
Entry fee or Donation
Gold coin
Donations supporting
Housing Type
Standalone House
Project Type
Gruen Eco Design
A&D Stephens Construction
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms

Book your tickets here to visit Zacoli Organic.
This home is open for pre-booked tours only, the address will not be displayed. 

Four years ago, we purchased a beautiful 2 bedroom heritage home built by Elmore Algernon in the leafy Blackburn area. We immediately fell in love with the cottage which was bursting with character. We wanted to preserve the historic elements of the cottage and carry on the legacy of the previous owners, who were advocates for sustainability and recycling.

To meet the needs of our growing family, we built a modern double storey extension at the back, integrated into the existing cottage, turning the house into a 4 bedroom and 3 bathroom home. With our amazing architect and builder, there was significant focus and effort placed on recycling, sustainability, energy efficiency and low toxicity as part of the build.

The heritage protected cottage at the front has been upgraded while maintaining the original historic features and the new addition has been built to the highest standards in terms of insulation, with high performing double glazed windows.

The polished insulated concrete slab in the new extension acts as an effective thermal mass, passive solar design has been applied throughout to achieve a comfortable family house for all of Melbourne’s seasons. As an added bonus, the polished concrete also acts as a grounding material, to keep the family earthed while walking barefoot around the house. Being connected to the earth gives us access to the negative charge and electrons from the earth that could neutralise free radicals on our body and reduce inflammatory stresses.

Other environmentally sustainable design features include hydronic heating, rainwater tanks, compost bins and worm farms, and solar panels. The no lawn food garden using the Back to Eden gardening approach and the five ducks guarding it, coupled with a movable duck tractor with the goal to fertilize the garden beds are also important aspects of sustainable design principles. The 2 bathtubs in the home can be diverted for greywater use. 12 walls in the house were painted with shielding paint for EMF radiation protection.

Zero VOC and exclusively non toxic finishes and materials have been used through the entire project, including natural sisal carpet. The innovative aspects are the use of an insulated concrete slab to act as thermal mass as well as openable highlight windows above the stair case to purge the hot summer air. The upstairs rooms receive plenty of natural light without the need of screening due to the single pitched roofs and large highlight windows.

Apart from the sustainable house and garden, we also strive to live a natural and organic lifestyle. We eat organic food, make our own organic and natural skincare, personal care and household products. You will be able to see and purchase our range of homemade organic, natural and toxin free skincare, personal care and household products, with a one-off exclusive Buy 3 Get 4th Free* offer. *4th product of the lowest value. Check out our website here Zacoli Organic

This home won the Sustainability Award  at City of Whitehorse Built Environment Awards 2019.

Designed by Gruen Eco Design and built by A&D Stephens Construction


Years Open
Cost estimate of sustainable home/features
Estimate of annual savings
Universal design accessability
Adaptive design
Roofing materials
Insulated panel (sandwich panels)
Window and door types
Double glazing
Recycled and reused
Bathroom cabinets
Insulation - Under roof
Type: Insulated panels
All electric home
Passive heating cooling
Thermal mass
Energy efficiency
Efficient lighting
Efficient appliances
Water harvesting and saving
Above ground rainwater storage
Type: Poly tank
Grey water system
Garden / Outdoors
Edible garden
Native plants
Waste Reduction
Compost all food scraps
Plastic free household