Boolarra steel frame house 2019

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Boolarra VIC 3870
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Open with support of
    • Baw Baw Sustainability Network
    • Builder
    • Eureka Sheds, Traralgon and Owner Builder
    • Designer
    • Owner

About Boolarra steel frame house

The Boolarra Steel Frame House is an alternate method of framing a new house or build. It relies on the old post and beam construction principle. This very inexpensive completed steel frame and roof is the low foot-print structural backbone of the build. In this case the walls will be an infill of timber, cladded externally with fire proof compressed fibro-cement sheeting. The internal walls will be lined with some ply and some plaster.

The build is currently up to frame inspection stage. It is very interesting to view the ease of construction and enquire about the choice of building materials and fixings.

The house is designed to benefit from solar gain and the pleasant views. It was an early choice to remain off grid for all services although the grid power passes over the property. The area is prone to blackouts off grid is the short term electricity reliability & resilience insurance.

Experience has shown the heating and cooling advantage of living areas up stairs. This easterly oriented build benefits from 180 degree views of the Morwell River Valley, from Lou Yang to the hills of Mirboo North. The 4acre block is densely vegetated with native plants and trees, ( especially numerous large Spotted Gums ); this in itself is a beautiful feature to be enjoyed rather than destroyed.

Be advised that this house is still under construction. Please take care on site as there will be construction materials and tools around, we will make the site as safe as possible, be vigilant.

This home is supported by



Years Open
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
      Energy monitoring
      Smart home features
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Passive solar designed home
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Split system airconditioner

    • Active heating cooling:
    • Slow combustion wood heater
    • Water heating:
    • Hot water heat pump
      Water heated by PV system
      Wood fire wetback
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Above ground rainwater storage
      Blackwater system
      Grey water system
      Stormwater management
      Low flow shower heads
      Low flow taps
      Drip irrigation
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Polyester
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 6,000L
    • Storage connected to
    • Whole house
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Window Protection:
    • Blinds
    • Sustainable materials:
    • The nature of the strong steel post and beam building style makes for a very easy fix for the non load bearing wall framing. The sheer strength of the build will be lost to the eyes once the cladding is fixed. Ideally all of the wall framing could be pre cut and assembled off site, then carted to site for installation, making the overall build not only very quick but also very cost effective. Sustainability is a whole of build concept here not just sustainable products. Whilst the 2 shipping containers on site are quite butt ugly they do enjoy a very practical role on this site. Not only obvious storage but when separated then with a strong roof added these two beasts provide site water, shade, and a great spot for a fire pit in winter. Sadly the containers will be recycled back onto the market once emptied into the new build. The container's roofing , ie timbers and roofing are in fact to be re-utilised in the construction of sizeable shed on site.
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Aggregate
      Shipping container
      Steel frame
    • Insulation Type:
    • Ceiling
      Internal walls

    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • R4, note all household insulation is Knauf "Earthwool"
    • Other Insulation Methods:
    • roof space insulation blanket applied prior to roofing
    • Internal Walls Insulation Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Internal Walls Insulation Rating:
    • R2.5
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Energy star rating:
    • 6.5 Stars
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Energy storage/battery
      Solar PV off-grid
    • Size of PV system:
    • 3kW
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $180,000
    • Cost estimate of sustainable home/features:
    • $10,000
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • $13,000
    • House Size
    • 100m2
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – 29: Increasing levels of ember attack and ignition of debris with a heat flux of up to 29kW/m2
    • Roof
    • Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Lightweight construction (timber frame)

    • Wall Materials
    • External BAL29, Fireproof Compressed Fibre Cement Sheeting, BGC Duragroove, 9mm
    • Window and Door Types
    • Double glazing
      Double hung

    • Window and Door Types
    • Weatherall BAL29 fireproof PVC clad frames, woodgrain timber tone permanent finish
    • Universal design accessability
    • Adaptive design
    • 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
      Kitchen bench/table for wheelchairs to access (75-85cm high)
      Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
      Minimum 110cm wide hallways
      Power points at 60cm above floor level and 50cm from internal corners
      Ramps and path gradients must be less than 20:1
      Shower head on rail for various heights
      Window openings easily accessible
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 2
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 1
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Aquaponics
      Bee hotels/friendly
      Drip irrigation
      Native plants
      Water wise plants
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Recycle
      Swap with friends and neighbours
    • Healthy home features
    • Cross flow ventilation
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
      Natural fibre furnishings
      Natural light and ventilation
      Natural oil sealer/finishes

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