Cat and Gary's House 2018

Cat and Gary’s House
Preston VIC 3072
10am – 4pm
House Open Style
Regular Guided Tours – No booking required
Entry fee or Donation
Gold coin
Donations supporting
Preston South Primary School
Housing Type
Standalone House
Project Type
Greg Dickson Architecture
House Size
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms

This extension upgraded a 1920s Edwardian home to a sustainable dwelling with fun built in.

Set back at ground level to provide space for an outdoor deck connected to the living zone, the upstairs bedroom opens onto a large balcony with views back over the old house and a slide down to a sandpit in the garden.

A compact floor plan allowed spending to be directed towards sustainable choices, such as recycled bricks (recovered from demolition of the original kitchen), double glazing and bladder water tanks under the deck. Sustainability was a key driver in the design, particularly using low VOC products, rainwater runoff to water the planted green eave, and having the option to extend the existing solar PV array in the future.

The eave on the outside of the house is planted with a mixture of decorative, and insect-attracting native and hardy exotic species, and provides summer shading where it is needed. Roof runoff waters the planter, which is filtered then drains into bladder tanks and onto the garden.

The design fulfilled the owners’ wish for a light-filled, sustainable and more spatially functional home.

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

Designed by Kate Douglas, Outlines and built by Dickson Architecture.

Read how to make your own beeswax wraps in Renew #146 written by Cathryn Mind your own beeswax

Your gold coin donation will support Preston South Primary School. You will also be able to buy bags made from recycled fabric from Pretty Retro Handcrafts and beeswax wraps.


Years Open
Total cost of home when constructed
Estimate of annual savings
Universal design accessability
BAL Rating
BAL – Low: There is insufficient risk to warrant specific construction requirements
Roofing materials
Metal (Zincalume)
Wall materials (external and internal)
Double brick
Window and door types
Double glazing
Sliding windows/doors
Triple glazing
Window and door shading
Honeycomb blinds
Recycled and reused
Kitchen cabinets
Sustainable materials
Reused bricks, lots of insulation, sustainably harvested timber
Insulation - Ceiling
Type: Other
Rating: Cathedral ceiling R7.2; flat ceiling max. R6.2
Insulation - Internal/external walls
Type: Double brick: 15mm-thick anti-glare Foilboard Super 15. Brick veneer: Bradford Enviroseal wall wrap + 75mm-thick R2.0 Bradford Gold wall batts. Timber cladding: Bradford Enviroseal Wall Breather + 75mm-thick R2.7 Bradford Gold Hi-performance wall batts
Rating: Double brick: R2.2, brick veneer R2.0, timber cladding R2.7
Insulation - Under floor
Type: 15mm-thick anti-glare Foilboard Super 15
Rating: R2.4
Healthy home
Airtight house design
Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
Victorian residential efficiency scorecard rating
8 Star
All electric home
Renewable energy
Solar PV grid connect
Size of PV system
Water heating
Passive heating cooling
Cross ventilation
Passive solar designed home
Thermal chimney
Active heating cooling
Ceiling fans
Energy efficiency
Draught proofing
Efficient lighting
Efficient appliances
Energy monitoring
Water harvesting and saving
Above ground rainwater storage
Type: Bladder tanks
Size: 5000L total, plus one 2000L slimline steel tank that is yet to be re-connected
Low flow shower heads
Low flow taps
Drip irrigation
Garden / Outdoors
Drip irrigation
Edible garden
Green roof
Native plants
Water wise plants
Average Daily Energy Consumption Per Person
Average Daily Water Usage Per Person
Waste Reduction
Compost all food scraps
Swap with friends and neighbours