Cat and Gary's House 2018

Preston VIC 3072
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Entry Charge
    • Gold coin
    • Chosen Charity
    • Preston South Primary School
    • Open House Style
    • Regular Guided Tours – No booking required
    • Open Hours
    • 10am – 4pm
    • Builder
    • Greg Dickson Architecture
    • Designer
    • Outlines

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
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
      Energy monitoring
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Passive solar designed home
      Thermal chimney
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Bricks
      Kitchen cabinets
    • Sustainable materials:
    • Reused bricks, lots of insulation, sustainably harvested timber
    • Water heating:
    • Other
    • Water heating:
    • Gas
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Above ground rainwater storage
      Low flow shower heads
      Low flow taps
      Drip irrigation
    • Average water consumption per day:
    • 150L
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Bladder tanks
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 5000L total, plus one 2000L slimline steel tank that is yet to be re-connected
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Electric Vehicle?
    • No
    • Electric Vehicles Welcome
    • Yes
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Composting
      Drip irrigation
      Edible garden
      Green roof
      Native plants
      Water wise plants
    • Healthy home features
    • Airtight house design
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
    • Waste Reduction Practices practices:
    • Compost all food scraps
      Swap with friends and neighbours
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $500,000
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • $1800
    • All-Electric Home?
    • No
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV grid connect
    • Size of PV system:
    • 1.5kW
    • Average Daily Energy Consumption:
    • 1.7kWhr
    • Insulation Type:
    • Ceiling
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Other
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • Cathedral ceiling R7.2; flat ceiling max. R6.2
    • Floor Type:
    • 15mm-thick anti-glare Foilboard Super 15
    • Floor Rating:
    • R2.4
    • 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
    • Internal / External Walls Rating:
    • Double brick: R2.2, brick veneer R2.0, timber cladding R2.7
    • Window Protection:
    • Honeycomb blinds
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – Low: There is insufficient risk to warrant specific construction requirements
    • House Size
    • 160m2
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 4
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 2
    • Roof
    • Metal (Zincalume)
    • Wall Materials
    • Double brick
    • Window and Door Types
    • Double glazing
      Sliding windows/doors
      Triple glazing
    • Universal design accessability
    • Multi-generational