Farrells' house 2019

Farrells’ house
Narara NSW 2260
Booking required – see link below
10am – 4pm
House Open Style
Narara Ecovillage Event: Booking required
Entry fee or Donation
$10 (suggested donation amount to visit all houses open at Narara Ecovillage)
Donations supporting
Narara Eco Living Network
Housing Type
Standalone House
Project Type
New Build
Living Green Designer Homes
House Size
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms
Open with support of
Narara Eco Living Network

This is a new build at Narara Ecovillage on the Central Coast of NSW. Completed in November 2018, the house is the culmination of decades of thinking and learning about sustainable home building.

It is essentially a lightweight timber framed house built on a steep block, designed to rest lightly on the slope. Orientated to the north, it has excellent winter solar gain, while being well shaded from the summer sun. With appropriate insulation in the ceiling, walls and under floor, the house is well sealed (scoring 3.4 on a blower door test) with heat exchange ventilation. Thermal mass is provided by a combination of a small concrete slab and internal brick wall, and 90 sqm of phase change material in the ceilings.

Apart from producing a comfortable, sustainable house for ourselves, we hoped to show that high quality, low energy housing can be built on any block, with currently available building materials, at a reasonable price. It doesn’t need to be ‘special’, or ‘cutting edge’ to be beautiful, joyful and inspiring.

Sustainable features of this home include:

  • Plantation H2 treated radiata pine framing timbers, termite proof, renewable, sustainable and grown here in Australia, it requires less energy to manufacture than the majority of other building materials.
  • James Hardie Scyon Stria cladding – made from cement composite materials- low in embodied energy and VOC’s and is durable; resistant to fire, moisture, rotting & termites. recyclable.
  • 20mm timber cavity battens in combination with the Enviroseal Proctorwrap vapour permeable (Class 4) membrane
  • BioPCM M51 Q24 phase change material to reduce peak diurnal cooling & heating loads, aiding in temperature stability. When used as part of an Active System it acts as an efficient thermal storage battery. BioPCM is used as a lightweight alternative to concrete for thermal mass in a lightweight building. This provides similar levels of thermal performance but reduced weight decreases structural requirements. It also greatly reduces the buildings’ embodied energy; concrete is responsible for 8% of global CO2 emissions.
  • Sandstone blocks for retaining & landscaping – locally sourced and supplied, sandstone has one of the lowest carbon footprints compared to other building materials. No chemicals are used in its production or processing
  • uPVC windows & doors provide excellent thermal insulation substantially reducing energy transfer.
  • Viridian Lightbridge double glazing
  • Foam filling around the windows reduces air leakage, improving thermal performance and indoor air quality.
  • Low voc internal paint products.
  • Use of Birch Plywood throughout the joinery and feature entry ceiling – FSC Certified product, minimal processing, fully recyclable as opposed to traditional laminates which contain plastics often used in cabinetry making

Designed by Envirotecture and built by Living Green Designer Homes


This house achieved a NatHERS rating of 8.2 stars using NatHERS accredited software (BersPro). Find out how the star ratings work on the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) website.


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
Cost estimate of sustainable home/features
Total cost of home when constructed
$509,000, including decks, site work, landscaping and extra joinery within the house.
Estimate of annual savings
Roofing materials
Metal (Colorbond)
Wall materials (external and internal)
Lightweight construction (timber frame)
Window and door types
Double glazing
Window and door shading
Awnings (external)
Deciduous tree/vegetation
Wide eaves, window shade-hoods on north, west and south walls (for early summer mornings), roofed deck on east side.
Recycled and reused
Sustainable materials
Site waste sent to the recycling facility, who are fully licensed with the EPA. Only 2 skip bins were used onsite, with 85% of the material collected recycled through the facility.
Insulation - Under roof
Type: Reflective foil
Rating: R1.5
Insulation - Ceiling
Type: Bulk – polyester
Rating: R5.0
Insulation - External walls
Type: Bulk – polyester
Rating: R2.5
Insulation - Internal walls
Type: Bulk – polyester
Rating: R2.0
Insulation - Under floor
Type: Bulk - polyester
Rating: R2.5
Healthy home
Airtight house design
Asthma and allergy free certified carpet
Chemical free cleaning products used
Cross flow ventilation
Heat recovery ventilation (HRV)
Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
Natural fibre furnishings
Natural light and ventilation
All electric home
Renewable energy
Solar PV grid connect
Size of PV system
5kw inverter with 6.5 kw panel array
Water heating
Hot water heat pump
Passive heating cooling
Cross ventilation
Passive solar designed home
Thermal mass
Active heating cooling
Ceiling fans
Heat exchange ventilation system
Split system airconditioner
Energy efficiency
Draught proofing
Efficient lighting
Efficient appliances
Energy monitoring
Water harvesting and saving
Above ground rainwater storage
Type: Tank
Size: 5,000L
Stormwater management
Low flow shower heads
Low flow taps
Garden / Outdoors
Community vegetable garden
Edible garden
Native plants
Water wise plants
Average Daily Energy Consumption Per Person
Waste Reduction
Compost all food scraps