Green Home Build 2023

This profile is written and maintained by the homeowner, architect, or builder.

House Notes – Green Home Build

This light-filled contemporary home, completed in 2020, showcases what is possible when sustainability is embedded in the design DNA by Sustainable Building and Design.

Winning three awards in the 2021 Architecture & Design Sustainability Awards indicates our home is amongst the best for recent sustainable Australian builds. The home won both the “Single Dwelling (New)” and “Smart Building Ideas” awards with David Coates, the designer/builder winning the “Emerging Sustainable Architect/Designer” award.

We wanted to create a comfortable, healthy, attractive home with a small carbon footprint and low maintenance requirements. The design evolved over time as specific features of the site dictated which sustainable building ideas were the best fit. Having a block with a north-south orientation is ideal for taking full advantage of passive solar principles. An 8.4 Star NatHERS rating highlights the design’s success with minimising the amount of energy required for heating or cooling. Other features such as rainwater recovery, indigenous themed landscaping and walking distance to shops and public transport ensured an excellent Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS) result of 71%

Building the house was another opportunity to think sustainably. Dismantling, rather than demolishing the original house produced a wealth of beautiful hardwood timber to use as cladding, door frames, etc.

We were able to recycle and reuse the following in our home:

  • Hardwood reclaimed from dismantling the original house used for cladding, door frames, wall features and front door.
  • Messmate timber reclaimed from demolished Melbourne building used for benchtops and bathroom cabinets.
  • Reclaimed ash floorboards from demolished 1920’s tram depot became bedroom flooring.
  • Recyclable steel used for cladding and kitchen benchtop (with integrated double sink).
  • Reclaimed steel roofing from the original carport was reused as distinctive, low-maintenance cladding.

Thermal mass for the reverse brick veneer construction comes from Timbercrete blocks rather than energy intensive bricks. The builders are proud to say the house was constructed with sunlight. Their power tools were supplied with electricity from an off-grid solar power system.

Highly efficient devices further reduce energy demand in the all-electric home. A reverse cycle air conditioner meets the minimal heating and cooling needs during extended periods of hot or cold days. Hot water is generated by another heat pump.

Most of the electricity required to live comfortably in this home comes from the 8 kW solar power system linked to a LG Chem 9.8 kWh battery. Any electricity shortfalls during the short, cloudy days of winter are met by importing GreenPower.

House constructed using electricity from an off-grid solar power system (article in Renew 148)

The finished home is a joy to look at and an absolute pleasure to live in. Passive solar design demonstrates the benefits of working with Nature, rather than using technology to overcome shortcomings.

This house achieved a NatHERS rating of 8.4 stars using NatHERS accredited software (FirstRate5). Find out how the star ratings work on the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) website.


Years Open
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
      Energy monitoring
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Passive solar designed home
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans
      Heat pump
      Split system airconditioner
    • Water heating:
    • Hot water heat pump
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground
      Low flow shower heads
      Low flow taps
    • Average water consumption per day:
    • 60 litres
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Plastic tanks
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 7,000L
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Electric Vehicle Type
    • MG ZS EV
    • Window Protection:
    • Blinds
      Solar pergola

    • Window Protection:
    • Eaves designed to shade windows in Summer but admit sunlight during Winter
    • Sustainable materials:
    • SCM mixture from VicMix used for the slab to reduce the concrete's carbon footprint.
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Bathroom cabinets
      House - all materials reused
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      Internal walls
      External walls
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • R6.0
    • Floor Type:
    • Kingspan K3 40mm insulation
    • Floor Rating:
    • R2.5
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • Reflective foil
    • Under Roof Insulation Rating:
    • R2.4
    • Internal Walls Insulation Type:
    • Bulk – polyester
    • Internal Walls Insulation Rating:
    • R2.5
    • External Walls Rating:
    • R2.5
    • External Walls Type:
    • Bulk – polyester
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Energy storage/battery
      Solar PV grid connect
    • Size of PV system:
    • 8kW
    • Average Daily Energy Consumption:
    • 6kWh
    • House Size
    • 139m2
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – Low: There is insufficient risk to warrant specific construction requirements
    • Roof
    • Metal (Zincalume)
    • Wall Materials
    • Lightweight construction (timber frame)
      Metal (Galvanised)
      Reverse Brick veneer
    • Window and Door Types
    • Awning
      Clerestory windows
      Double glazing
      Sliding windows/doors

    • Window and Door Types
    • Casement windows
    • Universal Design Features
    • 80cm minimum door opening width
      Hobless showers
      No stairs/steps
      Shower head on rail for various heights
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 2
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 2
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Composting
      Local indigenous plants
      Native plants
      Water wise plants
      Wicking beds
      Worm farm
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Compost all food scraps
      Make jams/conserves
      Waste free/reduced construction site

    • Other Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Reusable net bags for fruit & vegetable shopping (
    • Healthy home features
    • Carpet free - tiles/concrete/timber flooring throughout
      Cross flow ventilation
      Indoor plants for air filtration
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
      Natural light and ventilation
      Natural oil sealer/finishes
Ringwood East VIC 3135
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Builder
    • David Coates
    • Designer
    • Sustainable Building and Design

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