Sanctuary 55: Showcasing the astounding range of sustainable homes around Australia
- Laying the groundwork
Architect Simon Anderson experimented with creative and technical ideas for his own off-grid, bushfire-resistant home in the Blue Mountains, developing a successful prototype for client projects.
- Lockdown new build
In a street of renovated Queenslanders in Brisbane’s inner north, splashes of burnt orange on this young couple’s house and its vegie garden buzzing with native bees hint at something different.
- Exactly enough
A small-footprint, one-bedroom retreat designed for passive solar winter comfort proves perfect for this couple’s lifestyle in northern Tassie.
- Talking shop
With determination and creative intervention, this heritage Adelaide shopfront and its poorly conceived 1970s extension were salvaged, restored and transformed into a light-filled, comfortable modern home.
- Conversation between eras
The renovation of this heritage-listed Melbourne cottage perfectly blends the way things were done then and the way we can choose to live now, celebrating history while embracing modern, energy-efficient design and connection to community.
- Mixed media
Chris and Jac staged the design and build of their eclectic off-grid pavilion house in the Gold Coast hinterland to manage the budget and adapt it to the changing needs of their expanding family.
- Squarely sustainable
A cube-shaped extension with a roof garden and a cut-out for summer shading sits respectfully behind this century-old Perth cottage, updating it for modern living.
- Maximum effect
While keeping the alterations and additions to a minimum, a thoughtful renovation greatly improved the flow and functionality of this inner-Sydney house and garden, and it’s eco-conscious to boot.
Ideas & advice
- From cavity to cosy: Retrofitting wall insulation
Retrofitting insulation to existing walls can be a tricky proposition, but the thermal benefits are well worth it. Energy efficiency expert Richard Keech explains how to do it.
- Designed to last: The house that survived two bushfires
This owner-built home near Lithgow, NSW, has survived two brushes with bushfire, including the 2019 Gospers Mountain mega-fire. Architect Nigel Bell outlines the planning, design and construction decisions that made a difference.
- Going down the rabbit hole of eco material specification
In On the drawing board, interior designer Hayley Witt gives her take on responsible material specification and describes the lengths to which her team will go to make environmentally sound choices.
- Design Workshop: Tackling a true fixer-upper
Ralf and Cathy Thesing have taken on the ambitious project of restoring a derelict weatherboard cottage in Woodend, Victoria, and transforming it into an exemplar of modern energy-efficient home design. Certified Passive House designer Simone Schenkel stepped in to help.
- Champions of climate action: Councils on the front foot
Dean Kline, CEO of Yarra Energy Foundation in Melbourne, describes the important role of municipal governments in the push for environmental sustainability and takes a look at what three of them are already doing.
- Living fences: Using plants to define your boundaries
Fences are often necessary for privacy, security and the safety of pets and children. As Mara Ripani explains, there are myriad ways to create them with plants, adding extra greenery to our built environment.
- Climate Resilient Homes campaign update: Healthy homes for renters
Rob McLeod, Renew’s Sustainable Housing Advocate, explains the importance of mandated energy efficiency standards for rental homes.