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B E INSPIR ED – REA L STORIES A BOUT REA L OWNER BUI LD ERS

$12.50

216  DECEMBER 2019-FEBRUARY 2020  SUMMER 2019

Bigger  Better  Bolder New quarterly format

Photo: Joel Chalupny

116 inspiration-filled pages

EARTHSHIP



FERROCEMENT



URBAN INFILL



GRANNY FLAT



STRAW BALE


Inside...

216 December 2019-February 2020

Our cover story

8 SUSTAINABLE SOLAR HOME With its organic looks and sustainable body, this Earthshipinspired home in Washington State, USA, sure turns heads. With earthtubes for natural cooling, a south facing glass wall for winter heating, heavy thermal mass and super-insulated structure, this home is not reliant on public services such as heating, cooling, power, water or sewerage. Every room has excellent natural lighting, air flow ventilation and views of the surroundings.

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20 MOSAIC MAGIC

Transformation of an old couch, rescued from the roadside, into a thing of beauty in the back yard.

22 WHAT ON EARTH IS A LIVING ROOF?

Understanding the method behind creating a selfsufficient ecosystem that doesn’t need you to water it.

28 STRAW BALE BUILDING UPDATE

The launch of the Strawbale Building Construction Guide and Fire Test Reports from Ausbale.

32 ELEGANT INFILL

Careful orientation, spaces with double functions, and plenty of storage combine in this family home.

20

37 THE FUTURE WITH EARTH

This year’s annual conference and AGM was filled with learning and laughter.

42 PLANS

Adaptable four bedroom U-shaped plan that wraps around a sheltered courtyard .

45 STRAW PANEL PAVILION HOUSE

Using straw bale prefabricated panels, these pods are super energy efficient and solar passively designed..

53 ART STUDIO CONSTRUCTION

These pole framed ferrocement circular spaces provide the perfect studio in which to create.

60 OWNER BUILDING... 45 4

... without the divorce – strategies to manage the stresses put on a relationship by the rigours of owner building.

THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au


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37

66 ONCE AN OWNER BUILDER...

Terry and Jenny’s passion for owner building knows no bounds – folly and whimsy play a less than serious role.

70 SHAKES AND SHINGLES

From the archives – timber roof or wall cladding materials that you can make yourself.

78 ROCKING TO SLEEP

The love of music is evident in every room of this boutique hotel on the NSW Mid North Coast.

84 THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF LIME

Lime is one of the most under-used, versatile and beautiful building materials out there.

88 BUILDING DIARY

Part One: Owner building a Hempcrete sustainable home in Tasmania.

53

92 EVENTS WRAP-UP

It has been a busy few months on the events calendar!

Sustainable House Day at Narara Ecovillage and Shepherds Ground Village Eltham Mudbrick Tour

Bendigo Sustainable House Day

In house . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Our details . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Coming events . . . . . . . . . . 18

102 REVIEWS

Mudbrick Construction Guidelines and Nail Your Renovation Wihtout Getting Screwed.

110 BUFFERS END

REGULAR FEATURES

Train carriage style Tiny House, with curved roof and ‘station platform’ verandah.

Line ads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Subscriptions . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Back issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106 Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au

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Coming events... SA

PERMACULTURE DESIGN CERTIFICATE COURSE, WORKSHOPS & OPEN DAY GAWLER MAY 2020

With David Holmgren, the Brookmans & guest tutors at The Food Forest • Design sustainable homes, gardens, farms, businesses & communities • Reduce your environmental footprint • Internationally accepted curriculum • Field trips, notes and networks • 10 days Taught at The Food Forest, a multi-award winning certified organic permaculture property on the Gawler River in SA. www.foodforest.com.au

VIC SUSTAINABLE LIVING FESTIVAL MELBOURNE AND REGIONS FEBRUARY 2020 Celebrating examples of ecological and social sustainability. Presenting the very best discoveries to restore a safe climate as fast as humanly possible. Now calling for applications. www.slf2020.org

VIC SMART BUILDING AND LIVING EXPO BUNINYONG 23 FEBRUARY 2020 ‘Care. Dare to Change’ is the theme for 2020. Community programs, electric vehicles, building and lifestyle. Create greener lifestyle habits. www.smartbuildingandlivingexpo.com.au

VIC LOST TRADES FAIR BENDIGO 7-8 MARCH 2020

VIC SEYMOUR ALTERNATIVE FARMS EXPO SEYMOUR 14-16 FEBRUARY 2020 Explore the latest technology, practices and trends in small and backyard farming, visit the animals and enjoy the market style shopping, food and entertainment. 03 5820 3115, www.seymourexpo.com.au

NZ

LOG BUILDING COURSE GERALDINE, SOUTH ISLAND 9-26 MARCH 2020

Two weeks of intensive learning and demanding physical work, with one of the most experienced, professional and internationally recognised log builders and teachers in the industry. Also includes a tour of nearby log buildings. www.logbuildingnz.org.nz

VIC TINY HOUSE FESTIVAL BENDIGO 21-22 MARCH 2020 Celebration of all things ‘Tiny Living’ related: displays, speakers, workshops, LIVE builds, DIY village and sustainability market. www.tinyhousefestivalaustralia.com

NSW TRADITIONAL TIMBER FRAMING AND STRAW BALE BUILDING COURSES

NZ

VARIOUS LOCATIONS AND DATES 25-26 Jan 2020, Geraldine, South Island, Earthen floor workshop 29 Feb-7 Mar 2020, Hawkes Bay, North Island, Straw bale intensive workshop 8 Mar 2020, Hawkes Bay, North Island, Earthen floor workshop www.soldesign.co.nz 2-8 Feb 2020, Golden Bay, South Island,

Timber frame tiny house course www.tinylifestyle.co.nz 5-9 Feb 2020, Nelson, South Island, Introduction to earth building and adobe www.earthbuildingschool.com

VIC RAMMED EARTH WORKSHOPS BEECHWORTH VARIOUS DATES Learn the skills and techniques you need to build your own beautiful rammed earth projects. Small groups, hands-on. www.rammedearth.house

AUS GRANNY FLAT DIY COURSE ONLINE Teaches and gives you the confidence to build your own straw bale granny flat. Learn the whole process from start to finish. 1300 929 111, www.vivahomes.com.au

AUS MUD BRICK CONSTRUCTION

MUDGEE ONGOING Top building professionals delivering the best and most useful straw bale and traditional timber framing courses.. 02 6372 3899, www.arec.com.au

WA BALINGUP SMALL FARM FIELD DAY BALINGUP 18 APRIL 2020

NATURAL BUILDING

ONLINE 100 HOURS, SELF-PACED Develop an understanding of how to approach building with mud bricks. Study from home, 100-hour self paced course. 07 5562 1088, www.acs.edu.au

USA LIVING ROOF AND NATURAL BUILDING WORKSHOPS VARIOUS LOCATIONS AND DATES

Celebrating the art of skilled manual work, ancient crafts and rare trades, the special tools, traditions, languages and secrets that go hand in hand with these trades.

Showcasing all aspects of small farming; caring for the land and animals, growing trees and food. Browse, learn and enjoy.

Hands-on natural building experience with expert Sigi Koko. A wide variety of topics including living roofs, cob, tadelakt, lime plaster. See website for dates and topics.

0412 363 632, www.losttrades.info

www.balingupsmallfarmfieldday.com.au

www.buildnaturally.com

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THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au


Need Owner Builder Insurance?

For a free quote contact us today

Coverforce Allrisk is recommended by some of Australia’s largest owner builder training providers

1300 255 747 allrisk.com.au

Fair Wood sells timber that doesn’t cost the earth. Transparently sourced decking, flooring, hardwood and softwood cladding and landscape timbers. Custom orders up to house-sized lots.

Coverforce Allrisk Pty Ltd (ACN 135 012 921) is the Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR No 001244500) of Coverforce Partners (ABN 089 245 465) (AFSL 245377)

(03) 9389 0195 / fairwood@ceres.org.au / www.ceresfairwood.org.au

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Natural & Safe Surface Treatments • Plant based, non toxic • Free of harmful chemicals • Ingredients fully declared • Safe for children • Low allergenic • Easy to rejuvenate

STRAW PARADISE - STRAW BALE + EARTH GRANNY FLATS - COURSES, WORKSHOPS PLANS, KITS

Our Showroom: 6 London Dr Bayswater VIC 3153

1300 929 111 VIVAHOMES.COM.AU

Photo: Suzi Eszterhas

Help

build them a safer future

www.savethekoala.com THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au

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No Grid... No Worries ! Rainbow Power Company has designed and installed thousands of stand-alone power systems for our customers since 1987. Visit rpc.com.au and benefit from our experience.

Call the solar power specialists 02 6689 1430 or visit RPC.COM.AU • Recycled Timber Discounters •

nt u o c s i rd u o t i s i V ! d a e r a s sale y to Loa

Build a mud house Create your own beautiful world A wealth of information on earthbag building, plaster and render, and living off grid. ‘The perfect resource for anyone looking to hand craft their own mud house.’ – Interesting Engineering

M

www.themudhome.com

PROTECT Building Protection Systems

YOUR

EARTH HOME •

Water Repellents

Dust Sealers

Admixtures for Rammed Earth & Earth Renders

03 9699 8202 – contact us for our interstate offices www.techdry.com.au

rices arked P

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Auction style layout • Set prices • 1 to 10 items per pack End of run • Old stocklines • Yard clearance Small and big sections • Landscape • Structural • Joinery Jarrah / Ironbark / Turpentine / Messmate / Oregon / Cypress DIY • Shopfitters • Builders • Landscapers • Furniture Makers Furniture • Landscape • Structural grades Like our Facebook page @ recycledtimberdiscounters Monday to Friday 8am-4.30pm

Saturday 9am-3pm Closed Sunday

988 Blackforest Dr. Woodend Vic 3442

www.recycledtimberdiscounters.com.au RecycledTimberDiscounters P/L • 03 5427 1566

THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au

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Line ads... CERES FAIR WOOD: A robust and

AUSTRALASIAN STRAW BALE BUILDING ASSOCIATION: Promotes the use of straw

bale construction. www.ausbale.org

transparent brand of timber . www.ceresfairwood.org.au

EARTH BUILDING ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA: Furthering the use of unfired

www.logbuildingnz.org.nz

NILLUMBIK MUDBRICK ASSOCIATION:

www.earthbuilding.org.nz

LOG BUILDING ASSOCIATION OF NZ:

earth in construction. www.ebaa.asn.au

EARTH BUILDING ASSOCIATION OF NZ:

To protect and promote the mud brick building industry. www.mudbrick.org.au

THE LAST STRAW (TLS): International journal of straw bale. www.thelaststraw.org

PROPERTY FOR SALE – WEST TOODYAY WA: Fantastic opportunity to buy our

amazing pole framed straw bale house on 60 beautiful hectares (148 acres). 1000 mature olive trees, abundant potable water from windmill and bore, mains power and large workshop, 9km from historic town, an easy 80km drive from Perth. House recently upgraded to current building code and bushfire standards and is fully Shire approved. See www.realestate.com.au > Search for ‘869 Julimar Rd, West Toodyay’

See photos below.

THE GLOBAL ECOVILLAGE NETWORK: www.ecovillage.org

FOR SALE: Bullimah Community in Nymboida NSW is looking for new members. Our vision is collaborative and inspired by family, food production, affordable housing, education and creative arts. We have DA approval for eight sites. Pending a successful application process, you would undergo a six-month trial, attending workdays, meetings and social gatherings. Buying in at $40,000 entitles you (as an individual or couple) to the use of common facilities and a private halfacre house site. Membership Application Packages are available with full costings and considerations, including vendor finance. Contact Fi for more information – fiona_passmore@yahoo.com.au See photo above. CYPRESS SAWMILLER: Cypress macrocarpa

graded to F7 or better. Up to 500x250mm wide and 6.5m long (maximum width and length). Phone 03 5659 7211 or 0418 361 539. (Strzelecki) www.maddockscypresssawmill.com.au

See photo below.

CERES COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENT PARK (Vic): www.ceres.org.au RANDWICK SUSTAINABILITY HUB (NSW):

www.randwick.nsw.gov.au

WITCHCLIFFE ECO VILLAGE (WA):

www.ecovillage.net.au

THE ECOVILLAGE AT CURRUMBIN (Qld): www.theecovillage.com.au

CRYSTAL WATERS ECO VILLAGE (Qld): www.crystalwaters.org.au

THE ALDINGA ARTS ECOVILLAGE (SA):

www.aldingaartsecovillage.com

WESTWYCK ECOVILLAGE (Vic): www.westwyck.com

NARARA ECOVILLAGE (NSW):

www.nararaecovillage.com

THE PADDOCK ECO VILLAGE (Vic):

www.thepaddock.com.au

Line ads and Coming events Advertise goods or property you have for sale or exchange, or an event. Also a space for associations and owner builder groups. Deadline for next two issues: 217 Mar-May 2020 – 7 Jan 2020 218 Jun-Aug 2020 – 7 Apr 2020 Cost: 80 cents per word. Must be paid in advance.

ADD A PHOTO!

For an extra $15. (Line ads only)

THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au

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Do you want more? Each issue of The Owner Builder magazine is jam packed full of information and inspiration, so how can there possibly be more? Sometimes you just want to immerse yourself entirely in one particular topic – that is where the compilations come in.

HOUSE PLANS

ROB HADDEN

BUILDING DIARIES

Containing 26 plans that have all featured in previous issues of The Owner Builder, this super little booklet makes a great starting point. The plans featured are not finished drawings but are yours to use and modify as needed to suit your particular requirements.

Rob Hadden has been involved with The Owner Builder magazine in some way or another since first being featured in issue 19 in 1986. Since then, his incredible building prowess has appeared in many issues. This compilation of over 200 pages is a time capsule of the projects he has been involved with since the early 80s until 2018.

Serialised progress on the trials and tribulations of the building process have featured in many issues. Each issue looked at different aspects of projects of owner builders: timber board and Colorbond, straw bale, steel frame... plenty to learn from, all in one neat compilation. Available 1 December 2019.

B E I N S P I R ED – R EA L S TO R I ES A B O U T R EA L OW N ER BU I L D ER S

The

The Australasian home builders magazine APRIL - MAY 1999

(N.Z. $6.50 incl. GST)

$4.50

Designing out the western sun ◆ Putting a roof over your head ◆ Laying ceramic tiles ◆ Hadden Hall – a medieval masterpiece ◆ Hillside house plans

Owner Builder The

■ TH E AU S TRAL AS I A N H OME BU I LDERS MAGAZIN E ■

$5.75 (N.Z. $6.50 incl. GST)

Nº 112 – AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2002

Rob’s timber framed workshop Corrugated iron house Exotic pebble paving

Build yourself a wooden bath

Print Post Approved by Australia Post. Publication No. 326764/00022.

BE I N SP I RED – REA L STO RI ES A BO U T REA L OWN ER BU I LD ERS

200 – APRIL / MAY 2017

$9.50

Our 200th issue! NORTH ELEVATION

Making floor tiles Owner building in China Cavity mud brick walls Print Post Approved by Australia Post. Publication No. 326764/00022

CROSS SECTION

Garden house Ever felt like living in the garden? This house incorporates a solar greenhouse which could be home for planting tubs and hanging baskets.



TROPICAL EARTHSHIP



HAND POURED FORMBLOCK

THE OWNER BUILDER  200 April/May 2017  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au 1

BY LYNDA WILSON

Each issue, Lynda will provide us with an update on the trials and tribulations of the building process of her home. Now that the plans are finalised (or are they?), the selection of materials and suppliers is the next big task to be tackled. Broadly, we have decided on a steel roof, a combination of timber and steel wall cladding externally, timber flooring in the bedroom area, and tiled flooring on a suspended slab in the living area. We just have to decide which products to choose (did I say just…). For us, the main criteria to consider are: local, Australian made, Australian owned, sustainable, long life, low maintenance, recyclable, recycled, healthy, and within our budget. It should be easy! But there are so many little things that crop up to throw a spanner in the works, thus making each decision so much more complicated. We accept that compromises will need to be made, but hopefully not too often and too severely. Let’s look at the choice of windows as an example. Our personal preference is for timber framing, so that eliminated the need to even consider the suitability of aluminium or uPVC windows, which would have each had their own issues. With a total of 17 windows and five external doors, this will be a significant percentage of the overall cost. So how do we apply our criteria and what compromises do we make?

Local Although there are a number of local suppliers, that does not mean the windows are actually made locally – many are just distributors for national companies. So far I have found two local joineries that manufacture windows: one only builds the frames and I would have to source the glazing units myself, adding to an already complex process; the other seems reluctant to use Australian hardwoods, which is our first choice, but has otherwise come across as being a possible option.

Australian made Should local not work out, then Australian made is the next option. Even though they were not a serious contender, I visited the local showroom of a well-known national window company, just so that I was covering all the bases. The salesman I spoke to was very helpful and provided me with a lot of useful advice. The windows are made using Western red cedar, with no other timber choices, and require varnishing. They almost looked plastic, which does not sit well with the earthier beach feel I am hoping to achieve. Each year at the Seymour Alternative Farming Expo, Paarhammer has had their stall located close to ours. I have often wandered over to have a look, and have TImber-framed windows are the preferred choice, with a mixture of bi-fold doors, fixed and casement windows, and louvres for added cross ventilation where needed.

72 • THE OWNER BUILDER • 156 December 2009 / January 2010

Compilations are available in digital PDF format only, priced at $10 each.

Order online or use the order form in this issue.

www.theownerbuilder.com.au > Shop www.facebook.com/TheOwnerBuilder > Shop

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THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au

been impressed by the look and finish of their windows and doors. An additional benefit is that they offer Australian and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timbers as an option, and have recently been awarded FSC Chain of Custody certification. However, I am not sure that I can justify the ‘environmental’ expense of having them transported all the way from Victoria.

Australian owned Should all other options fail, the company we deal with (for this and other choices) would have to at least be Australian owned. Once you start digging a little deeper, this local, Australian made, Australian owned hierarchy gets a little complex. Even if the product is made locally, the materials may be imported – for example: FSC certified malas from Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines; window hardware

PHOTO COURTESY: PAARHAMMER

FLOOR PLAN

COMPRESSED EARTH BLOCK

Selecting materials and suppliers

COMPILATION  ROB HADDEN  OWNER BUILDER EXTRAORDINAIRE

Issue Number 92

Owner Builder


WORLD WORLD LEADING LEADING PORTABLE PORTABLE SAWMILL SAWMILL

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ortable S ill P a M

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- Deep Penetrating - Long Lasting - Low VOC - Environmentally Friendly - Australian Made

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spray rendering rendering spray

FFOR OR MORE MORE INFORMATION INFORMATION OR OR A A FREE FREE DVD DVD PACK PACK:: Ph: 03 5728 7283 Web: www.lucasmill.com Email: admin@lucasmill.com.au

“In one day you can apply 3cm of render to 300m2 of wall. Try doing that by hand! It would take months! I will work with you and your volunteers. Call me to save yourself a lot of time and money.” markmichaelbeedle@yahoo.com.au www.strawbalerendering.com

Traditional Timber Framing

Mark Beedle 0411 042 363

Architect - Sue Mitchell, Walls - Olnee Rammed Earth, Image - Rene Mitchell-Pitman

with Chris Nance

Start your project with the right information

AREC

3 day courses

www.arec.com.au 02 6372 3899

BUILD OF EARTH FOR THE EARTH …the most beautiful building material on the planet

- earth -

is also the greenest naturally

www.ebaa.asn.au 0429 321 104

Straw Bale Building

with Sam Vivers 44

Mudbrick - Rammed Earth - Pressed Earth Brick Poured Earth - Light Earth - Cob earth based Renders, Plasters and Paints

Building Association of Australia_QP.indd 1 THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020 Earth  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au

26/2/19 12:12 pm


A

Straw panel pavilion house Using straw bale prefabricated panels, these two pavilion style pods are super energy efficient and solar passively designed.

Essentially, Pan and I wanted an eco house that would be appropriate in a more urban environment, as we were building in Long Beach on the NSW South Coast. Our requirement was for a home that incorporated straw bale and sustainable materials in the construction, was solar passive in design to avoid the need for air conditioning, with extensive use of recycled and local timber while still being fire resistant. We also wanted a shorter construction time. Aesthetically, we like a raw rustic look that reflects the colours of the Australian bush.

46

BY SHANNON SKOUMBOURDIS PHOTOS: MORGAN WILLIAMS

In the early stages of planning, we went to an Earth Building Association of Australia 4-day course to get an understanding of earth building methods. We followed up with a Milkwood sustainable building course, tutored by Sam Vivers from Viva Living Homes, and a series of hands-on straw bale building workshops over a year. We also attended a

Sustainable House Tour and saw a variety of earth and straw bale homes. Finally, we completed the Viva Online Granny Flat Course. We settled on a design comprised of two offset pods (30m2 plus 60m2) under a single roof, with a breezeway between and a large outdoor deck, totalling 130m2. The only change was the need to move the position of the dwellings to meet council fire zone requirements, as we had to be 25m clear of the flame zone. The 800m2 vacant block was rated as flame zone; now the house is rated as BAL-29.

THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  Š www.theownerbuilder.com.au


Materials and techniques The timber frame sits on a steel floor frame, customised to fit the prefabricated Viva Panels, compressed 205mm deep straw bale wall panels. 300 straw bales went into the making of the prefabricated panels. Made and pre-finished off-site, the panels were transported to site and put up in less than a day The steel floor frame needed to be protected from corrosion as the house is less than 1km from the seaside, and Termimesh provides protection from termites. Colorbond was used for some walls externally and for the roof, with wool roof insulation batts. Rockcote Earthen Render was used on interior walls, and lime on the exterior walls. Double glazed blackbutt door and windows met the fire rating requirements. Engineered hardwood hickory timber flooring was sourced from a left-over commercial job; we chose this as it would be easier to install ourselves. The decking posts are blackbutt and spotted gum, sourced from a timber swap with a local miller, for 43 trees we had felled on the block. Recycled native timbers were used for the decking. Being in an urban environment, services are pretty much mainstream. The house runs off mains water along with a 5000-litre tank, with rainwater collected from the approximately 130m2 roof area. A water pump circulates tank water for use in the toilets, laundry and for outdoor water use. There is connection to the mains sewer, and electricity is from the grid. A rooftop solar hot water system works well. The design means that no heating, cooling or air conditioning is required.

THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  Š www.theownerbuilder.com.au

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11250 B

Family

Bedroom 1 Ensuite

17050

C

F Dining Living

E

Kitchen

D Bathroom Bedroom 3

Bedroom 2

Plans: Viva Living Homes

A

Floor plan

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THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  Š www.theownerbuilder.com.au

Arrow letters refer to photos


B

C THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au

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This was not a true owner builder project, as the team included three builders from Viva Living Homes, one of who was Pan. Plumbing, earthworks, tree removal, drainage, electrical, roofing and tiling were all contracted out. We undertook the remaining finishing work ourselves. The total house cost came in at $385,000, with a build time of only 18 weeks. We currently still live in Sydney; I work in the city and Pan builds with Viva Living Homes in various rural locations. We plan to move to the house in the future, as we love the local environment and wildlife. In the meantime, we will lease the property out for short-term rental, with a focus on the sustainable features targeting people considering building this way.

I acted as project manager with other subcontractors and suppliers, and managed the council submissions and approvals myself. The build went smoothly, with no showstoppers in the process. Since then, the driveway has proved to be the only real problem. Having proposed an alternative access that council rejected, I now have to deal with the DA approved plan that includes crossing a council verge and easement lines. This is all proving to be a major source of delay and extra cost. What did we learn from this experience? Do the driveway first! Also, research and price solar power and include it during the build. Leave enough time for the felled timber to dry out before use. Experiment with more cob and rammed earth features.

Photo: Viva Living Homes

Sold on earth and straw

Photo: Viva Living Homes

Quality, time and budget

50

We are sold on straw bale and earth! It was a great journey and we met so many amazing people along the way, many of whom are now building, or have built, a straw bale home. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. 

Links & resources 

Viva Living Homes

9 star healthy homes, built to last.

1300 929 111, www.vivahomes.com.au



Rockcote

Natural decorative plasters and paints.

1300 736 668, www.rockcote.com.au



Termimesh

Poison free physical termite barrier.

1300 567 315, www.termimesh.com.au

D

THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  Š www.theownerbuilder.com.au


Photo: Viva Living Homes

E

F

THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au

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BRUSH FENCE PANELS & STRAWBOARD CEILINGS

Environmentally friendly natural products This holiday season, by giving to Renew’s Gift of Light campaign, you will be helping our neighbours in Timor-Leste by providing reliable, safe lighting from renewable energy.

Please donate today at

renew.org.au/giftoflight

to light up homes, communities and faces. BRUSH FENCE PANELS: • Natural look • Easy DIY installation • Australian made and grown • Sustainable, strong & durable • Various sizes available • Made from Melaleuca bush • Also available from our stockists

STRAWBOARD CEILINGS:

• Noise reduction • Excellent heat insulation • Ease of application • No maintenance (painting) • Fire resistance • Relaxed visual appearance • Made in Australia

For a FREE BROCHURE please contact:

03 9793 3088

Email: sales@solomit.com.au

These aren’t just solar systems, they are opportunity. • Air is cleaner • Families save money • Children get to study You can donate to provide new lighting systems or maintain systems previously installed. Gift cards are available for printing at home or sending digitally to loved ones.

www.solomit.com.au 52

THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au


The Log Building Association of New Zealand has been fostering the craft of building with logs for over 30 years

Newsletters, courses, conferences & house tours Next Log Building Course: 9-26 March 2020

Annual membership: $NZ75 PO Box 9052, Annesbrook Nelson 7044, New Zealand

Email: secretary@logbuildingnz.org.nz

w w w. l o g b u i l d i n g n z . o r g . n z

Grass Roots Magazine: Your Aussie Guide to Self-Reliance Growing vegetables & fruit, farming, DIY projects, cooking, preserving, natural animal care, craft ideas, home business expertise & more! From newsagents or subscribe for $54.

Grass Roots Publishing PO Box 117, Seymour, Vic 3661 Ph: 03-5792-4000

House of Bales South Australia’s Most Experienced Straw Bale Builder Lance Kairl is an experienced builder, trainer and building works supervisor. He is passionate about creating durable well-built straw bale homes. Lance started House of Bales in 1997 to promote and facilitate the construction of straw bale buildings and to be a resource to owners and others. Facebook - House of Bales 08 8555 4223, sabale@bigpond.com

www.houseofbales.com.au THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  Š www.theownerbuilder.com.au

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Passionate about earth building? The Nillumbik Mudbrick Association Inc. welcomes members from within and outside the Nillumbik Shire who share their passion and commitment for the future of the earth building industry.

www.mudbrick.org.au

www.facebook.com/ NillumbikMudbrickAssociation

Mud Brick Renders and Finishes Timber Stains and Oils Porter’s Paints (Approved Retailer) Timber Fire Retardants

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Bohdan Dorniak & Co. Architects and Town Planners Sustainable Design Living that feels as good as it looks We specialise in eco-friendly, sustainable architecture. Embracing straw bale construction and responsible design practices, we create environments you’ll love. 08 8344 8170 47 Prospect Road Prospect SA 5082

www.bdcoarchitects.com.au

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Directory of services...

Architects, designers, builders and other service providers

1-5 HOUR MICRO COURSES www.learnhowto.com.au

Hundreds of courses. 16+ categories. Cancel any time. $32.95 AUD a month. The first month comes free.

BSE CONSULTING – STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS Leaders in straw and earth engineering design

We currently service NSW, ACT, VIC and QLD.

We are inspired to fight mediocrity in residential engineering design. Our business is the accessibility of straw and earth building technologies. Our service is the demonstration of National Construction Code (NCC) compliance of all types of straw and earth structures through engineering design and NCC Performance Solutions. Contact us for structural engineering and NCC Performance Solutions with guaranteed acceptance by councils and consent authorities. www.bseconsulting.com.au 03 5221 5776

TIMBER FRAMES OF AUSTRALIA www.timberframes.com.au

Timber frames crafted for beautiful homes and outdoor structures using traditional mortise and tenon joinery. Office: 08 8390 3150

ROOFING MOUNTED GUTTER BRACKETS www.gandgbrackets.com.au

No fascia boards or rafters required. Reduces building materials. Allows extended roof sheet overhang. Fixes directly to roof sheeting, also bullnose. Big problem solver. The brackets come in three gutter profiles. Sizes: 115mm + 125mm quad, high and low front; 150mm V round fits all V round profiles. email@gandgbrackets.com.au Phone 0427 510 778 for contact or leave message Order direct online, payment C.O.D or direct deposit.

EARTH BUILDING ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA www.ebaa.asn.au

Australia’s only association dedicated to furthering the use of building with unfired earth, an environmentally sustainable technology. 0429 321 104

Directory of services advertising Provides readers with convenient access to service and product providers. An effective and inexpensive way to advertise your business to an interested and motivated audience, focussed on sustainable building.

From $35 for a Regular Standard up to $80 for a Premium Large listing per issue, invoiced in blocks of three issues.

For more details or to book: Download the media kit from the website or email me

www.theownerbuilder.com.au > Collaborate info@theownerbuilder.com.au

AUSTRALASIAN STRAW BALE BUILDING ASSOCIATION www.ausbale.org

The Australasian Straw Bale Building Association is an organisation that promotes the use of straw bale construction as a sustainable building material. Facebook: @Ausbale

BEST THING FOR YOUR DOORS – EVER! www.ecoMasterStore.com.au

Draught dodgers for doors, double hung and awning windows are the ‘ants pants’ and ‘cats pyjamas’ in sealing off unwanted draughts. As an expert problem solver, ecoMaster came up with a perfect seal that blocks draughts from your doors and windows – forever! Say goodbye to draughts and bring year-round comfort… and save heaps on your energy costs. Video instructions even a child can follow! #noexcuses

RAMMED EARTH 2-DAY WORKSHOPS Learn how to build with Rammed Earth

VIC

Learn the skills and techniques you need to build your own beautiful Rammed Earth projects. Over two days, we cover all the essentials: • Soils • Forms • Mixing • Ramming • Equipment You’ll be on the tools on real-world projects. $460 per person. Six places maximum. Where: Woolshed Valley, Beechworth Dates and bookings: www.rammedearth.house

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Directory of services (cont’d) 600+ ONLINE COURSES

77 Miles Road, West Creek, Vic 3992 Phone: 03 5674 9393 sue.mitchell7@bigpond.com Environmentally sensitive and innovative design in rammed earth, mud brick, stone and timber.

Carpentry, Mud Brick, Rock & Brick Work, Small Business, Self-Sufficiency, Bed & Breakfast Management, Alternative Energy, Permaculture, Landscaping, Green Walls + more.

VIC

GREEN POINT DESIGN

www.greenpointdesign.com.au

SO’R CONSTRUCTION – STRAW BALE www.sorconstruction.com.au

Certified Passive House Designer Friendly and professional architectural service 320 Neill St, Ballarat Vic 3350 Phone 03 5338 8260

www.mudbrick.org.au

VIC

Energy efficient, environmentally conscious and intuitive design. Services: Consulting, Design, Drafting and Thermal Performance Assessments. Wangaratta 03 5725 7305

VIC

NSW

www.bradhooperarchitect.com

Architectural design, plans and specifications. Specialist planning permit, bushfire overlay and heritage expertise. Registered Vic and NSW. 0418 105 954, bradhooperarchitect@gmail.com

VIC

BUSHFIRE (BAL & BMO) ASSESSMENTS AND 6 STAR ENERGY RATINGS www.effectivethermalsolutions.com.au

Experienced in providing 6 star energy ratings, bushfire assessments and design advice. Please call 0435 892 799

BEST UNDERFLOOR INSULATION

VIC

www.UnderfloorInsulationAustralia.com.au Cold feet and a draughty home can be the result of uninsulated timber floors. For cosy floors, you need DIY-friendly LONG R2.5 polyester ROLLS. Online pricing and video instructions. Made locally in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Save $1,000s on your energy bills. Warm winters, cool summers! Happy family, happy life!

108

VIC

Call Shamus O’Reilly 0400 875 345

TECH-DRY BUILDING PROTECTION SYSTEMS www.techdry.com.au

VIC

Broad range of products include water repellent and stain proof sealers, admixtures for concrete, renders and paint. Also a specialised product range for earth building protection.

Sharing their passion and commitment for the future of the earth building industry, to strengthen Nillumbik’s standing as Australia’s most important mudbrick region.

TRACEY TOOHEY DESIGN & DRAFTING

Geelong region

We work with you to build your dream home. Experienced sustainable builder. Specialising in passive designed straw bale.

VIC

NILLUMBIK MUDBRICK ASSOCIATION

BRAD HOOPER, ARCHITECT FRAIA A+

VIC

SUE MITCHELL, Architect

www.acs.edu.au, 07 5562 1088

BELGRAPHIK BUILDING DESIGN www.belgraphik.com

VIC

Environmental and challenging sites our specialty. • COUNTRY • CLASSIC • CONTEMPORARY Registered Building Practitioner. VIC & QLD. BELGRAVE Ph: 03 9754 7464

LUCAS MILL

www.lucasmill.com

VIC

High quality portable sawmills. Simple to operate, affordable and versatile with regards to its ability to be used in any environment. Phone 03 5728 7283

COST PLANNING PROFESSIONALS www.constructionestimates.com.au

NSW

Cost Estimators and Quantity Surveyors Are you building or planning to build? Do you need a cost estimate? We can help with: • Early budget cost advice • Cost estimates at any level of design • Bank or council QS reports • Construction estimating • Quote and variation review • Servicing owner builders nationwide Mention TOB magazine for a discount! contact@costplanpros.com | 02 9629 3495

AUSTRALIAN RURAL EDUCATION CENTRE www.arec.com.au

NSW

With a dedicated exhibition area, AREC plays host to a number of community events, sustainable building courses, hosts the Mudgee Small Farm Field Days and provides excellent hire facilities.

THE OWNER BUILDER  216 December 2019-February 2020  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au


Directory of services (cont’d) HUNTER ORGANIC GROWERS SOCIETY

www.hunterorganicgrowerssociety.org.au

NSW

Sowing and nurturing the organic word in the Hunter Valley. Field days and our monthly newsletter encourage sustainable use of the earth in all aspects of daily life.

TRADITIONAL TIMBER FRAMES www.traditionaltimberframe.com.au

NSW

Ph: 0415 111 526

www.oldtimberflooring.com.au

NSW

Recycled timber. Specialising in hardwood flooring tongue & groove boards (end matched), milled from 70 year old timbers. $4/lineal metre. 02 6562 8252

TERRA PRIMA SUSTAINABLE DESIGNS www.facebook.com/terraprimadesigns

NSW

MKC Building Design & Drafting

MKC

• • •

BUILDING DESIGN

• • • •

NSW

Sustainable building design and drafting Personal experience as an owner builder Encouraging building with natural or low-impact materials Based in the Blue Mountains, NSW Design development with 3D images making design decisions much easier BDAA Member 2017 National Design Award winner.

www.mkcbuildingdesign.com.au, 0438 552 939

studioGREEN architects

www.studiogreen.com.au

ENGINEERS OF QLD

QLD

BPEQ registers engineers for practise and can investigate engineering faults or defects. If you are engaging an engineer, make sure they are registered by using the online RPEQ search.

SA

BOHDAN DORNIAK & CO. P/L www.bdcoarchitects.com.au

SA

G.W. WITTMANN & ASSOC.

Consulting Structural Engineers Structural calculations, footing design and documentation for council approval within South Australia. Phone: 08 8352 7764

SA

HOUSE OF BALES

www.houseofbales.com.au

‘Drafting your design or helping to create it. A holistic service that gets you started.’ New homes, alterations and additions. Permaculture consultants. BASIX, bushfire, zoning and flooding assessments. Based in Newcastle, servicing the Hunter Valley and surrounds. Our designs don’t cost the earth! Contact Natalie Allan. Ph/fax: 02 4967 3641. Mob: 0409 126 353 Email: terraprima@bigpond.com

MIRANDA CORKIN

www.bpeq.qld.gov.au

Environmentally sustainable architectural design, specialising in straw bale and alternative construction. Building Supervisor Licence BLD6482. ph 08 8344 8170, Bohdan@bdcoarchitects.com.au

Mortice and tenon timber frames for all types of structures. Based in the southern highlands of NSW.

THE GREEN MILL

BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL

QLD

Design firm specialising in cost effective design solutions, alternate building methods and helping owner builders. Call Kurt on 0434 884 633

Experienced straw bale builder, consulting, building supervisor, owner builder assistance, spray rendering. Licence BLD 48998 08 8555 4223, sabale@bigpond.com

GRAEME NORTH, ARCHITECT www.ecodesign.co.nz

NZ

Specialises in eco-architectural designs that use earth building methods; straw bale building; earthen and lime plasters, natural materials, while incorporating appropriate technology.

LOG BUILDING ASSOCIATION OF NZ www.logbuildingnz.org.nz

NZ

Helping to foster log building in NZ; courses, newsletters, conferences and house tours. PO Box 9052, Annesbrook, Nelson 7044, NZ secretary@logbuildingnz.org.nz

EARTH BUILDING ASSOCIATION OF NEW ZEALAND www.earthbuilding.org.nz

NZ

Keep in touch with earth building in NZ. Quarterly magazine, contacts and advice. 2152 Kaipara Coast Highway, RD4, Warkworth 0984 www.facebook.com/earthbuilding

THE LAST STRAW JOURNAL thelaststraw.org

RoW

A global voice for the natural builder, reporting on the activity of straw bale and low-impact construction since 1993. All issues available as PDF for US$6.00 each. Subscriptions start at US$24.

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This extract from the current issue is intended to give you an overall feel of the magazine. It includes the regular housekeeping pages, adv...

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This extract from the current issue is intended to give you an overall feel of the magazine. It includes the regular housekeeping pages, adv...

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