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B E INSPIR ED – REA L STORIES A BOUT REA L OW NER BU I LD ERS

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Inside...

221 March-May 2021

Our cover story

8 CREATIVE CONTAINER HOUSE After investigating prefab/kit and relocatable options, Jake and Michelle settled on recycled shipping containers. They have built a comfortable, sustainable and affordable family home based around four containers, clad in spotted gum and using natural, recycled and repurposed materials as much as possible.

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14 OTWAYS LOFT

‘A curious mix of tree house, vintage train, raw and recycled materials set in a rambling adventure garden.’

22 BUILDING A DIY GREEN ROOF

Inspired by the green roofs of Norway, Sam and Dani created their own version in South Australia.

3O THE CROSSING: A DREAM REALISED

Annette and Dean have spectacularly achieved their dream of making a difference by ‘walking the talk’.

80 MOONSHADOW 14

A 35-year owner builder ‘career’ culminated with a stone and brick family home to be justifiably proud of.

89 STABLE HOUSE COTTAGE

A run-down former stable and farm storehouse is replaced with a spacious 2-bedroom kit house.

94 SOME MORE OF THE GOOD LIFE

Once the structures have all been completed, there are still plenty of small finishing jobs that need doing.

1 06 STONE HOLLOW

Creating a dream family home is a team effort, and this one is a classic example of everyone pitching in.

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39 EARTHBUILDING

This issue incorporates earthbuilding from the Earth Building Association of New Zealand. 45

STRAW BALE HOUSE FLOOD Mopping up after a potential disaster.

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ANNUAL CONFERENCE A nostalgic look back to 2020.

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69 72

THE EASE OF STANDARDS Straw bales and regulations.

COHOUSING FOR LIFE Book review and excerpts.

HOW MUCH DOES MASS MATTER? Losing heat slowly. MASS MATTERS A LOT! Climatic experiences with mass.

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REGULAR FEATURES In house . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Our details. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Line ads. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Coming events. . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Subscriptions . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Back issues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

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Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103

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Stone Hollow A dream family home

Creating a dream family home is a team effort; I can honestly say that without my wife, Gabrielle, I could not have created what we have here today.

BY GREG EASON

I was born in Newcastle in NSW. I left home in 1976 for a one-month surfing trip to Cactus Beach in South Australia. The waves were so good and uncrowded, that life in the area seemed inviting. This great place became home and is where I met my beautiful wife, Gabrielle. Our building journey has been a long one. It started back in 1990, a year after we were married and took up residence in a small beach shack in Gabrielle’s home town of Elliston. We bought it from a friend, Mark, after seeing it for sale in the Port Lincoln Times. At the time, it was all we needed; we were happy to wake up every morning and look at the ocean waves from the kitchen sink, and to enjoy the magnificent sunsets at beer o’clock. We had been living in the cute little two-room shack for about six months when Gabrielle fell pregnant with our daughter Esther. We discussed future plans of either adding on to the shack, with a separate bedroom for Esther, or demolishing the love shack and replacing it with a two-storey family home. One morning while we were having a cup of tea, admiring the ocean and saying how lucky we were to have scored the shack from Mark, Gabrielle’s father Peter dropped in for a visit. He asked us to take a drive with him as he wanted to show us the section of farmland that he had subdivided into 13 residential blocks, all around 4000m2

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with spectacular views of Waterloo Bay and out to sea. When we arrived, Peter said he and Gwen, Gabrielle’s mom, would like us to choose a block as a gift! We decided on Lot 3, across the road from the beach and with expansive ocean views from the top of the block. Peter had grown cereal crops on this land for many years, so we agreed that trees had to be planted immediately to change the barren landscape. He suggested we contact a friend of his to drill for water and to set up a bore, as no mains supply was available. Once the bore was sunk, Peter organised some rolls of poly pipe, along with 20 tap risers and taps, which we located around the block.

Shed living We decided to construct a 6x12m shed from Olympic Industries along with a 20,000-litre rainwater tank at the bottom of the relatively steep block, with the idea of building a house at the top end one day. Once the shed was up, we decided to add a lean-to on the northern side, lined with plasterboard and divided into two bedrooms. This would provide temporary accommodation while we decided what to do with the beach shack. After living in it for a while, we really got to like the quiet and privacy of the block, surrounded by trees and with space for a big vegetable garden. We decided to ‘upgrade’

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the shed instead, by cutting a section of the wall away so as to open the bedroom lean-to area up to the main shed. Firstly, we removed the sliding doors on the shed. Initial thoughts of filling the gaps with weatherboard or timber were replaced with using stone cladding. Elliston has an abundance of random rubble limestone in the fields, much of it has perfect faces and is quite square. And so the stone collecting began… after many box trailer and van loads, we had enough laid out on the ground, with the best face upwards. Next we needed sand. A good mate Brett said he had a sand pit on his land that would be suitable. Many more trailer loads later, this time of sand, we had enough material to get started. We used a mix of 3 sand: 1 hydrated lime, which produced a nice creamy mortar. I reckon we manhandled each stone at least four times before they were finally laid in the wall. Opposite page clockwise from top left: Gabrielle busy pointing up between the stone and cleaning the stone face. Another great stone ready to lay on Esther’s bedroom extension. Esther and friend Jack at 3-years-old, waiting for a barrow ride. 1990 with shed and lean-to. Gate frames in place and fence posts ready to brush in.


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We started at the front of the shed, where the sliding doors had been removed, with a double-faced stone wall so as to have a nice stone feature wall in our lounge room, which also provided thermal mass. Gabrielle did the pointing up and cleaning of the face as I laid the stone, which was a great help as it saved me having to knock off early from laying each day in order to do it myself. Gwen was a great help too, looking after Esther when she was little while Gabrielle helped me. As the wall took shape, Gabrielle commented that it would look great if the entire shed could be clad in the same way. Her idea was put into practice and the job of collecting mega quantities of stone and sand began. The stone walls

are 350mm thick; at times, Gabrielle and I admit that we really didn’t realise the enormous amount of work required to collect enough stone.

Travelling help Employed as a prawn fisherman in Port Lincoln, about 170km from Elliston, I would leave home for 50 nights a year, between November and June, fishing around the new moon. Having a seasonal job allowed for lots of free time to be home laying stone. A friend of Brett’s, Daniel ‘Ding’ Prout, had just arrived in Elliston as part of his end-of-carpentry-apprenticeship travel surfing holiday. We told him what we were doing and he said that, as he had

his tool trailer with him, he was keen to do some work. While Gabrielle and I got on with facing up the metal walls of the shed with stone, Ding started transforming the shed into a house. He cut holes in the metal for doors and windows, framed these with timber and then Gabrielle and I would stone up to and around the framework. One morning, we noticed activity at the jetty across the road; they were setting up to replace the jetty timbers, planks and railings. We thought the planks would be ideal for lintels and door frames, so after some negotiation we were loading beautiful 3m lengths of 200x80mm jarrah planks. Ding then cut, planed and sanded these. We placed ‘wanted to buy’ adverts for timber windows and doors into the two local newspapers, and it wasn’t long before we were driving up and down the coast buying recycled materials. A man from Ceduna said he had carefully removed all the jarrah timber windows and doors from a house and we could have the lot for $150. We couldn’t believe our luck, as the large windows were ideal for the bungalow that we intended to build at a later date. After many long days laying stone and Ding fitting out and lining the inside of the shed, we painted the lounge room and laid cork tiles on the floor everywhere except the bathroom, where ceramic tiles sourced from a garage sale were used. I must say thank you to Kym and Marie Woolford of Choices Flooring in Port Lincoln for the great deal they gave us on the cork tiles. Our friend, Curtis, who had helped with the initial shed erection, installed a Nectre Mark II slow combustion fireplace, made in Adelaide and supplied by Lincoln Home Hardware, that heats the house up nicely within about 15 minutes of being lit. We now had lots of extra space.

Left top: Ding cutting a hole in the shed wall with an angle grinder, to open the shed to the kitchen-dining lean-to area,. Left bottom: Ding making the front door frame from planks we recycled from the town jetty across the road. Opposite page: An aerial photo taken with a drone by our friend Sirus Williams, who joked ‘Ya joint looks like Tom Cruise’s’.

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Sunroom

Bungalow

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Verandah E

Bedroom Living/Family

Pergola

Entry

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Plan reproduction: Al Brown

12750

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Meals Bedroom

Kitchen

Laundry Bath

Floor plan - shed/house (not to scale)

Arrow letters refer to photos

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Left: Rania hard at work helping me with the mortar ‘you select the stone dad and I will get the mortar’. Such a joy to have the whole family involved. Below left: Dave our carpenter in front of the sunroom, with his legendary double peace sign and with his Ugg boots on! Below right: July 2015. Rania (aged 9) and Greg laying the last stone in the bungalow. From first stone to last stone, Rania was always involved. Bottom left: Jack rendering the sunroom chimney, Pete and Nick observing. Bottom right: Greg stoning in the fireplace in the sunroom.. Opposite page: View of the house over the pool from the sunroom.

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After helping us transform the inside of the shed into a house, building a 3m wide verandah all around and extending Esther’s bedroom, it was time for Ding to continue his travels. We were stoked with his work!

Bungalow, sunroom, pool Gabrielle and I then discussed our idea of building a bungalow for our daughters, Esther and Rania. After many truckloads of clean fill, we went about levelling and preparing the 500x500mm footings for the 400mm stone walls and a 100mm concrete slab. All this thermal mass keeps the inside of the bungalow nice and cool in summer when the temperature gets up to 40 degrees and over. It was once again time to start laying stone. We had all the windows and doors and knew how to do the stonework, but without Ding we had no carpenter. At some stage another chippy surfer would cruise into town, but when was the question. In the meantime, with walls 400mm thick and mostly double faced, a lot of stone laying had to be done. Another carpenter named Daniel arrived and agreed to do the roof trusses only, as he was also on a round the coast surfing trip. The trusses were up and the wait for yet another travelling carpenter was on. A few weeks later we heard that a

bloke from Newy (Newcastle), my old hometown, had arrived. We met up with Dave and talked about the great childhood and beaches there. He came out to have a look at what we were doing and agreed to work on the project when there was no surf. He powered into it – plastering the loft was a mission, Fergie helped lay the floor, Dave planed the jetty planks for the lintels and kitchen benchtops, tiled the bathroom – his skills were outstanding. Dave then went on to build the sunroom and Bali hut, as well as helping to dig trenches, install pipework and the pumphouse for the pool. There was nothing Dave couldn’t do and we are forever grateful. Allan ‘Browny’ Brown, a very good second fix carpenter, was involved at various stages of the house and bungalow build. A dear friend, Misty, also came to help out while Gabrielle was unable to; a big thanks to her, as she was an absolutely fantastic worker and just got stuck in. The pool was installed by Brad Richards and his boys TJ and Dougie , from Port Lincoln Fibreglass Industries. They did an amazing job as it was no easy feat getting the pool down our steep driveway and into position. Along with our good mate Tony Scott at the helm of the crane, we knew our pool was in good hands. Hard working paver Brett Davidson was rounded up and, along

with his old crayfishing skipper Pedro Martin preparing on the mini loader, did a great job of laying the pavers. Todd Wellington of UrbanStone in Adelaide provided the 400x400mm sandstone pavers; they are a really good product and Todd was a pleasure to do business with, such a genuine bloke. With the pool in, the sunroom built and Bali hut added at the opposite end from the bungalow, we were starting to see the place take shape.

Finishing work The open fireplace in the sunroom was the work of my old mate Pig Dog Pete, Jack Dufek and Nick Steel from Port Lincoln. The footing is 500mm deep x 1500mm wide and 4500mm long. It took them just over four days from scratch to lay the brickwork; it then took me another three weeks to face it with stone. The steel lintel is bent into shape for the heat to enter the room, rather than disappearing up the chimney, and for the smoke to draw. The ambience and entertainment we get from the fire alone is very relaxing, while cooking jaffles and potatoes in alfoil gives us the camping feel. Dave laid bamboo flooring in the bungalow and sunroom, once again supplied by Kym of Choices Flooring. It is an excellent product that we highly

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recommend. It is a toss up between the cork and bamboo. They are both warm underfoot. Cork is slightly softer meaning dropped glasses don’t usually break and it is nice to lie on with a pillow while watching television. There was a lot more involved with laying cork as it needed gluing down and then sanding between each of two coats of sealer, as well as ongoing maintenance. With the bamboo, the underlay foam went down and then the boards were locked into place with the tongue and groove system, with nothing further required as the boards were pre-finished. Esther and Rania, now 28 and 13, are stoked to have their own self-contained bungalow with space to entertain friends and have sleepovers.

Self sufficient sustainability We used as much natural and recycled material as we could, either collected from auctions or by placing wanted adverts in the local papers. On one of the many stone collecting trips, out near Sheringa on the Nowhere Else Road, we had been lucky to get a load of roof tiles from Scott Wandell who was having his roof replaced. Dave used these on the roof of the Bali hut. For the sunroom, the roof trusses came from an old barn on Danny Reid’s farm, with the design developed around their size. The roof sheeting, gutters and pine cladding was bought new, as were the windows and door, from our friend Damien at Nu-View in Port Lincoln.

There are 40 solar panels on the northfacing house roof, providing 10 kilowatts of solar power. We still don’t have a mains water supply so rely on bore water for the toilet, washing machine, garden and pool. There are also four 22,500-litre Team Poly rainwater tanks for drinking and bathing.

Gratitude For a long time our yard looked like a mine site, with stone lying everywhere as we built in between fishing, surfing and travelling to remote surfing spots in Indonesia during the winter. But, as they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day and I can honestly say that we would probably still be at it if not for the fact that Dave from Newcastle decided to stay in Elliston and bought himself a block of land. Now Stone Hollow is our own private little resort. We all love to swim and hang out as a family in summer, having a barbeque, playing handball, just having fun without having to leave home other than to go surfing or fishing. We all love fishing, regularly taking our 4.5m Gannet fibreglass boat out on Anxious Bay hooking King George whiting or flathead. From November to May we set two cray pots from time to time. Every now and then we jump over the side with a mask, snorkel, fins and abalone iron to ship a few abalone for the barbie. We have Christmas here most years with all of Gabrielle’s family. Peter can’t give us enough praise for all the work we have done since the day he took us up for that drive and gave us the block. Thanks

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to Peter and Gwen; we always said we would value add to the block. Peter was a great help to us; he would come and spend a few days helping me lift rocks, measure and select the stone to be laid next. He also helped on many brush cutting missions, for our timber fence, that involved 10-hour days, cutting brush with a machete, bundling it and carrying it back to the trailer. Every day we say how lucky we are to have what we have and we are forever grateful to all the team of workers that have helped us along the way. u

Passion for stone I have had a real passion for stone; to be able to build with it has been a dream come true. Living here in Elliston where there is an abundance of limestone made it a practical choice to build with. Even now, when driving up and down the coast, I stop and collect a few stones to take home. Stone is part of my life and there are so many things that can be made from it. Garden beds and retaining walls are great ways of using stone. Dry stone walls look spectacular; we built one on the end of our house verandah and get many compliments from visitors. We are now making stone garden pots and pavers. Small stones from our neighbour’s yard were used to create some planters. No mortar is visible between the stones from the outside, they are just rendered on the inside and top.


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Olympic Industries

Family owned and operated business, designing and constructing steel buildings.

08 8349 5744 www.olympicindustries.com.au

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Choices Flooring

By Kym Woolford, Port Lincoln.

08 8682 4194, www.choicesflooring.com.au

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Nectre

Fireplaces designed and made in South Australia since 1978.

1300 554 155, www.nectre.com/en-au

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UrbanStone

Natural luxury, from the finest quality, authentic natural stone. Nationwide.

1800 953 435, www.urbanstone.com.au

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Nu-View

Aluminium windows and doors to suit new and existing properties.

08 8682 4757, www.nu-view.com.au

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Team Poly

Strong, affordable, heavy duty, premium quality, UV-protected rainwater tanks.

1300 658 961, www.teampoly.com.au

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Port Lincoln Fibreglass Industries

Swimming pool design and construction, rainwater tanks, water filtration equipment.

08 8682 1184, www.plfibreglass.com.au

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Line ads... AUSTRALASIAN STRAW BALE BUILDING ASSOCIATION: Promotes the use of straw

THE GLOBAL ECOVILLAGE NETWORK: www.ecovillage.org

bale construction. www.ausbale.org

CERES COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENT PARK (Vic): www.ceres.org.au

EARTH BUILDING ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA: Furthering the use of unfired

RANDWICK SUSTAINABILITY HUB (NSW):

earth in construction. www.ebaa.asn.au

www.randwick.nsw.gov.au

NILLUMBIK MUDBRICK ASSOCIATION:

WITCHCLIFFE ECO VILLAGE (WA):

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

www.ecovillage.net.au

THE ECOVILLAGE AT CURRUMBIN (Qld):

LOG BUILDING ASSOCIATION OF NZ:

www.theecovillage.com.au

www.logbuildingnz.org.nz

CRYSTAL WATERS ECO VILLAGE (Qld):

EARTH BUILDING ASSOCIATION OF NZ:

www.crystalwaters.org.au

www.earthbuilding.org.nz

THE ALDINGA ARTS ECOVILLAGE (SA):

CERES FAIR WOOD: A robust and

www.aldingaartsecovillage.com

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

WESTWYCK ECOVILLAGE (Vic): www.westwyck.com

Line ads and Coming events

NARARA ECOVILLAGE (NSW): www.nararaecovillage.com

THE PADDOCK ECO VILLAGE (Vic): www.thepaddock.com.au

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: 222 Jun-Aug 21 – 6 Apr 2021 223 Sep-Nov 21 – 6 Jul 2021 Cost: 80 cents per word. Must be paid in advance.

ADD A PHOTO!

For an extra $15. (Line ads only)

SHEPHERDS GROUND (NSW): www.shepherdsground.com.au

TASMAN ECOVILLAGE (TAS): www.tasmanecovillage.org.au

MURUNDAKA COHOUSING COMMUNITY:

(VIC): www.murundakacohousing.org.au

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 photos above.

16-18 APRIL 2021 Kings Park, Seymour Vic

www.seymourexpo.com.au 20

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CO-WEST COHOUSING (VIC):

www.transitionaustralia.net/site/ cohousing-australia/

COHOUSING.COM.AU (TAS): www.cohousing.com.au

ECO VILLAGES AUSTRALIA (AUS): www.ecovillages.com.au


Coming events... SA

THE FOOD FOREST GAWLER APRIL/MAY 2021

Permaculture Design Certificate Course: With David Holmgren, the Brookmans and guest tutors.

• Design sustainable and climate resilient homes, gardens, farms, businesses and communities • Internationally accepted curriculum • Field trips, notes and networks • 10 days.

Open Days: Autumn and Spring. Dates TBC. Short courses: Check website for dates. At The Food Forest, a multi-award winning certified organic permaculture property on the Gawler River in SA. www.foodforest.com.au.

VIC EARTH BUILDING WORKSHOP OTWAY RANGES 8-20 MARCH 2021 Learn how to build your own little cob dwelling, including a tour of local earth homes. Family friendly with a dedicated childcarer on site. Facebook: @EarthenRipples

VIC RAMMED EARTH WORKSHOPS BEECHWORTH Courses postponed due to COVID-19. Check website for updates. Learn the skills and techniques to build your own rammed earth projects. Small groups, hands-on experience. www.rammedearth.house

VIC SEYMOUR ALTERNATIVE FARMING EXPO SEYMOUR 16-18 APRIL 2021 Explore the latest technology, practices and trends in small and backyard farming. Also a Sustainability Hub featuring off-the-grid, renewable resources, low-impact living. 1300 178 881, www.seymourexpo.com.au

VIC ELTHAM MUDBRICK TOUR ELTHAM OCTOBER 2021 For advance notice of ticket sales for 2021, join the mailing list. www.elthammudbricktour.org

AUS LOST TRADES FAIR VIC – BENDIGO CANCELLED: 6-7 MARCH 2021 QLD – TOOWOOMBA 15-16 MAY 2021 NSW – RICHMOND 23-24 OCTOBER 2021 Celebrating the art of skilled manual work, ancient crafts and rare trades, the special tools and traditions that go with them. 0412 363 632, www.losttrades.info

WA BALINGUP SMALL FARM EXPERIENCE BALINGUP AND SURROUNDS 9-11 APRIL 2021 Showcasing local produce, farming knowledge and experiences. www.balingupsmallfarmfieldday.com.au

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

ALL NATURAL BUILDING COURSES ONLINE Online learning with the use of videos and PDFs, all completely downloadable. www.themudhome.com/services

NZ EARTH BUILDING ONLINE ACADEMY ONLINE Learn a wide range of natural building skills while fast-tracking your own projects. www.earthbuildingschool.com

All events COVID-19 permitting

NSW RENEW FEST MULLUMBIMBY 7-9 MAY 2021 Festival of ecological, economic and social renewal covering all aspects of social, mental, physical and spiritual health. www.renewfest.org.au

NSW SMALL FARM FIELD DAYS MUDGEE 9-10 JULY 2021 Extensive range of free seminars, talks and displays, including sustainable building, living off-grid, Landcare, etc. 02 6372 3899, www.mudgeefielddays.com.au

VIC OFF-GRID LIVING FESTIVAL ELDORADO 10-11 APRIL 2021 Consultations, workshops, demonstrations, talks, products covering sustainable energy, building, alternative farming and handcraft. www.offgridlivingfestival.com.au

NSW STRAW BALE BUILDING & TRADITIONAL TIMBER FRAMING COURSES MUDGEE Courses to recommence in 2021. Check website for updates. 02 6372 3899, www.arec.com.au

AUS HIA HOME SHOWS WA – PERTH 26-28 MARCH 2021 www.perthhomeshow.com.au

VIC – MELBOURNE 16-18 APRIL 2021 www.melbournehomeshow.com.au

NSW – SYDNEY 21-23 MAY 2021 www.sydneyhomeshow.com.au

LIST YOUR EVENT!

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I can’t do it without you!

Back to Inside

llenging design

Cha . I’ve project manager finally emerging With designer/ The walls were en, we ct on myself and Hayd to have a proje Will Eastlake, always been one shop for g properties, January work ther renovatin the whe postponed our go, een the fores gourds But we hadn’t tures, carving three weeks. down early creating sculp and that bucketed tly, designing torrential rain to postpone or, more recen window again we had a huge leadlight February and . Feeling constructing been one for another week e. But this has hous the workshop we main d hope for the dispirited, we projects I’ve ever ting daun . very flat and again le of the most to postpone yet cularly with peop parti in, aged wouldn’t have lved man been invo nal attendees about my ‘very me g rs ndin Some of the origi d, othe regularly remi on a very their lives to atten n’ being built to re-arrange le appeared. challenging desig ide, new peop ways the ! by fell a few challenging slope tation, workshop, only design, documen For the two-week others came The building ication the duration, lopment Appl signed on for or a getting the Deve days, a weekend Construction es for a couple of and then the en’s apprentic (DA) together tion the Hayd of men to Two not day trip. months), h was Certificate (3 entire build, whic lved, was arrived for the months) invo ness, engineering (12 ed. ted. Thank good much appreciat rway for the faint hear not was finally unde ager. I shop man ct work . The as my proje mid-February er I have had Will sunny day in d n that, as an own on a beautiful ss before we bega cipants enthralle gre parti t knew pro the abou hop Works Hayden kept dotes, ed to be realistic ure builder, I need of history, anec ble of Curvatect lf, such as a nice with a mixture Hayden Anna ary to cise laying the can manage myse I Janu t exer hy wha – early in lot healt flat Victoria theory and strip rd house on a arrived from shop. on the concrete straight-forwa lation! Superadobe work first earthbags ciated got lost in trans prepare for the followed ran clay-asso somehow this d up touch and had footings. He also mation to spee duction I had been in a few years, ding an ‘intro We wanted auto which book page for side events inclu balls (using mixing process, of Hayden’s Face clay y out rials io man mate stud the ur e my art to tadelakt’, with been very labo formed into still planning to creat Spain. trans it’s in site) but shop the it did, wing a work material from earthbags follo and an inexpensive glossy objects. I believed it was building. speedy way of

h of le north and sout than many peop es of loss d by the stori us and chastene d with reports ion, heartene and degradat es had rendered hous ral, natu that some had exploded. , where others survived fires six e, I arranged for In the meantim be delivered to s tank r Landscape wate over site. Holding and craned onto double up they r, ethe 13,000-litres altog trays s with growing as retaining wall e instant tanks to creat on top of the arrived early massive truck gardens. The the then off, were lifted and the tanks tanks were took over; the crane company to my lot lly up the hill lifted individua site, the n halfway dow and deposited as. without any dram efficiently and

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n, taking possessio Seven years after members, other founder along with 20 the Gosford that had been of 63 hectares become arch Station to Horticulture Rese of my e, the first part Narara Ecovillag to start – build was due e hous ral natu io. pired art stud the Hobbit-ins

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-August DER  218 June

THE OWNER BUIL

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-August DER  218 June

THE OWNER BUIL

builder.com.au

.theowner 2020  © www

9

.theowner 2020  © www

The Owner Builder is an independent magazine, published and printed in Australia for nearly 40 years. Each issue is filled with inspiration and advice to help you through all stages of your owner builder journey. I’d love to keep this print tradition going, while enhancing the experience through an updated digital platform.

Please help by subscribing to The Owner Builder magazine So what’s in it for you? • FREE digital version for all hard copy subscribers (via email) • Each issue delivered direct to you • Be inspired by the unique owner built homes featured • Learn through hints and tips from real owner builders • Never miss out on another issue!

ase e l P ribe subsc w! no

See Subscriptions page for the full range of options, print and digital.

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Directory of services...

Architects, designers, builders and other service providers

1-5 HOUR MICRO COURSES

BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL

www.learnhowto.com.au

www.bpeq.qld.gov.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. 03 5221 5776 www.bseconsulting.com.au

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

QLD

ENGINEERS OF 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.

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

ENERGY EFFICIENT SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR HOME! www.ecoMasterStore.com.au

Do you want an energy efficient home? Warm in winter, cooler in summer, much lower energy bills and doing your bit for the environment – you just don’t know where to start? Don’t worry – we have done the research so you don’t have to. We have the best solutions for all sorts of doors, windows, chimneys, gaps, ceiling, wall and underfloor insulation and more! FREE ecoMasterClasses to guide you. Video instructions even a child can follow! Easier than a flat pack – no allen key required. #noexcuses

SELECT CUSTOM JOINERY

ACT

NSW

www.selectcustomjoinery.com.au Plywood kitchens, joinery and shelving you can install yourself. Durable, sustainable and gorgeous. Premium materials, fittings and fixtures. Delivery Australia wide. 02 6230 9414

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. $640 per person. Six places maximum. Where: Woolshed Valley, Beechworth Dates and bookings: www.rammedearth.house

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Directory of services (cont’d) URBAN FARM AND HOUSE – sustainable design

VIC

www.urbanfarmandhouse.com.au

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.

Saimon has been designing homes for 18 years with friendly, clear and thoughtful design services. VBA DP-AD registered. urbanfarmandhouse@gmail.com or 0409 336 620

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

BRAD HOOPER, ARCHITECT FRAIA A+

VIC

NSW

www.bradhooperarchitect.com

www.techdry.com.au

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.

www.effectivethermalsolutions.com.au

www.belgraphik.com

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

www.lucasmill.com

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

www.mudbrickcircus.com.au

Help our environment by building out of handmade mudbricks with a low carbon footprint. • Ideal for the DIY owner builder. We have

• •

Earthbrick walls will protect from wildfires.

MUDTEC – COMPRESSED EARTH TECHNOLOGIES

NSW

www.mudtec.com.au

Warm winters, cool summers!

104

forty-three years experience helping owner builders to achieve their dreams.

Benefit from the huge thermal mass of mud brick walls. • Natural humidity control. • Excellent sound proof and acoustic qualities. Ph. Rob or Judith on 03 54226602

www.UnderfloorInsulationAustralia.com.au

Happy family, happy life!

VIC

THE MUD BRICK CIRCUS

VIC

An uninsulated timber floor can make your home really uncomfortable in winter and summer. For a comfy home, you need DIY-friendly LONG R2.5 polyester ROLLS. People friendly. No itch. Non-toxic. Fireproof. Moisture and rodent resistant. Online pricing and video instructions. ecoMasterClasses to guide you. Delivery Australia wide! Save $1,000s on your energy bills.

VIC

LUCAS MILL

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

BEST UNDERFLOOR INSULATION

VIC

BELGRAPHIK BUILDING DESIGN

0418 105 954, bradhooperarchitect@gmail.com

VIC

VIC

TECH-DRY BUILDING PROTECTION SYSTEMS

Architectural design, plans and specifications. Specialist planning permit, bushfire overlay and heritage expertise. Registered Vic and NSW.

BUSHFIRE (BAL & BMO) ASSESSMENTS AND 6 STAR ENERGY RATINGS

VIC

Call Shamus O’Reilly 0400 875 345

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

VIC

SUE MITCHELL, Architect

MUDTEC compressed earth technologies

Compressed earth blocks, natures alternative. Strong, fire resistant, high thermal mass. Beautiful earthen finish, low embodied energy. Customised to order. Great for owner builders.

THE OWNER BUILDER  221 March-May 2021  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au


Directory of services (cont’d) NSW

TRADITIONAL TIMBER FRAMES www.traditionaltimberframe.com.au

MIRANDA CORKIN – MKC BUILDING DESIGN www.mkcbuildingdesign.com.au

NSW

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

Sustainable building design and drafting. Personal experience as an owner builder. National design award winner. BDAA Accreditation.

Ph: 0415 111 526

0438 552 939 Blue Mountains & regional NSW

NSW

HUNTER ORGANIC GROWERS SOCIETY

www.hunterorganicgrowerssociety.org.au

studioGREEN architects

www.studiogreen.com.au

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.

WOODWRIGHT HOME DESIGN

NSW

www.woodwright.com.au

QLD

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

G.W. WITTMANN & ASSOC.

Consulting Structural Engineers

SA

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

• Design and drafting services for NSW • Experienced carpenter and owner builder • 3D technical drawings for DIY construction • Traditional style with modern functionality • Natural materials and passive design • Designing homes to stand for generations. Custom home design services based on building science to guide you to a durable, efficient and sustainable home. Derek@woodwright.com.au 0400 316 387

HOUSE OF BALES

SA

www.houseofbales.com.au Experienced straw bale builder, consulting, building supervisor, owner builder assistance, spray rendering. Licence BLD 48998 0402 911 216, sabale@bigpond.com

NSW

TERRA PRIMA SUSTAINABLE DESIGNS www.facebook.com/terraprimadesigns

‘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

NSW

INTEGRATED BIO-TECTURE DESIGN www.integratedbiotecture.com

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

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

Directory of services advertising For more details or to book:

Download the media kit from the website or email me

www.theownerbuilder.com.au > Collaborate or email me info@theownerbuilder.com.au

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

Natural building design and construction. Healthy spaces for living. Energy efficient buildings. Natural materials. Reclaimed and recycled. Experience working with owner builders.

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

NSW

EARTH BUILDING ASSOCIATION OF NEW ZEALAND

AUSTRALIAN RURAL EDUCATION CENTRE www.arec.com.au

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.

SA

www.earthbuilding.org.nz

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

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I want to feature your home!

DEAN ROLLER found out, through trial and error, that it was possible to build a granny flat on his property as an owner builder without any prior building experience. Along the way, he did plenty of research into the approval and certification process, as well as the design and practical construction aspects of every stage of the build. He shared his story in TOB 219 September-November 2020, and has also set up a blog to help other prospective granny flat owner builders. www.diygrannyflat.com.au Being a small publication, there aren’t any ‘roving reporters’; the majority of articles come direct from real owner builders. This allows the magazine to present a wide range of geographical locations as well as building styles. You don’t need to be a professional writer either – I am more than happy to work with you to create an article, with comprehensive contributor’s guidelines to get you started.

So please share YOUR owner built project – I’d love to hear from you!

Contact me today: info@theownerbuilder.com.au

www.theownerbuilder.com.au • www.facebook.com/TheOwnerBuilder THE OWNER BUILDER  221 March-May 2021  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au

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THE KIT HOME ]EVOL[ R[EVOL]UTION Thousands of every day Australian’s are building bigger and better homes by taking advantage of the benefits associated with choosing a kit home from Imagine Kit Homes. We believe designing amazing kit homes is about creating a wow factor on a budget. You don’t need to spend millions to have a prestigious look and feel that you’ll be happy to come home to.

At Imagine Kit Homes, we are all about getting you the best result on the lowest possible budget.

VIEW OUR RANGE OF KIT HOMES ONLINE IMAGINEKITHOMES.COM.AU

Smart property investors will tell you

Australia, so it is important that you get a great finished product without spending too much of your hard earned money. With extensive pre-made designs and a team of in-house architects we are the ideal partners in building your dream home or investment property. Give us a call today on 1800 548 723 and let us work with you to design the best home for your budget.

that you can over capitalise very easy in

Browse our full range of kit homes online at

IMAGINEKITHOMES.COM.AU

Call: 1800 548 723 | Int: +61738037706 | 3968 Pacific Highway, Loganholme QLD 4129

2017 Kit Home Magazine.indd All Pages

24/2/17 8:38 am

THE OWNER BUILDER  221 March-May 2021  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au

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KeeP

SURFACES PRiSTINE

Building Protection Systems

Tech-Dry Masonry Sealers for

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

Natural Stone, Bricks, Concrete, Wood and more....

VIR SOLEUN TIONO S

03 usus forfor our interstate offioffi ces 03 9699 96998202 8202– -contact contact our interstate ces www.techdry.com.au

CONSIDERING A PLYWOOD KITCHEN? Plywood is beautiful, durable and sustainable. Our innovative Pezzo Kitchens and Joinery: • • • • 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 Annual membership: $NZ75

Are designed for DIY installation Transported in pieces Use high quality plywood, fixtures and fittings Have a unique look and a warm feel about them. Design and build your kitchen, bookshelves, home office, vanities and entertainment unit too.

selectcustomjoinery.com.au/pezzo

ph: 02 6230 9414

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 Martin Bird and Per Bernard are MDB Projects. Based in Daylesford, Victoria, we offer our professional expertise, gained from a combined 60 years experience in the building industry, to assist you with your building project. Our services include: • SUSTAINABLE AND VERY ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDING SYSTEMS • RAMMED EARTH, STRAWBALE, SUPER INSULATED HYBRID SYSTEMS, SIP, HEMPCRETE and more... • 24 YEARS OF STRAWBALE BUILDING EXPERIENCE • OWNER BUILDER ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE • WE ARE REGISTERED BUILDERS • FULL BUILDING CONTRACT SERVICES

Per Bernard 0418 133 426

(CB–U3208 DB–U3633)

Martin Bird 0409 442 067

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Making dreams come to life... daily Port Lincoln Fibreglass has been in the manufacturing industry for more than 50 years, with the current owners continually expanding the business across the past 30 years.

Whether it be recoating an old pool, installing a new pool for the family to enjoy, fitting a water tank in a tight space or tidying up the boat, we are always ready to help.

Port Lincoln Fibreglass

08 8682 1184 www.plfibreglass.com.au

WORLD LEADING PORTABLE SAWMILL PORTABLE SAWMILLS

Need Owner Builder Insurance?

®

Mill your own boards & slabs easily with a Lucas Portable Sawmill!

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 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)

Over 19,500 Lucas Mills Sold Worldwide! Fair Wood sells timber that doesn’t cost the earth. Transparently sourced decking, flooring, hardwood and softwood cladding and landscape timbers.

For more information or a FREE DVD pack: P: 03 5728 7283 | W: www.lucasmill.com

Custom orders up to house-sized lots. (03) 9389 0195 / fairwood@ceres.org.au / www.ceresfairwood.org.au

Woonona NSW Inspiring homegrown food adventures www.popesproduce.com facebook.com/popesproduce instagram.com/popes_produce

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Photo: Suzi Eszterhas

Help

build them a safer future

www.savethekoala.com

Shelter Building Design

No Grid... No Worries !

Call the solar power specialists 02 6689 1430

www.rpc.com.au

Passionate about earth building?

Designers and creators of excellent, eco-friendly homes, renovations and buildings hemp • light earth • mud brick

www.shelterbuildingdesign.com.au

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

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Be d ! re i p s n i

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 – Russell Andrews, architect and ex-publisher Containing 26 plans that have all featured in previous issues of The Owner Builder, this makes a great starting point. The plans featured are not finished drawings but are yours to use and modify as needed.

NORTH ELEVATION

NORTH ELEVATION

WEST ELEVATION

EAST ELEVATION

CROSS SECTION FLOOR PLAN

Garden house

A cottage for two

FLOOR PLAN

This little house was originally designed for a couple whose children have left home.

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

A feature of the design is the solar greenhouse which has a multitude of uses. In winter, direct solar gain generates heat which can be fed off into adjoining areas. The greenhouse also has space to grow some vegetables or work on hobbies etc.

Rob Hadden – Owner builder extraordinaire Rob Hadden’s incredible building prowess has featured 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. Wattle and daub in the new age

B E IN SPIR E D – RE A L S TORI E S A BOUT RE A L OW N E R BUI L D E RS

COMPILATION u ROB HADDEN u OWNER BUILDER EXTRAORDINAIRE

Issue Number 92

Owner Builder (N.Z. $6.50 incl. GST)

How does it stand up to the energy ratings and efficiency standards? BY ROB HADDEN

$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

$5.75 (n.z. $6.50 incl. gsT)

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.

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

200 – APRIL / MAY 2017

$9.50

Our 200th issue!

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

COMPRESSED EARTH BLOCK

Older technologies of building such as wattle and daub were developed as a means of constructing walls in themselves, and later as panels in timber framed houses that were state of the art at the time they were done. Using local ingredients of nothing more than clay, straw and wattling, these panels required no embodied energy to make and at least kept the wind and the worst of the weather out. Fast forward to the twenty first century and the current regulatory environment, and these methods are being forced to update to meet modern demands of insulation and ‘energy efficiency’. Having got to the stage of finishing the walls of my latest heavy timber framed building, the issues of doing traditional wattle and daub infill have had to be addressed in light of these demands.

■ T he Aus T rAl AsiAn home b uil ders mAgA zine ■

nº 112 – AugusT/sePTember 2002

u

TROPICAL EARTHSHIP

u

©The Owner Builder magazine - www.theownerbuilder.com.au

APRIL - MAY 1999

©The Owner Builder magazine - www.theownerbuilder.com.au

The

The Australasian home builders magazine

The problem Historically, wattle and daub walls were approximately 100mm thick, and consisted of wattling (or lathes) plus a daub that varied from locality to locality in the ingredients used, but typically was made up of clay, straw, cow dung and/or lime and sometimes even road scrapings. This has been considered over the millennia as the perfect infill for timber frames as it was flexible, long lasting and the clay content kept the timbers dry even in very wet climates such as the British Isles. Clay by its very nature absorbs the moisture and wicks it away Upper storey woven laths in place, ready for the daub and plaster.

HAND POURED FORMBLOCK

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

6 COMPILATION - ROB HADDEN

149 COMPILATION - ROB HADDEN

TOB 149 • October/November 2008 • 13

Building Diaries – A collection covering nine different projects Over 300 pages featuring nine projects built with Formblock, straw bale, hemp, stone and earth, Timbercrete. Also house relocation, steel framing, and a green renovation. is in the line still downstream from the valve and then hot water. Took a little while to get used to but now it is second nature to hear the water going into the water tank instead of down the drain!

The extension rises – at long last !!! After five months of the floor just being a floor and being out in the elements everything came together, the engineering hiccups were sorted and Sean and Andy Dunn were able to start. Materials • LVLs – Laminated Veneer Lumber. A sustainable laminated product sourced from Carter Holt Harvey and is FSC accredited and can be made in any length that is needed. These were used for the wall cross beams and the rafters. • EcoAsh – A plantation hardwood that was a direct replacement for pine framing. Great to use and locally produced in Tassie but unfortunately the company has gone bust! • Glulam beam (glued lamination), a process in which large structural members can be made from a large number of smaller pieces) – main spine beam in the roof; eleven metres long, 420mm deep and 65mm wide and weighed in at 500 kilos. Put in place in 20 minutes by a crane. • Double glazing. We chose Rylock windows made in Melbourne. Double glazed with a 12mm air gap, they are a composite window with powder coated aluminium exterior and plantation Victorian ash (Eucalyptus regnans/ delegatensis) inside. They are heavy, open beautifully and fit very well. • Colorbond roof and wall cladding. Steel is not the greatest for embodied energy. However if you take the relative small amount that is being used, the fact that it will be over a lifespan of many years, it is recyclable and that it is lightweight then it is not a bad choice. • Recycled weatherboards on rear porch. • Recycled art deco doors for back doors. • Masonite brace board – made purely from compressed hardwood sawdust so no glues, no offgassing. There are many more recycled materials that we plan on using on the inside, but that will be another story.

Another New Year By February this year, time had stretched and compressed and we were spending more time on puppetry and growing veggies and less time on building. We had finished the outside of the extension and fitted the art deco double back doors, stripped back the weatherboards on one third of the back of the house and repainted, finished the back porch and found some leaks when we had some very odd rain from the east... something that hardly ever happens. Inside we had moved on a wee bit. The wiring had been roughed in and we had insulated the walls with wool insulation. This has about 20% polyester in it to prevent it from sagging but otherwise it is off the sheep’s back and easily available from Wedds in Launceston.

Homage to real estate We had not worked out what to use as a wall cladding behind what will become a row of floor-to-ceiling cupboards. We didn’t want to use plasterboard. Then the thought came that real estate signs are made from Corflute, a plastic twin walled corrugated product that quite often gets thrown away. I contacted our local real estate agent who collected a large number of these signs for us. They are 1200mm high and 900mm wide and so fit perfectly on the studs. We used cement sheet joiners to join them together and made our ‘Homage to Real Estate.’ This will be only seen when we open the cupboard doors so will be fairly subtle.

A tale of two back doors A recurrent theme in this house seems to be doors. When we were building the dining room we knew we wanted some sort of French doors but had to put a single door in with a temporary sheet of ply as an interim measure as winter was coming. In the meantime Andy the builder was asking us to get the doors so that he could build the right size frame. A visit to see George at Launceston Salvage ended up with us being the second owners of a pair of art deco leadlight doors built in 1939. They had been stored under the original house for 15 years and were in great condition.

48 • THE OWNER BUILDER • 164 April/May 2011

We brought them home, leaned them up against the wall in the kitchen and there they stayed for the next four months. We had to get a frame custom built that cost more than the doors and door furniture suitable for an outside door. There was no furniture on them when we bought them. The months went by and Andy, quite rightly, didn’t want to fit them until all the building on the extension was finished just in case they become damaged. Finally the day came when they could take pride of place instead of the grotty old core door and the painting outside was also completed. It is only when you look back that you realise the big differences that have happened.

1

Follow our progress on our blog: www.greentasreno.wordpress.com

• Mega Anchor Removable, reusable, recyclable. 03 9736 3111, www.mega-anchor.com.au • Access Solutions Specialist building products. 03 6229 2476, www.asolutions.com.au • Volvox Naturally derived paints and stains. 1300 249 347, www.coloursbynature.com.au

2

3

A Above: Restumped at its new location.

• Andy Dunn 0409 537 372

Right: External painting nearly complete.

• Resilience Flooring Salvaged timber flooring. 03 63315401, www.resilienceflooring.com • PLYfloor® and hySPAN 132 321, www.chhwoodproducts.com.au

making an entrance

• Autex Greenstuf Recycled content polyester insulation. 1800 678 160, 0800 428 839 (NZ), www.autex.com.au • Enviro Save Water System

Diverts cool water in pipes from HW system. 07 4691 3506, www.enviro.net.au

• Global Poly Water Tanks 03 6265 2882, www.globalcontract.com.au • Rylock Windows & Doors Timber-aluminium composite frames. 03 9381 4822, www.rylock.com • Wedds Launceston Building material wholesalers. 03 6331 9191 • Launceston Salvage 03 6334 2264

4 1. Roofing sheets were installed at an angle on the new extension. 2. Old real estate signs make great backing for a new wardrobe. 3. The extension is nearly finished! 4. Beautiful recycled doors form the entrance from the rear yard. 5–6. The front porch is now finished and provides a great place for treasure display as well as the usual boots, coats etc.

5

6

One good way to get over the frustrations of bureaucracy is to make some cool art. Hence, the front door came in to being. We wanted it a bit hobbity but still robust in form and function. Old mate Biggsy helped trim some ironbark poles and we then cut tenons on the uprights to fit mortises on a big cross piece. Each member was around 80kg, so this was an arduous process. These were positioned in front of the temporary door that I’d installed months earlier. Many weeks of shaping ironbark boards as trims and offcuts from the windows as beads and it was all ready for door and glass. Given the curves in the door frame, these all needed templates cut to fit.

THE OWNER BUILDER • 164 April/May 2011 • 49 22

Small ones went to the glaziers and the large one was mine to trace over for the door itself. And what a beast of a door it is! Seven 140x30mm ironbark planks, biscuited together and cross braced with more 20mm ironbark. The hinges were found in a mate’s scrap pile – we think they originally held up a barn door. I had some suitably chunky brackets fabricated and local handy guy Wayne helped install it all. Beading, deadlock and weather seals all went on next. Closing up one night, I managed to jam my fingers and proceeded to pass out in shock. Lucky Dana was around to catch me! After that episode, door handles became a priority and some funky branches were employed. Along the way, the final pieces of the bathroom were finished. Josh fitted off

THE OWNER BUILDER  201 June/July 2017  © www.theownerbuilder.com.au

out as best he could. The largest stump was bigger than the excavator! The site was also close enough to receive power from lines already running to our neighbour’s property. We had considered solar power, but as Peter is a metal fabricator, we decided that grid connection was more practical (remember this was in 2013, solar and battery systems have advanced considerably in the last few years and we may have made a different decision if we were starting the project in 2016). Fortunately we had already started organising the power connection before we bought the house, so it was ready around the same time as the house was moved.

the toilet, shower and taps and we finally got to use the basin that I’d carved out of a large lump of granite some years previously. Now, it was ready for planting the indoor forest. Another detail that got finished in this period was the bedhead. I’d had the mason install two large columns of granite and I joined these together with 90x45mm stud work and covered it all in bracing ply. Of course, a gorgeous chunk of tree crowns the top of it. I’d run 24VDC under the slab and this powers our caravan style reading lights. My brother Nick then found a few days to help line the eaves with cement sheet. We’d also started using the milled boards as architraves and jambs around a few doors. Little did we know just how far this site-sourced timber would stretch.

Orientation The house had originally been orientated with the kitchen facing north and the ‘sunroom’ (a built-in verandah) facing west. We wanted to take full

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THE OWNER BUILDER � 196 August / September � © www.theownerbuilder.com.au 19

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