Solar Dwellings’ bus tours
As part of Sustainable House Day 2017, state sponsor and local building design company Solar Dwellings will be conducting bus tours to view a selection of sustainable Perth homes.

The tours will discuss how to live sustainably through good home design and the latest technology with Solar Dwellings sustainability expert Griff Morris. The tour will stop for lunch at Hilton Harvest Community Garden.

Due to an overwhelming response, the bus tours are fully booked for 2017. To ensure you don’t miss out on next year’s tour, or any of the other exciting events planned, such as the upcoming sustainability masterclass, email, visit or call 9444 4400.

Little House on Little Howard Sailing on land
This old-new house in Fremantle is the antithesis of modern project homes in the same way sailing is to air travel. Where one is cheap and fast, and has negative implications for the planet, the other is carefully planned, meticulously researched and more sustainable, although progress is inevitably slower.

The project commenced in late 2009 when Greg and Alice bought a small house in a poor state on a 304sqm block near where Greg grew up. From the outset, they wanted their new home to be more sustainable than current regulations dictated. The couple wanted to use natural and recycled materials, and they wanted a house that would be comfortable in all seasons and sit congenially in the street. They chose a typical local material palette – limestone blocks, recycled bricks and recycled timber – and spent a lot of time getting the design just right.

It’s a testament to Greg and Alice’s vision that this house looks as if it’s always been in the street, but it manages to incorporate highly advanced sustainable design principles and technologies in an unobtrusive way.  “The whole house embodies a typical Freo attitude,” architect Mike Richardson says. “That is, it’s worth going the extra mile to be eco-friendly, because it’s about the journey, not the destination.”

9-Star Straw Bale Home
“This project began with the intention of converting a beautifully positioned vacant block into a sustainable area, a place of sharing and working. We wanted to build a thermally efficient building, using renewable products where possible to minimise the carbon footprint and to maximise affordability,” says Manuela Gioia, of Terra Design Lab.

“We used straw bales and lime-based plaster in order to have breathable walls. The lime-based plaster absorbs moisture and allows water vapour to move through the building fabric. The use of straw bales reduced the cost of the build, providing a high energy insulation rating and was the infill for the walls.

Double glazed timber frame doors and windows reduce the amount of heat gain/loss through the glass,” Ms Gioia adds.

Terra Design Lab (TDL) offers creative, one-off Residential and Commercial Architectural design with a focus on sustainability. Using local, natural, low waste materials, it specialises in solar passive design solutions, with the aim of achieving high energy performance while promoting the wellbeing of its occupants. TDL also offers training workshops, where owners and the general public can directly participate in and learn about sustainable construction.

• Bullcreek
• Bicton
• Fremantle
• Hamilton Hill
• Hilton
• Jandakot
• West Leederville
• North Perth
• Perth
• Westminster
• Karrinyup
• Mandurah

For more information visit

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