Custom-built eco-friendly certified home (2)

Grand Designs Australia: Eco-fiend


A sustainable home that takes green living to the next level

House: Greenhouse
Location: Ocean View, Queensland
Date commenced: June 2014
Date completed: March 2015

Colour Palette: This colour scheme is at one with nature. Earthy tones of timber, rust, slate, sandstone and natural linen are lifted by the green of the landscape and the turquoise of the pool

Living green is no easy feat — and building green is an even greater challenge, prompting the creator to think outside the box and give considered thought to each and every decision. For this Ocean View, Queensland, home, an eco team was put in place to secure certification from EnviroDevelopment — the pinnacle in the eco industry.

Masterminded by Tim Christopher of Christopher Design Group and builder Royce Beale from Optam Building Group, the brief for this U-shaped property revolved around creating an eco home that utilised a mixture of low-maintenance materials, is energy efficient and takes advantage of the stunning views surrounding the rural site. “Magnificent north-facing views over the Glass House Mountains were a bonus and the main attribute to highlight during the design process, along with maximising outdoor living potential to enjoy this pristine setting,” says Royce. “I set out to complete a home that could be classed as net-zero energy and net-zero carbon.”

Thanks to the eco-friendly design of the property, the owners will be able to enjoy a comfortable and stylish home that will reduce the costs of living due to energy and water measures. The home features a self-sufficient water supply, solar power and hot water systems, an ethanol fireplace and efficient appliances throughout. The freshwater swimming pool is another highlight of the project and is chemical-free. Air-conditioning was purposely not installed due to the passive design of the site. As the home was built on a concrete slab over a full-length retaining wall, thermal benefits are present. “As you walk through the house, it’s clear that much thought went into its design and construction,” says EnviroDevelopment board member, Nelson Wills. “Thirty-two per cent of the materials involved in the development are of recycled content and its designer furniture pieces are made from recycled materials.”

Comprising three bedrooms and a study, open-plan kitchen, living and dining room, media room, two bathrooms and laundry, this sustainable gem offers plenty of space to breathe. Opting for natural materials and a subtle colour palette, the home’s environment is the inspiration for the interior scheme. “It’s a beautiful, modern home and we wanted to create a comfortable and contemporary space that lends itself to the environment outside,” says interior designer, Carole Hastie. “The colours and materials have a contemporary but natural feel,” adds Tim. “We wanted to use metal cladding, galvanised pots and rendered walls but offset the industrial feel of these with natural materials including stonework walls, timber doors and hardwood floors. The mixture gives a contemporary eco home that sits well within the landscape.”

With its pristine location and eco features, this Ocean View home is proof you can live a greener existence that benefits you and your community without sacrificing style in the process. It’s not easy being green, but it’s definitely worth it.