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  • Sustainable House Education Day (SHeD) 28 February 2016

Sustainable House Education Day (SHeD) 28 February 2016

On Sunday 28 February 2016, 10am – 3pm, featured as part of the 2016 Sustainable Living Festival, local residents of the Mount Alexander Shire are opening their homes to the public to discuss some of the design and build choices they have made in their energy efficient and sustainably constructed homes.

Running since 2008, SHeD house tours have showcased a variety of approaches to sustainable housing, from tiny hand-built homes to high-end designer houses.

This year SHeD features a 19th century mill-owner’s cottage, a deceptively conventional new build; and three homes sharing one quarter-acre block (one of which is the first accredited German-designed “PassivHaus” in Australia) a mid-century brick veneer makeover and their son’s annexe, done on a shoestring budget.

Thankyou to our event partners Sustainable Living Festival, and to our event sponsors Castlemaine Property Group, Mount View Estate Harcourt and Life Design (Melbourne).


WHEN: Sunday 28 February 2016, 10am – 3pm (Morning tea 9am-10am)

WHERE: Tour Begins at the Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG) office, where morning tea will be provided in the rear courtyard.

325 Barker St, Castlemaine, Vic 3450

BOOKINGS: Please see the eventbrite link here.

Transport on the Day: Please get in touch if you have any questions about access or specific requirements.

If you are not coming on the tour with a vehicle, please let us know so we can arrange car pooling or provide transport if required. 


SLF_Brandmark_Vert.FAFor more information please contact:

Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG)
p: 03 5470 6978


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On the Day:

9am – 10am Intro and Morning tea available in the courtyard rear 325 Barkers St Castlemaine (enter on Hunter St).
10am The tour circuit begins with the first 2 house viewings.
12pm – 1pm Break
1pm – 3pm Second set of house viewings
3pm – 4pm Afternoon refreshments and tour conclusion back at MASG  with sustainable design and energy efficiency experts available to answer any questions.

(Please note: Morning tea and post tour refreshments included in ticket price.)


Post SHeD Tour Drinks and Sustainable design consultation Sunday February 28th, 3pm – 4.30pm


The SHeD tour will return back to MASG HQ, for those that would like to come together afterwards over a drink and light refreshments and talk more about Sustainable Design. Local Design Architects and energy efficiency experts will be available for consultation or to answer any questions.


House Descriptions:


“Two for the price of one!” Putting a second house on a block is becoming increasingly common. In this case, the owner wanted to build a small separate dwelling for her adult son, and subdivided the block to pay for its construction.  This new dwelling was built with largely recycled/upcycled materials, (including DIY double glazing!) for around $70,000.  Cleverly, big savings were made by keeping it connected to the main house for power, water and sewerage.

The original 1950’s family home has been upgraded simply, with insulation and low-cost sustainable features; the front yard had the best aspect for growing fruit and vegetables, so that’s where their edible garden is, fed by 12,000 litres of tank water efficiently tucked away down the side of the house.


“Australia’s first Passivhaus”… accredited according to German standards for hyper-insulated, airtight buildings. Using specially-engineered seals around the whole structure and all openings, and deluxe triple glazing, Bronwen’s house is designed to keep the internal space at a comfortable temperature all-year-round, with little additional heating and cooling. Ventilation is from a heat-recovery system, which conditions incoming air and also removes mould and pathogens, making this a very healthy environment.


An 1850’s brick cottage, that once surveyed the chaos of Castlemaine in the goldfields era, now tranquilly nestles into its ancient rock shelf, its 21st century makeover giving it the possibility of another 160 years of useful life. The new owners, while retaining much of the narrative of the old house’s history, have  hugely improved the comfort levels throughout the building and seamlessly integrated a new 11 m2 extension onto the back part of the house. The old house’s shortcomings have been resolved with sensitive regard for aesthetics, but no compromise on thermal performance or practicality.


This house was built relatively recently (completed in 2009) and includes modern design features and a sustainable living focus.  It is about 184 m2 (excluding carport) and contains two bedrooms, a study or guest room, and two bathrooms.  It fits into and takes advantage of its surroundings so that a normal town block (1000 m2) allows us to feel like we are living in the bush.  It has an energy rating of 6 stars.


Currently under construction, ‘The Box’ was designed with the criteria to create a ‘Solar Positive’ house, producing more energy than it uses.  With a flexible floor plan, creating 2 or 3 bedrooms, the completed house will have a 7.8 energy rating.

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