Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Low energy solar display home

Display Home History

Display Home History

MASG recognised the need to create a local example for home builders and renovators and for the people in the housing industry that homes and gardens built on sustainability principles can be comfortable, attractive and cost less to run over time.

Click here to see how the house was constructed.

Building for a more sustainable future
Local builders, Maine Design and Construction have built the home in partnership with the Mount Alexander Sustainability Group to showcase environmentally responsible housing. The house is based on an original concept from local designers Lifehouse.

The house was built using conventional materials and techniques in a way that achieves a 6 ½ Star rating – (the highest available rating at the time of building) that and demonstrates how the incorporation of solar passive and other sustainability principles into new and existing homes can make them cheaper to run, use less water and energy and be more environmentally friendly. Please visit the home or use the information and links on this site to learn how to live very comfortably and stylishly in your new home or retrofit whilst doing your bit to conserving our planet.

Final Report

Executive Summary

Your Home

The house incorporates passive solar design to maximise natural heating and cooling, energy and water efficiency measures, good insulation, solar hot water and photo voltaic roof panels and low water use landscaping. In other words, it demonstrates just how easy it can be to live more sustainably without sacrificing style and comfort.

Its stylish, contemporary, comfortable and most importantly, it demonstrates that sustainable living need not cost the earth

Growing food and a beautiful water wise garden

Growing food and a beautiful water wise garden

Design Features

The inclusion of features to make the house more sustainable has added between 8 and 9% to the cost. This “extra” investment is worthwhile when you consider the savings on water, energy and heating and cooling costs over time. This display home is 24 squares without the garage and covered outdoor area, smaller than many of the larger family homes we see being built today. If a home owner eliminates just one room or builds a carport instead of a average sized garage, we estimate that this would pay for the features that help make the home sustainable.

Even on a tight budget you could include many of the house’s design features at no extra cost. These principles are based around using natural heating and cooling, lighting and insulation and will greatly improve the liveability and environmental impact.

Water tanks and solar panels: helping reduce the house\'s water and energy footprint

Water tanks and solar panels: helping reduce the house\’s water and energy footprint

The house has some particular design features to increase its sustainability these include:
• Double glazing
• R6 ceiling insulation
• Hebel cladding
• 4 star gas ducted heating
• Evacuated tube solar hot water with gas system
• Recycled timber
• Rainwater tank connected to the house
• Water efficient plumbing fixtures
• Water efficient garden planting and surfaces
• North facing living spaces which make use of the sun to warm in winter;
• Concrete slab which supplies good thermal mass properties, storing heat from the sun in winter and slowly releasing that heat as the house cools at night;
• The use of windows and window placement to provide for summer cooling through cross flow ventilation;
• Eaves designed to provide access to winter sun but shading for summer months;
• Solar power system which feeds into the main grid;
• Gas boosted solar hot water with instantaneous system;
• A water treatment system that collects grey water for toilet flushing;
• Ceiling fans and energy efficient lighting and
• Energy efficient appliances.

LED downlights- fashionable, low energy and in use at the house

LED downlights- fashionable, low energy and in use at the house


Insulating blinds- beautiful and keeping the heat where it is wanted

Insulating blinds- beautiful and keeping the heat where it is wanted


Blinds in cross section- trapping an insulating layer of air: cooler in summer, warmer in winter

Blinds in cross section- trapping an insulating layer of air: cooler in summer, warmer in winter

Click here to download a floorplan of the house Display home floor plan
Click here to download a copy of the sustainability design specifications of the house Display Home specifications

Partners and contributors
Many businesses have provided products and services at discount rates or on a sponsorship basis to assist in building the house. A full list of businesses and individuals who have collaborated in creating the home and garden are listed in the house specifications information available on this website and listed below.

The Sustainability Group recognises the invaluable assistance given by the following major contributors.
House Builder
Maine Design and Construction
Telephone: 5472 4144
Original Concept
Lifehouse Design on a pro bono basis
Telephone: 5470 5584
Garden Landscape Plan
Phil Hansen Landscapes
Telephone: 0425 856 833
Solar Hot Water
AAE Solar Hot Water Service
Telephone: 0400 547 315
Internal Blinds
Robinsons of Castlemaine
Telephone: 5472 2828
Telephone: 0414 814 993
Graphic Design
Michael Wolfe A&D
Telephone: 5472 5224
Picture Framing
Templeton Studios
Telephone: 5470 6446
Robes & Shower Screens
Premium – Robes & Shower Screens
John Pool Telephone: 5442 7799
Skylight window
Velux Australia
1300 738 917
Cleaning Products etc
The Down to Earth Store 227 Barker Street Castlemaine,
Telephone: 5472 5032
Quilted blinds
Louise Moysey and Daughters
Telephone: 5472 1212

Other Contributors
Kitchen Cabinets
CKC – kitchen cabinets
Telephone: 5472 4144
Hebel Wall Panels
Pro Build Bendigo
Phil March Telephone: 5448 3355
MPB Electrical
Matt Bolton Telephone: 0408 179 048
Carson Plumbing
Alan Carson Telephone: 0409 404 733
UAP Plumbing
Mick Webb Telephone: 0407 844 474
Hardware & tiles
Dales Discounts
Lindsay Dale Telephone: 5472 1586
Excavation & Earthworks
Dredge Earthmoving
Russell Dredge 0418 367 562
Kyneton Floor World
Gary Banfield Telephone: 5422 2635
Borderline Garden Supplies
Gary Davis Telephone: 5472 4053
Kordon Termite Barrier
Paul Harris Telephone: 0417 575 952
Greywater recycling system
Wattworks Greywater System
Steve Watts Telephone: 9888 3117
Boral Bricks
Hume and Iser
David Pantell Telephone: 5440 7135
Eco bricks in BBQ
The EcoBrick Company
Rory Stainton Telephone: 5469 1350

Useful web sites

Biodiversity, gardening and landscaping
A not for profit organisation working to protecting and restoring the health, diversity and productivity of our unique landscapes with lots of information and links on how to restore, return or protect flora and fauna.
information on how to attract nature birds, butterflies and other flora for fauna to your backyard.
Sustainable Gardening Australia (SGA) provides information, advice and resources to home gardeners, professional gardeners and landscapers on sustainable gardening and food production.
Grows and sells heritage and heirloom flowers, fruit trees and vegetables appropriate for Australian conditions.

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