Award Winning 9 Star Strawbale Homes
Living in an award winning 9 star strawbale home means your home will be built to last, it’s seriously energy efficient and it’s healthy for your family. A nine star straw bale home is a mind blowing feat (ABSA energy rated). It means super low energy bills, it’s sustainable, solar passive and carbon neutral. It’s one of the highest rated homes in Australia.
We are one of Australia’s most respected and trusted straw bale earth builders, designers and educators. These award winning 9 star strawbale homes have been in the Daily Telegraph, Grand Designs and at the Sydney HIA Home Show.
Picture your dream home ~ you’re living in a warm house in winter and it’s cool in summer. Your power bills are tiny. You and your family live in a natural, healthy home where you feel cocooned. It’s so peaceful. You love looking at your walls everyday. Building your home was a really fun experience, by the ‘dream team’ who love what they create. You’re now living in the home you’ve been dreaming about for years. You are like one of those people on ‘Grand Designs’… without the budget, time or variation blowouts or nightmare issues!
You’ll experience the “Viva+” system which we’ve refined over 16 years to give you:
- A 6 year guarantee on workmanship and longevity
- A fixed price contract with a fixed time frame
- Finishes & colour selections so you can make it yours
- Designs you can just pick from (or create your own custom design)
- A ‘dream team‘ who listen to you and give you want you want, they build like it’s their own home
- Everything goes to plan and is a breeze, where you ♥ the process and would build with us again
- The ‘Viva wall system‘ which protects the straw and earth and ensures you get value for your money
- Specialised systems that are certified by CSIRO and engineers which delivers our award-winning results
If you want to build your own home, we teach strawbale and natural building courses to show exactly what to do (and not to do). We teach these courses for one main purpose:
To ensure that owner builders, architects, builders, engineers and professionals, design and build strawbale and earth homes right. That’s it. We’ve had to fix other people’s strawbale building nightmares. Because we’ve designed and built over 50 strawbale and earth homes, you’ll learn the fatal mistakes you shouldn’t ever do.
Our strawbale courses are very different to any other course in Australia, because they’re much more detailed. We go through the entire building process from start to finish, in a practical and professional TAFE style learning format (with CPD Points you may be able to claim). This is very different to a strawbale workshop where you’re working on someone’s actual home and only see one building method, and usually only see the straw wall raising or rendering independently.
What makes us different to other sustainable builders? The materials we use are natural, they’re not man-made ‘eco’ products. When ‘eco’ materials are made they can often be sourced from overseas and include glues and chemicals. Real sustainable homes are organic, they use less carbon than man-made processed materials and have incredible qualities such as they regulate the temperature and humidity inside your home and purify the air.
Natural materials we use include: Light straw, rammed earth, cob, poured earth, wattle and daub, earthen floors, green roofs, stone, mud brick,hempcrete, pressed earth bricks, clay renders, lime renders, gypsum renders, recycled materials and timber (traditional timber frames, reclaimed, local, sustainable, FSC), to name a few. Whichever natural materials are the most energy efficient (using thermal mass and insulation for maximum benefit), and the ones you like we’ll use. Most other builders want to cover the world in the product they personally prefer. As long as it’s natural, energy efficient and meets your budget, we’ll work with it.
What makes us different to other strawbale builders? We design and build a whole home (not just run a workshop), which means you have a known, quality result for your entire home. That means you receive high quality finishes for a set priced contract and time frame. Your home has a six-year guarantee and is built to current building standards and regulations.
Why are our strawbale building courses are unlike any other. You’ll learn from qualified teachers certified in Cert IV Training and Assessing. You’ll go through the whole build from choosing your land and house design, various options for foundations, to the strawbale walls (showing the pros and cons of load bearing vs infill), rendering and maintenance. You’ll learn what makes a good strawbale design, and what makes a house cheaper or more expensive to build. Most workshops elsewhere are only concerned with the strawbale walls or rendering. Learn the best practise building techniques for wet areas, termites, foundations, roof styles, where to put insulation versus thermal mass, how cross ventilation works, and how to get the best solar passive designed home for your particular site – just to name a few important topics which most other workshops can’t cover.
We have strawbale designs you can buy (they’re solar passive, designed to be affordable and specially designed around strawbales), or we can design your own custom home. You’ll receive an estimate cost up front, then a quote with a fixed price contract and set timeframe. We don’t know anyone else who can do this as yet.
Incredible energy ratings on our straw bale homes 9 Star Strawbale Home – Our ‘Lickity Split’ home near Brisbane just got a whopping 9 star energy rating without us doing anything different in our design. We’re still gob smacked because we don’t design them to get good ratings, they just work out that way. 8.5 Star Strawbale Home – A two storey straw bale home called ‘the Shooting Star’ which is in a cold climate zone, got rated at an incredible 8.5 stars. It’s this home that won two MBA building awards. We still get impressed by the efficiency of our homes. 8 Star Strawbale Home – Another strawbale home called the ‘Stepping Stone’, which we designed and built in Canberra, got an 8 star energy efficiency rating. So, with a good design, the right building materials, and a solar passive design, you can have a beautiful home and change the world. We won two Master Builders ‘Excellence in Housing’ Awards The first award was for homes under $500,000 so we were up against all conventional homes. The second award was for Environmental Management (how we build from start to finish). So when we get the soil, clay, sand and water on site and put them into the walls, that’s a good thing as there is little transport and what we dig up from the ground goes back into he walls (literally). That means, low carbon footprint. We prefer natural materials (over using man-made ones), low VOC paints, no termite treated timbers, no fibreglass insulation batts… basically no nasties. We were over the moon at winning the awards for many reasons. Award Winning 9 Star Strawbale Homes is great for our team to see the fruits of their labour. It also good to get natural building recognised by conventional building standards and being on par with their standards. It’s good to differentiate natural building as being the ‘real’ solution to being sustainable. Man-made sustainable products are really only one small part of a sustainable lifestyle. The more people who build from natural materials the healthier we’ll all be. It’s also good to show that quality workmanship and refined finishes are possible in this industry: the more tradies who build with consistent quality, to a set timeframe and price, the better off the industry will be. Oh, our homes are also Gold Medal rated (eTools) The rating system looks at the life cycle assessment and green star rating of the home and takes into consideration the carbon footprint from start to finish. It’s an international system of rating homes. For us, ratings aren’t hugely important – we had a home rated two years after we built it and it achieved a Gold Medal rating. The main thing is that we design our homes to be solar passive and energy efficient, and they are getting incredible ratings without us even trying to improve the results. They’re good, too, for the technically minded people, who like to show that these homes do out-perform the majority of homes being built.
‘We’ve been building for around twenty years now, so we have been able to refine our quality. We’ve built nearly fifty strawbale and earth homes, and worked on hundreds in total. We love creating beautiful, natural homes which we’re proud of, for a set price upfront so that our clients know what they’re getting and can count on us.’Sam Vivers, Director (Qualified Builder, Supervisor & Trainer)