How Can I Get Started?
“It’s so hard to know where to start!”One of the most frequent questions we get is “where do I start?”


If you want a new home here are some hints which may help –

Work out what you want – number of rooms, size of rooms, write your wishlist


Get the land and finances Work out how much you can spend, put together a budget including site costs (water tank, services, appliances etc)


Put together a rough timeline


Check out our designs online or ask us to see our designs


See our nearly finished showroom to touch and feel the walls!


Check out with Council what they want in a Building/Development Application


Then we’ll give you a quote so you know exactly where you stand


Viva Living Homes

Ph: 0450 480 460 | Facebook: Viva Eco Homes | Eco House Blog | |

Strawbale wall raising and rendering workshop @ Murrumbateman
Easter Weekend 2010 <!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>We have finalised details for a 4 day wall raising working bee in Murrumbateman, NSW, approximately 20 kilometres south-east of Yass (NSW) or 40 kilometres north-west of Canberra ACT.


It will be run in conjunction with Frank Thomas of


Join us from Easter Friday 2nd – 5th (Easter Monday) April 2010. Times: 08:00am to 05:00pm.


Fanny and Alec have chosen the Viva “Stepping Stone” design, it’s a 2 bedroom strawbale and poured earth home. It’s approx 140 square metres, and is one of our pre-designed plans with fixed price and fixed time-frame. Main features of their home includes: passive solar design, waffle pod slab, internal earth rendered cob walls, solar hot water system, tank & bore water, compost toilet and 5 star energy rating devices. Internal sides of strawbale walls will be rendered with clay while externally strawbale walls will be rendered with lime. Foundation/floor, frame, roof & bottom plate system will be installed prior to the working bee, ready to get into stacking of bales.


The working bee: is free of charge for participants, morning & afternoon tea and light lunches will be provided. In exchange for your labour you will be able to gain hands-on experience raising strawbale walls, making custom sized bales, installing top plate and pre-compressing and stitching straw walls. Some basic skills in mixing and applying first coat of clay render can possibly be learned. Camping with basic toilet & shower facilities on site is possible, BYO tent, bedding, torch, tarps, chairs etc. and BYO breakfasts & dinners.


What to bring for work: Please bring closed (work) shoes, gloves, long sleeve shirts, long trousers, some warm clothes for chilly mornings & evenings, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and a water bottle. Please register with the owners of the project. Fanny & Alec preferably via email or ph: 0466 405 736 (Fanny). They will advise of directions to site, advise of local accommodation options and any other necessary details at that stage. Places are limited so book in early. Places will go to those who can go for the 4 days. We look forward to see you in Murrumbateman for this a great Easter weekend!

A Mortgage Broker we Trust!
We use them ourselves

<!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>So we know they’re good, get the best deals and know what they’re on about.


We have found the best thing is that they help us understand our money and finances rather than just try to sell us something. They educate us as well as find the best mortgage deal around and do all the paperwork for us.

You can speak with Alex at Wealth Concerns on 02 4621 4892. They have a mobile service and travel all over NSW.

New Building Code of Aust. (BCA) changes re Strawbale…
What it means for straw houses

There have been big changes to the BCA regarding building of homes since the Victorian fires. Normally it takes over 10 years to get changes to the BCA. However due to the ferocity and loss of life, the Government changed it quickly. They are in effect in Victoria already. How does strawbale homes measure up? The short answer is that they aren’t included in the BCA and would have to get individually certified by engineers (which is what currently happens). If you lobby the CSIRO and Ausbale to have them work together to get the fire rating specifications we could all benefit so that strawbale walls have a CSIRO approved standard. Currently they will not release them.


Ph: 0450 480 460 | Facebook: Viva Eco Homes |
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More videos to come on earth & strawbale building