Sustainable House Day

Sustainable House Day is an annual event that showcases some of Australia’s most sustainable and inspiring homes. With a community of over 400,000 people, Sustainable House Day is a trusted source of expert advice, insight and peer-to-peer education about building, retrofitting or renovating sustainably.

This year we are looking at two Ballarat couple’s that have made their own sustainable dream homes. We will chat to Jess Higgins-Anderson and Bryan Anderson about their owner-built off-grid strawbale house in the bush and Peter and Sandra Hawkins about their all-electric, eco-retrofitted 1990’s brick veneer home in Ballarat East.

A little more about Jess and Bryan

Jess & Bryan met while completing their master’s in music therapy at Melbourne Uni.  Little did they know that 6 years after graduating they would be married, have a toddler and another baby on the way, and have owner-built their own off-grid strawbale house in the bush.  Neither of them had any prior building experience – other than watching their parents do home renos and both being (naively!) optimistic and good researchers. 

Jess had been a long-term Grand Designs addict and had dreamed on and off about having a natural build home of her own one day but had never really thought it would happen.  The couple attended a strawbale workshop with Brian Hodge from Anvil in November 2017 and immediately decided that a, strawbale was the way they wanted to go, and b, they would do everything themselves. 

Three years (two babies and a pandemic) later, they’re finishing off (stage 1) of their owner-built strawbale house near Buninyong, having completed almost everything themselves, without a bank loan (whilst still balancing paid work as therapists and teachers) and learning every new job along the way.

You can follow Jess and Bryan’s story on their blog.

A little more about Sandra and Peter

Sandra and Peter bought their Brick veneer, split level 3-bedroom home, single garage with cathedral ceilings in 2014. The house was built in the early 1990’s as a subdivision of a larger house block.

The original house consisted of gas cooking, hot water and heating, which Sandra and Peter have now replaced with all electric appliances and added rooftop solar panels. Coupled with extensive draught proofing, double glazed windows and insulation, the Hawkins’s home is a sustainably warm and cosy construction.

This event will be presented via Zoom and streamed live onto the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page. A recording of the event will be available on the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page instantly after the event.

To join live and be able to participate in the Q+A, please register for the Zoom presentation.

This free talk is hosted by Smart Living Ballarat for BREAZE Inc. in collaboration with the City of Ballarat and is part of a free series of monthly sustainability workshops presented every 3rd Wednesday of the month.