We had a great time at Sustainable House Day a few weeks ago, and I thought you might be interested to hear about five of the key things people were interested in learning more about.

1. Materials

I had a number of visitors ask me questions about the materials used, particularly the Durra Panel (which is made from compressed straw waste) and the external compressed fibre cement (CFC).

We’re always on the lookout for materials that perform well across four key criteria – embodied carbon, thermal performance, cost and maintenance – and both Durra Panel and CFC score well across all of those key considerations.

If you’d like to download the brochure where we explained the material choices on my own house, you can grab a copy here.

2. Insulation

These questions tied into a couple queries about the insulation used, in terms of how much insulation we installed, and where, and the performance values that we aimed for.

Insulation isn’t visible in the final project, but it does have a huge impact on internal comfort and performance, so we typically go beyond what’s specified in the code and optimise for thermal efficiency in both summer and winter.

3. Overall size

It was gratifying that several people commented on the size of the house (it’s just 135 sqm internally), saying that they didn’t expect it to feel so spacious. 

Before they arrived, their expectations of how the house would feel and function were very different to how they experienced the space in person.

And that’s one of the key reasons we want to invite people into our projects, because it’s only be actually being in our houses that you realise how expansive and inviting they are, even though they are pretty modest in size, especially when you compare them to many other designs that are currently available to build in Perth.

Keeping our houses small without compromising on spatial quality is one of the ways we make them more accessible – they cost less to build – because they require fewer materials – and they take less time to build than larger homes. 

And that’s a win/win for homeowners! 

4. Building your new house

Several of the SHD visitors told me they were already in the process – or about to start – their own new house journey. 

I mentioned that we have plans available on our website that buyers can purchase and give to their builder (and I’m repeating it here, in case you didn’t know that!).

You can download the info packs with drawings, inclusions and descriptions of our 3 and 4-bedroom New House Plans, here.

5. Key takeaway

The main takeaway from a great afternoon at Hinderwell House was that ALL of the visitors appreciated the value of large north-facing windows that opened to generous outdoor garden spaces.

Many expressed surprise about how much impact these north-facing windows had on the perceived size of the interior spaces.

That’s one of our key design principles in action, and we know it works because we enjoy the benefits of similar windows at our own home. (Find out more about our Farrier Lane carbon neutral house, here).

Thanks to our Hinderwell House clients for opening up their home – and sharing their enthusiasm for the project – to Sustainable House Day visitors.