SBD  Sustainable Building Design consultancy  22 Yamby Rd Strath Creek Vic 3658 Tel 03 5797 0277

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We have projects in Richmond, Melbourne, in rural Victoria around Yea and Seymour, Kinglake, Yarra Valley and in Narrandera New South Wales.




Narrandera Vet  Clinic and Physiotherapy Clinic

These two clinics are designed to minimise the building footprint and cost by sharing common facilities. They each have particular requirements to provide the best working conditions for the users both human and animal. The strategies employed to satisfy these requirements and provide high levels of comfort with low energy use are:

-high thermal mass within insulated envelope (insulation outside structure)

-constant temperature air drawn from plenum below building with stack effect ventilation

-roof and wall configuration designed to maximise summer shading while providing high levels of natural daylight

-double skin roof with heat extraction to minimise heat penetration and utilise solar gain on roof for hot water

-high levels of insulation

-heat pump, reverse cycle, inverter cooling and heating

-slope of site used to shelter building

These methods reduce the building energy so that photovoltaic panels can provide more electricity generation over the year than the building uses i.e. better than zero carbon operational energy use.


Star-rock house


The brief is "sexy and romantic", view of the milky way from the bed, view of the picturesque rocks across the valley, minimum division between interior and exterior. Outdoor spa, shower, barbeque and fireplace. Split level open plan interior.

- Steeply sloping rocky north facing site exploited to provide passive solar design.

- pv and solar hot water panels used to shade north windows.

- natural cooling from void formed by slope below house.

- Structural insulated panels.

- Double skin roof

This house is an addition to the buildings at Trawool Shed Cafe & Cottages - if you would like to dine or stay in this picturesque part of the Goulburn Valley check their website at

Bushfire replacement house

Designed to provide an owner's wing, a family/guest wing, and a central wing with consulting room, meditation room, demonstration kitchen, pantry, lounge and bushfire refuge.

- bushfire resistant materials and construction

- orientation and layout designed for maximum passive solar gain,

- high levels of insulation

- high thermal mass

- natural ventilation from cool air plenum

- high levels of natural light without solar gain

- solar and biomass heating

"The Gnomonic House" - planned like the gnomon of a sundial to capture the sun and the views



A self sufficient, self build house on a very low budget.

Glazing and pv panels face due solar north for passive solar gain, main facade faces due magnetic east aligned with the view to Mt Buller. Arranged as pavilions to allow construction in phases on several levels to exploit the steeply sloping site and provide ground level access to all levels.

Each material used to its potential e.g. natural tree trunks as pole frame with stainless steel tension cables resulting in a combination of rustic and high tech - best illustrated by the unique cable tensioned spiral stair. Sheep's wool insulation. Recycled floor boards. Radial timber boarding.

Phase 2:  Non combustible construction for resistance to bush fires. Insulated rammed earth giving high levels of insulation and thermal mass. SIPs (structural insulated panel) fire resistant roof. BAL 40 fire rated double glazing. Cool air plenum for natural cooling,

Whether we describe ourselves as sustainable building designers, eco house designers, green home designers or any other way of describing environmentally sensitive designs, it is the care and thought put into the design process that is important. Whether designing for the UK or Victoria an understanding of the particular local climate and site conditions is essential to the success of a comfortable, energy efficient, cost effective and inspiring design. 

Practical experience

Having built a house in rural Victoria with our own hands we have a very practical understanding of what is appropriate and the particular issues associated with rural construction such as bushfires, termites, wildlife, difficult sites, extreme weather etc. Our house is high on a steep hill with fantastic views for over a hundred kilometres to Mount Buller so we are used to exposed conditions. Although we are only an hour north of Melbourne the location is definitely rural. Strath Creek is on the border of Mitchell Shire (towns along the Gouldburn Valley and Hume Highway such as Broadford, Kilmore, Wondong, Wallan, Seymour, Shepparton and Wangaratta) and Murrundindi Shire which stretches from the Yarra Valley to Eildon and Mount Buller (Kinglake, Yea, Alexandria, Mansfield, Healseville, Yarra Glen).  Whittlesea and the Plenty Valley border the Kinglake ranges to our South and the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne.

We travel to you so distance is not a problem. We have projects as far apart as Richmond in Melbourne and Narrandera in New South Wales - as well as international projects with KWA in the UK and the Middle East.   



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