Kyneton house shortlisted for national environment award

The south-east side of the house, before landscaping. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The south-east side of the house, before landscaping. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

A KYNETON family home has been shortlisted for a national environment honour.

The sustainable house is a finalist for a Hanson's Green Building Award in the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Awards.

Owners Claire Moore and Paul Fogarty decided 10 years ago they wanted to build a sustainable house in the country.

They found an affordable block of land at Kyneton and commissioned architect Matthew Grace to built their dream home in 2012.

They moved in three weeks ago.

"We love it. It's so comfortable and lovely and exactly what we wanted." Ms Moore said.

"Most people who come here are blown away."

Ms Moore said it was a "no-brainer" for the climate change-conscious couple to build an environmentally friendly home.

We wanted to minimise ongoing costs, which means more time with the kids. - Claire Moore

"We wanted to minimise ongoing costs, which means more time with the kids," she said.

"By designing a house like this, it's made our cost of living go through the floor. We are off the grid for water and have no utility bills.

"You don’t have to worry about cost of living rising when you’re nearly completely self sufficient."

The house includes passive solar heating, cross breezes for cooling, a natural cool store and a laundry drying room.

The couple have a three-year-old son, Hugh and a new baby girl, Freya.

They have already planted a vegetable patch and have a small apiary for honey. They also plan to buy a cow for milk, contributing to their self-sufficient lifestyle.

Melbourne architect Matthew Grace said it was nice to be on a short-list with three big-budget commercial projects.

Other finalists include the Charter Hall and CBUS Property building in Collins Street, Melbourne and Canberra's Industry Superannuation Property Trust.

"I'm an architect and builder, I design and construct all my own stuff," Mr Grace said.

"I specialise in sustainable design principles so that's what the house is based on. It's about longevity and minimal upkeep."

DESIGN: The north-east side of the house (pictured in fog). Picture: CONTRIBUTED

DESIGN: The north-east side of the house (pictured in fog). Picture: CONTRIBUTED

In his award submission, Mr Grace said he felt a responsibility to educate, promote and design houses that embraced energy efficiency, flexibility, adaptability and longevity whilst enriching the owner’s lives.

"Leading by example, the Kyneton house showcases simple, cost-effective sustainable design principles that the majority of everyday families could embrace, and most importantly, afford,"' the submission said.

The awards celebrate outstanding environmental programs and initiatives. Winners will be announced in Sydney on June 13.

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