|Viva Strawbale Homes|
Award Winning 8.5 Star Energy Rated Straw bale Home
This two storey straw bale home which we built in a cold climate zone just got rated 8.5 stars which is an incredible result. We're still blown away by the efficiency of our homes. Of course these ratings are just the start and don't take into consideration reduced carbon emissions and low carbon footprint or the fact that they are natural homes made from local materials (usually clay from the site)... but it's a start (one day science and the government will catch up with what we're about and how good they are for the world and us).
Another home we designed and built is an 8 star 'Stepping Stone' strawbale house. So with a good design and building materials and a solar passive design, you can have a beautiful home and change the world.
We won two Master Builders "Excellence in Housing" Awards for the home as well
The first award was for homes under $500,000 so we were up against all conventional homes. The second award was for Environmental Management (how we build from start to finish). So when we get the soil, clay, sand and water on site and put them into the walls, that's a good thing. When we're not using natural materials and using man-made ones, we use low VOC paints, no termite treated timber, no fibreglass insulation batts and so forth. We were over the moon at winning the awards for many reasons.
It's good for the lads to see the fruits of their labour, us (the late nights are worth it). It's good to get natural building recognised as 'real' and a sustainable one at that. The more people who build from natural materials the more healthier we'll all be. It's also good to show that quality and workmanship is needed in the industry: the more tradies who build consistent quality, to a set timeframe and price, the better off the industry will be.
Oh, it also got a Gold MedalSorry to harp on but you may also like to know that the house also got a Gold Medal Rating (eTools). The rating system looks at the life cycle assessment and green star rating of the home and takes into consideration the carbon footprint of the home from start to finish. It's an international system of rating homes.
To be honest, we don't really pay attention to the ratings. We got this home rated 2 years after we built it! The main thing is that we design them to be solar passive, energy efficient and they are getting incredible ratings without us even trying to improve the results. They're good for the technical people and for showing that these homes outperform the majority of homes being built.
A three bedroom, architecturally designed Viva Home is from $369,000 (incls gst. ex site costs)
Our straw bale homes are $2,200 to $2,500 per square metre for a custom designed home and around $1,900 to $2,000 per square metre for our pre-designed straw bale homes.
To see some of our pre-designed strawbale home plans, click here>
A Viva Straw Bale Home is...
A Viva straw bale home includes cob, poured earth and rammed earth walls, traditional timber framed trusses, mud bricks, earth floors, wattle and daub (basically anything natural). They've been created to keep your lifestyle while being green. We believe you can have it all.
Why build a straw bale home? They are sustainable, warm in winter, cool in summer, made from natural, organic materials such as clay, earth, timber, strawbales. These strawbale homes are robust, open plan, light and airy. For intimate couples or large families, our strawbale homes have been designed and built to be beautiful and to withstand the harsh Australian climate, for years to come.
Each of our straw bale houses have been hand crafted and have been customised by you. They have a look and feel which is personalised and reflect your life and taste.
These straw bale homes are unique. They are built with natural and sustainable building materials using the specialised skills of our tradesmen and techniques which reduce your carbon footprint, power and water usage. These strawbale homes use nature to keep an even temperature throughout the year and are natural for your health. There aren't any nasty chemicals which off gas.
Our Strawbale Homes are built from straw bales, earth, mud, stone, timber. The walls can be straw bale with earth render, cobb walls made from clay, sand and earth. They can also be made from poured earth, rammed earth or stone.
Straw bale Studios - easy to build. Materials delivered to site. Just put the kit together using our videos and Builder's Manual. We'll help you organise trades and a straw bale workshop.
The most common thing people say about our straw bale houses are - "they feel different". It's such an unusual thing to say but it's true, when you walk into our homes they're everything people want in a home. Warm, welcoming, light, airy, amazing to look at, with the best sleeps! Immediately you can feel the difference in their natural qualities.
Don't forget to look up our frequently asked questions and enviro links which help you for each option.
You can choose 4 ways we can help build you a strawbale and earth home:
1. Straw Bale Plans & Designs
Designing your strawbale home is critical to creating a natural earth home which suits who you are and is made from the earth. So we've worked with an award winning architect to create a true Viva Living Home.... straw bale and earth homes made from the earth, which look amazing, they're great for your health and the world.
Our straw bale floor plans have been created by our clients with special features to make life easier for you. Smart built-in storage solutions throughout your straw bale home, entertaining open plan layouts to suit the Australian outdoor lifestyle. Unique walk in pantries with a difference. There's so many smart solutions to make everyday living so much easier.
You can choose from one of our solar passively designed floor plans they've been designed especially to be solar passive while using strawbales, poured earth, cob or rammed earth as the building materials. This means you can owner build your own uniquely designed, straw bale home. Our straw bale plans come with a Straw Bale Builder's Manual. In it you'll find they're the blueprint on how to build your own environmental home. It comes complete with a list of suppliers, materials, quantities, timelines, procedures on 'how to', step by step, including references. It's pretty much everything you need to move forward to building your own environmental home. Check out
or you can choose from one of our pre-designed straw bale homes..
2. Pre-designed Straw bale Homes are made from Straw bales poured earth & cob
If you're after a sustainable, natural home at an affordable price, our pre-designed straw bale homes may be just what you're after.
Choose from one of our straw bale, poured earth, rammed earth and cob homes. You just choose the design from our range of architecturally drawn plans, choose the materials you like the most, and we quote the project for you so you know how much it will cost upfront. Once you sign off, we look after getting your plans through council and then build your home in a set time frame.
A lot of our clients don't have the knowledge, time or energy to research how to design and build an environmental home. Afterall, it's taken us over ten years to be able to design solar passive earth homes which work. It's after having built our own homes for ourselves to work out what works the best.
Some people just want a strawbale home built for them. They want to choose a design, the finishings, colours and then in a few months time, move in, no more to worry about.
These set-designs straw bale homes take out the hard work for you. We've researched and practised to find the solar passively designed home which works and looks great. They meet the Australian Building Code of Australia, are approved through Councils, comply with the CSIRO fire tests for building in bush fire prone areas.
What's more, our practises ensure your straw bale home is rugged and robust against the elements and is a cool house in summer and a warm house in winter. It's not rocket science, but it's taken us over a decade of experience and research to find out what works.
Fixed contracts and timeframes with set house designs and a licensed builder helps you get on with living your life.
Click here to view our straw bale designs and costs to build >
3. Design & Build your own dream straw bale home with cob, poured earth, mud bricks and rammed earth walls
If you prefer to create your own unique straw bale home - we can design and/or build the perfect one for you. As a NSW MBA Qualified Master Builder, we will work with you to turn your ideas into a living straw bale home.
4. Owner building, renovating or need advice on starting your own strawbale home?
A lot of clients come to us needing help building their own straw bale home. They're not sure whether to renovate their current home, or demolish it and build a new house. They want to know if they can convert their garage into a straw home or a mud brick building easily. We'll need to visit your home to find out what you want, and then come up with building solutions for you.
We recommend attending one of our courses and then do some workshops. We cover the fundamentals from design right through to building, rendering and maintenance of your straw bale home.
Photo Galleries of our homes (you may need to login to Facebook to see them. See our Photo Gallery on our website if the links don't work for you)
Capertee Valley 'settlers style' straw bale home>
Blue Mountains straw bale home
Two storey strawbale home in Bathurst
Light straw and cob home in Blackheath >
Straw bale home with cob walls in Yarralumla >
Straw bale home and cob home in Hazelbrook >
Straw bale home with poured earth and cob walls in Murrumbateman >
Beach house, straw bale house >
Straw bale home with cob walls in Lawson >
Other straw bale homes >
For more information on straw bale work bees, straw bale news, straw bale courses and straw bale homes for sale click here>.
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