Homeowner DIY Renovation Uses Recycled Bricks and Plastic to Create Low Environmental Impact Home | Canberra weather

lifestyle, lifestyle, DIY, Brunswick West, environmental impact, sustainability, DOOD Designers, Andrew Stapleton, home renovations, CERES Community Environment Park

A once dark and confined house in Brunswick West, an inner Melbourne suburb, has been refurbished and transformed into a light and airy family home. The young owners bought the home in 2017, with the vision of creating a beautiful place where they could comfortably expand their family in the future, especially as the couple had a baby on the way. The clients’ mandate for the DOOD designers was to open up and connect the space to the north facing courtyard. It was also paramount to bring the much-needed natural light into the house, as the existing house was a dark rabbit hole, with no connection to the living spaces. “They wanted to create a bright, interconnected home with a wing reserved for visiting parents,” says designer Andrew Stapleton. “They also wanted the ‘bones’ of the house to stay so they could keep costs down.” “Because the bones were in reasonable condition, customers were keen to keep the existing impression as much as possible.” The owners also wanted to participate in the renovation and planned to live in the house as they brought it into the 21st century. “I remember the site meetings where the clients lived in a small room while the rest of the house was completely removed, the roof and everything,” Andrew says. “It was a project filled with passion and the end result is much more enjoyable thanks to the dedication of the clients.” Sustainability was also something the owners wanted to incorporate into the renovation in order to minimize their environmental impact and lower heating and cooling costs. “A lot of the materials used in this project are recycled,” says Andrew. “The brick work was recycled from the original house and reused for the walls and pavers. The siding is also made from recycled plastic.” The passive solar orientation has made this house more comfortable, reducing the use of air conditioning, etc. the steel awning in the yard was designed to allow climbing plants to climb and create a natural awning that will house the north facing windows during the summer months Interestingly, the house is located a few blocks away of the CERES community environmental park in Brunswick East. The park is a unique non-profit center offering an organic grocery store and café, an urban farm and nursery, as well as environmental education. No doubt the young family will make it a frequent destination. Overall the addition is a deliberate contrast to the front of the house which is crisp white with an inviting extended tiled porch.The garden beds in the front are a nod to the house original, lined with the same recycled bricks used at the back.


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