Mesh Design, building designers melbourne

Sustainable House Design

Sustainable House design plan

Project Information – Sustainable House Design

Type of Project: Renovation
Location: Rossmoyne Street, Thornbury
Project Cost: $350,000 (ex GST)
Floor Area: 372m2 Site
140m2 Existing Footprint
170m2 New Footprint
Time Schedule: 12 Months Design & Documentation
9 Months Build

Sustainable House Design is the art of balancing contemporary architecture with nature. Using new technologies, we can build homes that focus on reduction of energy use and better use of natural, sustainable resources such as solar energy and rainwater. This project focused on the use of materials for insulation and thermal efficiency and allowed us to create a home that was affordable, yet practical and visually appealing.

Thornbury House External Renovation Completed

The Project Brief

Design a contemporary home extension that encompassed the living and kitchen areas, creating an open plan living space with sufficient storage and thermal efficiency. The space was to be open and clean, yet at the same time playful and warm. We wanted to retain the period façade and the design of the front bedrooms and aimed to incorporate them into our design.

existingm facade to sustainable designExisting Façade


The Client Location

While worn, the home’s existing weatherboard build was structurally sound. Both this knowledge and the size of the property, 350m2, gave us a lot of freedom to play with the design, and we aimed to use this, reconstructing the entire back end of the property. We didn’t have to plan around any heritage overlays, nor did we have to take into account the design of surrounding homes.

existingm interior to sustainable design

Existing Lounge


The Design Solution

Focusing on sustainable house design, we chose a high thermal mass concrete floor as a foundation. This drew into a spotted gum cladding that covered the entire extension. The back entrance, in particular, was designed to mimic the function of the original weatherboard while incorporating an angled design that allowed for greater thermal efficiency. It’s both visually impressive and functional, with its angled eaves providing shade in the summer and shelter in the winter.

Utilising an open plan design to join the kitchen, dining and living and reading rooms allowed for greater use of the space for storage. It created a space that promoted time spent together and gave it an overall “family” feel. Each space flows into the next and firmly establishes the extension as the heart of this family home. As a finishing touch, we included a playful and light window seat. This allows utility access to an enclosed space while at the same time giving the reading room a fun feeling.


Overall, this project delivered an impressive sustainable house design solution that offered a warm and liveable family-focused space. The timber clad extension adds tremendous value to the property and will add value to the lives of those using it for years to come.