Design Matters

Hemp, hemp masonry and hempcrete: inside the budding regenerative materials industry

Hemp masonry is gaining recognition as a high-performance, low-impact and contemporary building product. Building designer and hemp proponent Dick Clarke explains how it’s best used in housing and its role in regenerating local agriculture.

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Case study: Energy renovation

Retrofitting a 0.8 Star brick veneer unit to achieve an 8.4 Star rating proved to be a savvy investment in energy efficiency and better health.

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Value add: When do investments in energy efficiency pay off?

Energy efficiency can improve health and comfort and can be good for the hip pocket too. But at what point do retrofits start to pay off? We ask energy efficient housing experts Trivess Moore and David Whaley to find out.

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The rise of the courtyard

As courtyards replace backyards as the primary outdoor space, architect Marie Carrel explains how they are best designed to maintain liveability.

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Stairs with flair

The humble staircase can do far more than provide access to your second floor. Anna Cumming shows that with a bit of creativity, stairs can fulfil multiple purposes from storage and thermal regulation to design feature or just sheer fun.

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Open source home automation

Home automation need not tie you to one brand or another. Designer Paul Hendy explains how he used the open standard KNX software to augment his passive solar home for ultimate comfort.

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Did You Know?

Many greywater systems are low-cost, easy to use and can feed your garden with a regular supply of water.