Grand Designs Australia

Port Melbourne Urban Green - Expert Tips

Discover tips from the experts behind the Port Melbourne Urban Green house from episode 5, season 5 of Grand Designs Australia.

Some people have the ability to see beyond the function of an object - to see it as a work of art……and it’s that premise that’s driven Melbourne doctors, Ian and Ann Howard, to create a home like no other. Their plan is to build a 3 storey house clad entirely with water tanks – massive 2 metre high ‘H’ shaped black plastic beasts that will form the skin of their new house.

It’s more than aesthetics though….as the 30 odd tanks it’ll take to cover the house will hold over 50,000 litres of water – enough for all their water needs for a lifetime, including the rooftop garden. Plus Ian has plans for living green walls with vertical gardens and hanging foliage that will, in years to come, drape the exterior.

It’s a design that’s bound to get the neighbours talking, in a suburb brimming with tiny traditional weatherboard single fronted worker’s cottages…that is, IF they can get the project started. After 2 years chasing planning approval, then losing their builder who went broke, Ian and Ann thought the worst was over, but bureaucracy tackles them yet again – this time with a power pole the council deems too close to the house.

So begins the battle of the power lines - to go underground or to stay in the air? It’s a costly add to the mix that has Ian and Ann snookered…and delayed once more.

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