Grand Designs Australia

Episode Guide

Balnarring Rammed Earth

Series 3 · Episode 3

Eco conscious entertainers Claire and Lisa adore their hobby farming lifestyle on Victoria's Mornington peninsula, but the cute 1930's beach shack they've long shared with two pugs has lost its once savoured charm. They're upgrading and building a sustainable, modernist, entertainers' home that blends sophisticated design elements with rammed earth, recycled materials and raw finishes. It all sounds glamorous and straightforward but with a zero contingency budget what happens when a wet winter meets an insidious clay soil?


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Posted by Report
I love that you haven't built a minimalistic cold white box. I love the character and your use of such awesome and raw materials. I love it all!
Posted by Report
The resulting building is aesthetically quite interesting and is refreshing to see an episode that does not result in someone purchasing a houseful of new 'things' but brings a bit of emotional baggage (in the form of objects) from their previous life/home with them.But I have strong reservations about the claim that an environmentally friendly approach has been taken to this design.
Firstly it is a tremendously large house for a couple, with huge amounts of energy poured away into areas of the house that will be rarely used (that many ensuites?). The materials selection of concrete, steel and glass (all high energy) combined with the re-cycled wooden boards hardly shout eco. Also the lovely rammed earth is not utilised for it's major property of thermal mass, as it appears from the shows plans that it receives low levels of direct sun.
However I think these are the issues relating purely to the specification of the building construction, functionally and aesthetically the building looks great.
Posted by Report
Hi SamuelT - just to clarify, there are only 2 bathrooms in the house. There are no ensuites in the guest bedrooms, nor heating or cooling, just good quality blinds. Not sure how that error made the final cut of the episode. The house is designed to be partly shut off if there are just 2 of us, or opened up if there are 12, which seems to happen a lot. We don't claim that the house is Eco - more that it's sustainable in that the materials chosen require little or no maintenance, and provide excellent thermal mass. The rammed earth gets direct sunlight on 2 sides for a substantial part of the day and is functioning beautifully. We've required very little heating or cooling so far. The house remains at a steady 21 degrees and is proving to be a revelation compared to the old place. Cheers Lisa
Posted by Report
This was my favorite episode of the season for sure, love it!
Posted by Report
We adore this house, well done! Who is the architect for the project please? You get my vote.
Posted by DeejanaReport
hello from croatia. we like your house very much. it has a wow factor. we hope to come visit in australia one day.
Posted by Report
Hi Sue, the architect is a close family friend who works for a company that does very large commercial projects. He did this for us as a one off favour. Lucky us! Cheers Lisa and Claire
Posted by DeejanaReport
vow! what amazing house to have in australia. such a long way away and beautiful. i am deejana masonovich in croatia. you deserve to win this one. i think that the one called dano should be on the tv for sure. i like the pugs.
Posted by Ann306Report
Can't wait to see this one (I live in New Zealand, so there's a delay). Love your eco focus, and that you have reused products so well. It looks like a beautiful home. Congratulations.
Posted by Report