Case Studies

These case studies illustrate a range of retrosuburban patterns and strategies across the Built, Biological and Behavioural fields of action.

It you would like us to showcase your house, please submit your case study to be considered for publishing here.

 

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Small Rental Unit Case Study

In late 2017, we relocated to Melbourne after a 4 year stint abroad in Germany and began renting in the Western suburbs and later moved our ideas with us to a more suitable rental property earlier this year. Whilst we would love to buy the right piece of land in...

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Rainbow House Case Study

Rachel purchased this property in 2017 as an old house in a suburb of quarter acre blocks, with a gently sloping, grassy backyard. The only established fruit tree was a heavily pruned fig in the middle of the lawn. Various dead pot plants, garden ornaments and a few pieces of...

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Eco-Flat Brisbane Case Study

Eco-Flat Brisbane is a one-bedroom apartment that is slowly being retrofitted to support a low cost, contented way of living. Our intention was to have no mortgage or other debts, free of car ownership and living as lightly as possible.

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Eco Resilient Case Study

The Solomons were looking for a suburban farmhouse with generous-sized but basic rooms, established fruit trees, a bit of land and a northerly aspect. They found it in Research: a basic comfortable house 25 km from the centre of Melbourne on two thirds of an acre of land...

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Ecoburbia Case Study

Just what is it? It’s an alternative infill development, an urban farm, a demonstration sustainable house, an educational opportunity, a community hub and most importantly – a benevolent dictatorship! We bought our new home at 16 Livingstone Street in April 2013. The 1970’s Italianate house sits on a quarter acre...

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A Good Home Forever Case Study

I decided that I would need a one storey house on a north-facing reasonably flat block with space for a small vegie garden, fruit trees, three chooks, and land for the re-establishment of natural bush and corridors for wildlife. I also needed to have low water, energy and nutrient use

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Alistair and Christine’s Case Study

In December 1998 Alistair Tuffnell bought a rundown workers cottage for $156,000. The cottage/house is extremely well located to all services. Alistair’s partner Christine Baro moved into the house in 2001. For the next several years Alistair and Christine focused on paying off the mortgage on their home;

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Eco Thrifty Retrofit Case Study

In June 2010 Dani and Nelson Lebo were looking for a ‘do-up’ property to demonstrate that ‘eco-homes’ aren’t only the domain of the wealthy, and that a sustainable lifestyle can be within reach of almost anyone. The Eco Thrifty Renovation project would be both their home and a ‘classroom’ for...

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Abdallah House Case Study

In May 2008 Richard Telford was looking for a cheap property, close to the intentional community where he was living with his partner Kunie and Kai, their 8 month old son, to set up as a demonstration site for urban permaculture living. It was envisaged that the property would become

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Saba and Matt’s Rental Property Case Study

In early 2014, we relocated to Lilydale, Victoria from south-east Queensland to pursue new work opportunities. Our plan was to stay for around three years and use this period of settlement to learn to grow food.

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Under the Choko Tree Case Study

Back in the late ‘70s I packed up my new bride and set off for the wilds of…Western Sydney! Well it was a little bit wild back then. The estate had no shops and no public transport but the housing and the loans were cheap and so we found ourselves...

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Watts Permaculture Case Study

Goshen & Katrina were looking for a small family home within walking distance to schools, transport and shops. In 2008 they found a renovated, 1950’s brick-veneer home on 1,000m² of land only 3 minutes walk from the high street.

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Sharehouse Case Study

In 2011, Theo Kitchener and Roger Sharp envisioned a permaculture and appropriate technology demonstration sharehouse to show how much could be done in a rental in the suburbs. They wanted somewhere affordable where they could settle in and stay long term, with a large garden, close to a...

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Good Life Permaculture Case Study

Our property is the result of a much longed for home. We were living in Melbourne for some years (me working for Cultivating Community and Anton working for the Alternative Technology Assoc.) and

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Gething Crescent Case Study

In 2000 Teresa and Jake were looking to relocate to Adelaide and they purchased an old bungalow in Bowden. Bowden is an inner city suburb approximately 3km from the GPO with interesting industrial and heritage influences.

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The Plummery Case Study

When Kat Lavers moved into The Plummery in 2008, the run down old house required substantial repairs but was well-located with plenty of potential. She wanted to design and implement a permaculture system and experiment with urban food production strategies.

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Tree Elbow Case Study

Our quarter-acre plot, which we call Tree Elbow sits on the edge of town, the Central Lake Reserve and the Wombat State Forest. When we moved here nearly a decade ago the vacant swampy block had only two trees: an oak to the north and a willow to the east....

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Connor and Marta Ryan Case Study

Marta and I first met in Daylesford in 2017. We were “SWAPs” with the incredibly inspiring “Artist as Family” and quickly grew in love with each other, this region and the beautiful people who inhabit it. We returned about a year and a half later, married and pregnant. Despite having...

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Please note

  1. Each case study has a self assessed Resilience Sun rating that evaluates the property (but not the people!) using the Retrosuburban Real Estate Checklist.
  2. The energy, water and resource consumption figures in some case studies may be higher than those of average households that outsource more of their consumption while at work, school and play away from home.

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