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Bungalow Upcycle in Pascoe Vale, Victoria by Brave New Eco

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White wall and timber floor living area with potted plants and wooden sliding barn door inside the Bungalow upcycle
White walls and timber theme kitchen-dining area with dining set and wood-burning stove inside the Bungalow upcycle
Man at timber kitchen bench

When the owners of this 1950’s brick bungalow and granny flat in Pascoe Vale South, Victoria looked into how to bring the (previously) dated, dark, cold but structurally sound home up to a desirable standard they were unanimously told to knock the buildings down. Such a wasteful approach was completely disheartening. However, a serendipitous meeting with the owner of Brave New Eco, after visiting her home at a Sustainable House Day event, changed that when she saw the potential in the existing buildings.

Kitchen area with Kobe board benchtop and close glass window inside the Bungalow upcycle
Victorian ash timber cabinets and timber shelving

The two structures were retained and reconfigured to move the living spaces to capture the sun and face the garden, with an over-arching ethos to produce a thermally efficient home which celebrates the charm of existing features and artfully blends in salvaged, recycled or sustainable new inclusions.

Timber vanity tops and bathtub in green wall tiles
Vanity tops and shower area in white and green wall tiles
laundry area with white cabinet and timber laundry rack

Sustainability specs:
– Living spaces orientated to capture the sun
– 1.5kW solar energy system
– Solar hot water system
– 2 x rainwater tanks
– Efficient fittings and appliances
– Recycled timber shelving
– EO laminate used in the kitchen
– Kobe board used for kitchen benchtop
– Existing Victorian Ash timber cabinets restored and reused
– Recycled Blackbutt timber used throughout
– South facing windows reduced in size to improve thermal efficiency
– Double glazed, timber-framed windows installed throughout
– New insulation installed in walls, floors and ceiling
– Ceiling fans used for cooling
– Resene VOC paint used throughout
– Boral Envirocrete slab
– FSC certified or recycled Australian hardwood floorboards to match existing
– Recycled or re-used items used wherever possible
– Bungalow upcycle

Homeowner opening the sliding door in the living area with a dining set and hanging timber lampshade
Closeup view of recycled timber shelving and wooden sliding barn door
Close-up view of timber vanity tops in green wall tiles
From the interior designer:

With a south facing backyard, the home lacked in northern sunlight. To the owner’s dismay, the design professionals they had met with so far had lumped it in the ‘too hard’ basket advising them to demolish both buildings and subdivide the block into townhouses.

Our design concept was to turn the problem on its head and make it the solution. We proposed that rather than demolishing the granny-flat and building an extension, we keep the entire footprint of both buildings and consolidate them to create one large, unified, ecologically sustainable home. This design was resourceful both materially and financially by drastically minimising the amount of new build required instead capitalising on the scope of the existing structures.

Images courtesy of Brave New Eco. Photography by Emma Byrnes
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