‘An unsurpassably beautiful and satisfying environment for Australian living.’
Christine Wallace, political journalist and biographer
We’ve all watched those engaging TV programs like Grand Designs and Restoration Man and marveled at medieval barns being turned into high-tech havens, and centuries old oak being used to craft contemporary, light-filled spaces. But given the scarcity of oak forests in Australia and lack of medieval structures, what is our design vernacular? In the 21st century, what are the issues we should be designing and building around? How to be sustainable? How to eliminate heating and cooling bills? How to save the planet?
Living in Canberra’s tough climate of extremes where we can now hover around 40° for days in summer, and drop down to -10° on a crisp and clear winter morning, a key question has to be how do you build a contemporary, affordable and comfortable building that suits our climate? Is it possible to build a green building that reduces your environmental footprint while also saving money on energy bills?
How to be sustainable when we will always need heating and cooling appears a baffling conundrum of immense proportions. And given the cost of gas and electricity is predicted to keep rising in Australia, is it even possible to build an ultra low energy Eco-friendly building that will insulate you from future price rises and increasing temperatures? And will it look any good?
For Strine Environments, a leader in ultra low energy sustainable design and construction for over 30 years, the answer is a resounding yes to all these questions.
Everything for a reason
Led by highly awarded architect Ric Butt, Strine Environments has a successful 30-year track record of designing and building beautiful contemporary homes for the Canberra climate that cost nothing to cool and virtually nothing to heat. We have designed a series of unique, passive solar homes that are creating the contemporary vernacular architecture of Australia. We work with the environment rather than against it; utilising the microclimate that comes with every site – for free!
Everything in a Strine home and on the site is there for a reason – including an integrated lush garden that surrounds the home, becomes part of the living space and if done correctly helps fine tune the homes climate. Everything is part of the whole and designed to provide ultimate comfort – using spacious open layouts, flexible modules and indoor/outdoor living – as well as protection against increasing weather extremes and white noise of city living. The result is a calm, airy and light-filled building that is a joy to live in.
Using the principles of passive solar design, as well as a range of unique products and techniques Strine has developed – such as insulated precast concrete panels, adjustable awnings, thermal mass walls, ventilated facades, solar chimneys and slab edge insulation – Strine Environments, one of Australia’s foremost environmental design and construction practitioners, offers clients a seamless, environmental built solution. A perfect solution that doesn’t cost the earth.
- Provide buildings that create better built environments for our clients. We are dedicated to demonstrating practical, green, low energy solutions.
- Be innovative and constantly look for better ways of working to achieve our goals of minimising our impact on the climate while providing sustainable living solutions. We do something because it’s the best way, not because it’s the fashionable thing to do.
- Approach our work in an open and honest way to give our clients a professional service. Integrity, respect, excellence and responsibility are at the core of everything we undertake.
- Communicate every step of the process to clients so they understand the process and are comfortable with it.
- Be resourceful in using and reusing materials, and adapt and respond to the climate and unique character of every site.
Strine homes reflect the vernacular architecture of the Australian bush, and is the reason why we have used the term ‘strine’ in our company name. The word means ‘Australian’. We also chose an iconic and distinctive Australian animal for our logo – a platypus – because of the unique way it makes its home; by creating different burrows for different purposes.