Come and see us at The Big Weekend during the Sustainable Living Festival at

Birrarung Marr, Melbourne from 9th to 11th February.

Green Design Solutions focuses on helping homeowners to create liveable, healthy, sustainable homes, for new homes and renovation projects.

Our Design Service incorporates stylish, contemporary and clever design features that allow you to have a comfortable home and reduce your energy and have a smaller ecological footprint. We use our extensive experience in Town Planning to prepare and manage the planning application for you. We manage the frustration and complexity of the application process for you.

This special weekend is part of the Sustainable Living Festival bringing a vital message of sustainability to the forefront of our nation’s consciousness.

It's a particularly important festival for me and Green Design Solutions as I will be launching Tiny House Solutions, where we have been building a prototype Tiny Home that incorporates eco-friendly construction and fittings. Tiny homes are now being discussed as an alternative to the traditional house and land models to help reduce the mortgage burden and rent trap for many. Our Tiny House will only require a water supply to be completely self-sufficient. 

See our latest projects.

·         Talk to the expert about your housing project.

·         Get an update on our Tiny house prototype.

·         Participate in a naming competition for our Tiny House.

Participate in a naming competition for our Tiny House and get the chance to win a weekend staying in the Tiny House. 

Tiny House Solutions will also be running tours of the Tiny House when the prototype has been officially launched.

We will be taking expressions of interest at the Festival for the construction of tiny houses.
If you want to know more or would like to place an order, email me using THIS LINK  



Sustainable Living Festival 2018

The Sustainable Living Festival brings the vital message of sustainability to the forefront of our nation’s consciousness. Now in its 19th year, the Festival is Australia’s largest event of its type running throughout the entire month of February 2018.

Green Design Solutions is delighted to be involved in this important festival where people get to see the latest in products, services, and ideas designed with the environment in mind. 

It's a particularly important festival for me and Green Design Solutions as I will be launching the Green Design Studio, a prototype Tiny Home that incorporates eco-friendly construction and fittings. The Green Design Studio only requires a water supply to be completely self-sufficient. 

There is a ground-swell of support for Tiny Homes and I am proud to demonstrate to anyone interested in this new compact way of living how we can help you achieve this while caring for the environment. The Green Design Studio embodies all my principles of creating a more sustainable way of living, where we reduce our environmental footprint while still enjoying a comfortable way of life. 

Keep a watch on this space to see the progress of this exciting development for Green Design Solutions. 

We will be taking orders for the construction of our tiny houses soon so if you have any questions or would like to place an order, contact me now. 

Green Design Solutions - Solar Passive Design

Green Design Solutions - Solar Passive Design

I am excited to share my recent testimonial video of two solar passive designed homes in Kew. It has been a pleasure to work with John Cichelloand Cynthia Cichello to design these sustainable homes with a small footprint. If you are looking for a sustainable housing solution then contact Green Design Solutions to discuss how we can realise your dream.

Roofing: Design vs. Impact

When designing a house, there are often many decisions that people focus on. Room size. Layout. What finishes to choose? While the final decisions are left up to what’s in trend or most popular. These days, it’s not hard to drive around and see the popularity of a dark coloured roof. Sleek in its design, it is clear why it has become a popular choice, but what are the ramifications once living in your new abode?

Just as many choose a white car over the darker option available, the same heat absorption process occurs in your household. During solar radiation, the roof cavity of a home with a darker roof will heat up more than one with a lighter colour. Below the roof we have a combination of sarking materials and insulation that will work as a barrier, but these do not stop heat leaking into our homes. This effect is most notable in summer as we need to pump the air-conditioning to keep the house at a liveable temperature. As we are living in a changing climate, this decision will become increasingly beneficial as time passes.

Another effect we can see as a result of the changing climate is the Urban Heat Island Effect. In the same way that we can see the heat radiating of a hot bitumen road, houses with dark roofs create a similar effect. This paired with small blocks of residential land and the absence of tree canopies shading roofs, we end up with hotter local environments. This increases the further we are away from the coast or in the absence of cooling breezes.

So my recommendation is to buck the trend and be part of the solution by choosing a lighter colour roofing material.

The Perfect Block

For many people out there looking to buy land and build, the thought that all blocks are the same can be a huge downfall. Looking for your land before deciding on your property will vastly change the way in which it can be designed. In doing so, you can build a property that is smaller, yet still functional and comfortable. This will also reduce demand on the material resources and will be far easier to heat and cool. I recommend finding a block with a long east west axis, therefore providing maximizing good northern orientation.

There are many reasons in doing this, the main reason however is solar optimisation. This property will have a much greater exposure to the north and the ability to harness that solar radiation. Furthermore, you can structurally design your home to let the warmth in when required. Windows facing north will be able to give you greater heat during the winter months while also fitting shading will allow protection against the summer sun.

With this decision you can greatly reduce the cost of living over time while also creating the beautiful, liveable home that you have always wanted.

Shipping Container Housing

The interest in container housing is growing and I wanted to provide some insight on this trend. Some of the reasons for this trend could include: an interest in reusing a product that seems to be in abundant supply; a house that might be a bit quirky and different; inspired by what others have done or what has been featured on a lifestyle show; and the apparent affordable nature of containers.

Let’s start with the abundant supply of shipping containers Australia. We see them being transported on our road and rail network and stacked up high around ports and shipping yards and being used to transport goods around Australia, but the journey might have started overseas. The reality is we import more goods than we export and often it is cheaper to send a new container across the seas filled with cargo, rather than returning an empty container for reuse.

A great thing about shipping containers is that they can be stacked easily on top of each other, because of their structural strength and as a result they can be used for not only single storey but also suitable for multi level buildings, in all different forms and unique configurations

But are all Shipping containers the same? Well, no and here is a bit of an explanation on this. There are:

  • New shipping containers that have largely been manufactured and shipped for a specific end use.
  • Class A or one trip containers – refers to their use for one trip from departure point to destination point, but this does not mean they are new and they may have a few dints during the transport from loading.
  • Class B – where the container is still wind and water tight, and they have a few more dents and may have surface rust, but still looks in good condition.
  • Class C – contains medium to heavy rust, lots of dents and scratches and look pretty shabby.

As I am passionate about resource efficiency I like to advocate recycling and reusing, hence why I am interested in the repurposing of good quality shipping containers, so for me I would be focussing on Class B containers, to give them a second life.

Let’s look at cost considerations of converting a shipping container to a container house. House construction needs to conform to housing standards in Australia, which have been developed to ensure safety, structural integrity, weatherproofing, comfort for the occupants and conform to the climatic conditions of area. These standards mean homes need structural integrity in the footings, flooring, walls, and roof. They also need insulation, windows, shading devices, electrical and plumbing fitouts, weather and waterproofing, walls, doors and other carpentry and cabinetry fitouts etc. So the few thousand dollars you could pay for a Class B shipping container starts to add up when you want to modify for living in.

The Beauty of Reclaimed Timber

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During the design of my home I explored how I could use reclaimed timber to provide an alternate to newly manufactured products. I decided to use reclaimed timber in the kitchen meals area. I envisaged an island bench that would be a preparation and eating area and focal point of the kitchen.

There was no reason why the bench could not be constructed of timber and I set out to source my favourite Australian timber ‘Myrtle’, which has a beautiful pink hue. After many calls to timber reclamation yards I found not only my ‘Myrtle’ but also sufficient quantity for the bench and a matching refractory table. I went to the yard and sorted through the beautiful timber planks that had been sitting in the warehouse for years after a demolition job. I could not believe my luck. I had been given details of a quality cabinetmaker, who turned my reclaimed planks into a beautiful island bench and dining table.

I had also initially wanted to reuse my timber flooring when the eco demolition was being undertaken of my home, but unfortunately the timber flooring was a soft timber which shattered easily when being removed, so they were turned into wood chips. I then turned to the next best thing and selected reclaimed timber flooring in my home to reduce the demand on the forests resources.

I love being able to look at the beautiful grains of timber and feel pleased that I have been able to give them a second life.

Speed Date a Sustainability Expert

Green Design Solutions is returning to the Alternative Technology Association –  Speed Date a Sustainability Expert event, where Janine will be available to speak with homebuyers, home builders and renovators to talk about sustainable, livable and healthy design principles in housing.

The event is being held at:
Dandenong: Saturday, February 21,  2016
Time: Speed Dating 2:00-4:00pm
Where: Dandenong Municipal Building

If interested you will need to register by contacting Speed Date a Sustainability Expert