Product: Renewed Living
Build
Location: Beulah Park
Year: 2011
Owners: Not Disclosed

How we came across EAL
We found Danny and Donna of Energy Aspect Living (EAL) on the Alternative Technology Association website. We enquired if they would be willing to work on a project where an architect had done all the design work but would not be involved very much in the build and where we would supervise instead. Danny and Donna said that would all be fine. 

EAL in a practical building capacity
EAL built this house on budget. Agreed variations were fairly and competitively priced and submitted in a timely fashion. Danny and Donna and their team were all unfailingly kind and attentive to the children, highly conscious of keeping the site safe for them and working more than overtime to get us in towards the end of the build. Building on to a dilapidated 1880s cottage threw up plenty of challenges, not least the discovery of an old cellar, which the EAL team remediated very cheerfully. 

EAL’s commitment to the environment
Danny and Donna are committed to the environment twofold – they are committed to creating dwellings which tread lightly on the earth, and they are also environmentally responsible in their construction methods. 

They do not ‘green wash’ their work, they actually put in the hard yards. For some examples (of many) – ‘green’ mix concrete (high recycled content) is simply ordered (not put forward as an option). Old timber is pulled out of demolished houses, stored, denailed, sanded, cut and turned into beautiful fittings. At the end of the build when Danny was quite exhausted, we found some ethically sourced new Australian timber, which would have been easy for Danny (a carpenter originally) to turn into the balustrade we urgently needed. Danny calmly proposed we leave it to him and then proceeded to work until midnight in his shed, preparing old recycled timber for the task. The balustrade is wonderful. Chemicals were barely ever used, and when necessary the safest options were chosen. All the materials which came to site were sourced responsibly. Wherever possible local manufacturers were used, to reduce the carbon miles on the materials in the house. As a result, this house feels healthy, there was never a smell of chemicals here. We were very grateful to the EAL team when they kindly washed and oiled a great deal of recycled timber (a fiddle) as they fully supported us in our decision not to use harsh chemicals on our many recycled timber bench tops. 

And finally
What a journey we have shared together! As clients we cannot have been easy: a fixed budget, two young children, a boisterous dog, a set of architect’s drawings but without that architect standing by to explain them… And yet, Danny and Donna, along with Danny’s brother Kym, Josh, Alex and their team of tradies have built our home with great care and attention.  We look forward to visiting more EAL homes over the coming years and to see what excellent projects EAL undertake.  They have built us a wonderful family home and we will stay in touch.