informing, connecting, activating, actioning

Examples from Townsville, North Queensland: Building, Renovating or Retrofitting for Sustainability in a Dry Tropical Climate.

Open Houses

Sustainable House Day (annually)

Held all around Australia on the 2nd Sunday in September.  Australia's most environmentally progressive homes open their doors for this unique peer to peer education opportunity. Visit the Sustainable House Day website for open houses details and over 170 profiles of Australian sustainable homes.

Rowes Bay Sustainability Centre, Rowes Bay

Located at 56 Cape Pallarenda Road, Rowes Bay, this Townsville City Council sustainability education centre is open to organised group visits and has occasional public open days.

The 'classroom' is a retrofitted 1980's concrete block home and features thematic communication signage and demonstrations of passive cooling, renewable energy (solar and wind), energy & water efficiency, water efficient lawns, an excellent demonstration garden and more!

Contact Townsville City Council to enquire about visiting. Casestudy (covers some features).

Finlay Homes, Innovation House, Sanctum, Mt Low

Finlay Homes built this exemplar sustainable home and opened it to the public for 12 months. It is now part of an ongoing experiment pushing the boundaries of innovative home building and sustainable living in Townsville. You can virtually follow Darren Finlay and his family as they test out and share their experiences of sustainable living in the 'Innovation House'. Excellent online learning via the Innovation House website and facebook page.

The Hub on Echlin, West End

Architects North won the 2016 Royal Australian Institute of Architect's Regional Project of the Year and North Queensland Region Building of the Year for this building. Innovative in concept and design,. Fourteen titles. Features tilt-up concrete panelling, 7 ground floor commercial shopspaces topped with 7 x 2 levels of residential apartments. Aesthetic, textural, compact, contemporary, sustainable. Casestudy. Sales brochure.  Open for viewing by request

Fairways Land Sales Office / Display Home, Rosslea

This contemporary house was featured in Sustainable House Day in 2015. It is located at 'Fairways at the Townsville Golf Club' an Urban Development Institute of Australia Enviro-Developer Certified masterplanned residential community. The house showcases extensive sustainability elements and being the Fairways Land sales office is open for public viewing. Casestudy. Website.

Hidden Valley Cabins, Paluma

Stay at Australia’s first solar powered resort. Educational Tours and workshops available. For more visit Hidden Valley Cabins


There are MANY homes featuring sustainability elements in the Townsville and North Queensland region. These are just a few.

Read on for photos, stories, tips, experiences, inspiration and diversity. 

Triple Zero House, South Townsville

Frank and Katharina Dalmeyer's compact and intelligent home is Townsville's first triple zero home and demonstrates a raft of other sustainability features as well. Casestudy. Detailed story.

Laneway House, Townsville 

Winner of the 2016 Royal Australia Institute of Architects North Queensland Region House of the Year. Casestudy.

Tyler Home, Hermit Park

A two-storey, contemporary tropical eco-home. Casestudy.

Kahler Home, West End (Townsville) 

A renovated miners cottage. Casestudy.

Sutherland Home, West End (Townsville) 

A single storey contemporary tropical home. Casestudy.

Shlegeris Home (Castle Hill) 

1970's home retrofitted for exceptionally low electricity use. Casestudy.

The Patteson House, Fairfield Waters

Very innovative and nurturing, multiple award winning tropical home. Ahead of its time. Casestudy. Design Rationale, courtesy Troppo Architects.

Echlin Street Apartments, West End

Retrofitted warehouse, multiple dwellings. Award winning, architecturally design, lots of clever design features. Casestudy

Queenslander Renovation, North Ward

Heritage sensitive, renovation of a traditional timber Queenslander, optimised for ventilation. Casestudy.

Mundingburra Rotary Club’s Sustainable Home, Kirwan

Developed as a local demonstration home as part of the Queensland Government's Sustainable Homes Program (2007) and later auctioned for charity. This is a modern contemporary home, featuring a wide range of innovative building materials and design elements. The home also demonstrates best practice design for occupant safety, security and universally accessibility (ie ease of use by people of all ages and abilities). Casestudy.

Orford-Richardson House, Bushland Beach

Contemporary beachfront home. Casestudy. Design Rationale (Troppo Architects).

Wallaby Way House, Magnetic Island

A contemporary timber eco home. Design Rationale, courtesy Troppo Architects. Magazine article, courtesy Sanctuary Magazine. Casestudy.

The West House, West End (Townsville)

Design Rationale, courtesy Troppo Architects.

The Tree House, Railway Estate


Bungalow Bay Resort, Magnetic Island

Design Rationale, courtesy Troppo Architects.

North Queensland HIA GreenSmart Display Centre, Idalia

Open to the public for a number of years as an educational display centre for Fairfield Waters, the now privately owned residence has an abundance of sustainability features, particular in materials use. Brochure: Overview and List of Features