The Mudgee Hempcrete House won the Best Residential Building title, won the Paul Dass Memorial Prize, and won a prize for the best use of steel from Bluescope Steel, all at the BDA National Design Awards.

The elongated home makes the best use of its position, placed above a temporary stream of water and with a great view across the Mudgee landscape, an area marked by gentle slopes and stream beds.

The driveway passes through a large solar panel system, one of the best utilities a home can have, and arrives at the back of the house, where you enter the carport and from there you can get inside.

The elongated plan of the house makes the best use of the solar heating power during the cold winters and the large eaves are best for a hot summer’s day when the temperatures can go up to 40 degrees Celsius. Besides the overhangs, the house has a marquee which can be adjusted to allow or to block the sun, according to the resident’s needs. The heating system is helped by a slow combustion fireplace.

The western part of the house is protected from the bushfires by a series of fire shutters operated by ropes and pulleys. They also have a role of solar heat insulation and night protection. The walls are made of Hempcrete blocks and the R-value (insulation) they provide is 4.3. The Hempcrete is sourced from a local producer. This material is carbon positive in site and passes easily the water vapors, avoiding condensation problems.