In tune with en­vi­ron­ment

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - HOME - Jar­rad Bevan

AFEW years ago Owen and Jane Thom­son might have said mu­sic was their pas­sion, but to­day it’s eco- hous­ing. The own­ers of Thom­son Build­ing Ser­vices – a cellist and clas­si­cal gui­tarist – have this month com­pleted their fi rst dis­play home at Dodges Ferry, a show­case of the high­end re­sults that can be achieved us­ing lo­cal prod­ucts and busi­nesses.

Dubbed NEAT­house, New En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­ford­able Tas­ma­nian, the Thom­sons have gone above and be­yond to re­search and source en­vi­ron­ment friendly, sus­tain­able ma­te­ri­als and the Tas­ma­nian – or if nec­es­sary, Aus­tralian – com­pa­nies that man­u­fac­ture and sup­ply them.

Jane said the fo­cus of their NEAT­house dis­play home was “hand­made and crafted’’.

“Our goal was to cre­ate a healthy house that would ap­peal to those look­ing for a high­qual­ity home that looked and felt nat­u­ral to touch,’’ she said.

“The re­ac­tion from a few peo­ple has been over­whelm­ing, we have had peo­ple in tears be­cause they are so happy that there is an eco- house op­tion that is also af­ford­able.’’

The re­ac­tion from a few peo­ple has been over­whelm­ing, we have had peo­ple in tears be­cause they are so happy that there is an eco- house op­tion that is

also af­ford­able

Un­like some dis­play homes that can have the scent of new car­pet glue and wet paint, this charm­ing, 106sq m, three- bed­room, seven- star rated NEAT­house smells at­trac­tively of tim­ber.

It has been clad in macro­carpa ver­ti­cal boards; the ex­pan­sive near 50sq m deck was made from plan­ta­tion grown treated pine; plus there are Tas­ma­nian oak floor­boards and a tim­ber fea­ture wall in the liv­ing room.

All of the fi nishes used con­tained ei­ther low or no VOC ( volatile or­ganic com­pound) paints and oils.

In the kitchen, the bench­top was cus­tom­made on site from pol­ished con­crete along­side Su­per EO ( which re­lates to low emis­sions) plan­ta­tion ply­wood cab­i­netry and a tiled splash­back.

The bath­room van­ity was also made on site with a level en­try shower giv­ing it a con­tem­po­rary feel with its sin­gle glass panel. Although the tap­ware and door han­dles weren’t cheap, Jane said con­sid­er­ing the qual­ity of the fi ttings and that they were able to be sourced lo­cally, it was money well spent.

The home is lit through­out by high effi ciency LED light­ing. All of the ap­pli­ances are Aus­tralian made. The Thom­sons have also planted 200 na­tive plants on site to help bal­ance out the dis­tur­bance of the build­ing process.

Owen said peo­ple who have vis­ited the home have been ex­cited by the pos­si­bil­i­ties.

“We have done all of the re­search, which can be over­whelm­ing be­cause there are a lot of op­tions out there,’’ he said. “NEAT­house is our pas­sion, we have looked at the best value and en­vi­ron­men­tal out­comes and peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate the thor­ough­ness.’’

This fi rst NEAT­house is a per­fect ex­am­ple of the Thom­sons’ build­ing phi­los­o­phy, but they recog­nise that not ev­ery client will want to in­cor­po­rate all of their ideas.

“You could eas­ily choose plas­ter walls or a glossy kitchen to fi t into the NEAT de­sign,’’ Owen said.

For those who would like to in­spect the home, it will be open be­tween 1- 4pm to­day and at the same time on Au­gust 23 and 24.

Any­one in­ter­ested in putting their own home up for con­sid­er­a­tion for house of the week can email jar­rad. bevan@ news. com. au

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