An affordable 10-star sustainable home designed for the Adelaide climate and costing less than $390,000 to build has won the prestigious 10-Star Sustainable Design Challenge for 2017.

Designed by Sustainability House, Paradigm Shift was considered to be more than just a 10-Star home, with generous proportions, integrated indoor and outdoor living and minimal operational costs creating a healthy living environment.

The project was recognised by Building Designers Association of Victoria (BDAV) for its versatility and adaptability for a growing family and its considered use of thermal mass and insulation and solar energy. The home features a 5kW solar PV system with battery storage (removing any reliance on natural gas) and allows for 12,000 litres of rain water storage for reuse.

Sustainability House director Jim Woolcock said the team was proud to design a home that was a “fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions”.

“Our work for the Paradigm Shift has shown that the inclusion of sustainable design at the concept stage can allow any new home or building to achieve this outcome,” he says.

The judges praised the design, stating that it “demonstrates a considered approach to appropriate use of thermal mass and insulation, and strategic solar penetration.”

The judges also complimented the Australian hardwood timber cladding, which “complements the landscape and the streetscape, while the inside is light and bright with well-positioned PVC framed high performance double glazing and light internal finishes.”

A commendation was also awarded to MAClaren Homes and Melbourne Design Studios for The Courtyard House, which was inspired by a real-world client brief for a four-bedroom home in Melbourne.

To be constructed this year, the judging panel said The Courtyard House was a beautiful benchmark of localised sustainable living that suits the Australian way of life. The house was an inspiring reminder that with the right design, any home can deliver practical and efficient everyday living.

The 10-Star Sustainable Design Challenge offers Victoria’s building design community the opportunity to conceptualise and design 10-Star energy efficient homes, which combine admirable design with efficient planning solutions and use of materials.

This year’s winner was recognised at the National Sustainable Living Festival on Monday 13 February.

For a list of past 10-Star Sustainable Design Challenge winners, visit