At the core

Customisable from six stars to 10, this sustainable three-bedroom display is giving homeowners a perfect 2020 vision of the modern family home.

Photo courtesy Warren Reed & Leo Edwards


Sarah O'Donovan

While the New Year brings with it a fresh perspective and the new decade promises increasing advancements in technology, as humans we’re still unable to see very far into the future.

Fortunately for home buyers there’s an easier way, with display homes offering a very real glimpse of what their future lifestyle could look like. And with those consumers increasingly prioritising the use of eco materials and minimised running costs, it’s clear that the future is green.

One dazzling demonstration of how raw materials, sustainable features and a modern aesthetic can come together in style is the CORE 9 prototype from Beaumont Building Design in Victoria. An impressive representation of modern industrial design, the family home combines exposed brick, black steel and rich timbers with bold lines and eye-catching angles throughout.

beaumont Photo courtesy Warren Reed & Leo Edwards

Taking out the 2019 HIA Australian GreenSmart awards for Home of the Year and Sustainable Home, the single-storey, three-bedroom build in Cape Paterson, Victoria was conceived to provide ‘a good example of what you can do,’ according to HIA member Ashley Beaumont.

‘We wanted to provide an affordable, sustainable home that could be built Australia-wide,’ says the owner of the award-winning architecture and building firm, explaining that the design team, consisting of himself, Sharyn Blakemore and Dave Leggett, were determined to create a home that was as cost-effective to build as it would be to live in.

CORE 9, a triumph in modern, sustainable building, is named after the four principles guiding its design: carbon positive, zero waste, recyclability and economics.

Beaumont says the home runs at a net positive, with no electricity costs for a family of four, while solar generation and battery storage have been prioritised for ongoing cost reduction. Similar diligence has been applied to areas such as water efficiency and indoor air quality. These features are customisable to ensure homeowners on a range of
budgets can buy their own version of a CORE 9.

‘This house is just a good example of what you can do, but we’ve got lots of different options. So, while this one has 9.1 stars, we also have eight-, seven- or six-star options with different price ranges,’ Ashley says. ‘The big thing for us was affordability. Owners can opt for a seven-star home to meet their budget and it will still be a fantastic sustainable house.'

beaumont Photo courtesy Warren Reed & Leo Edwards

In fact, the star rating assessment process by Phillip Island Energy Rating was a moment to remember for Ashley, who recalls the home breezing through to meet the state-required six-star minimum ‘from scratch’ – that is, it achieved a six-star rating without double glazing, without insulation, and without any of the additional energy-efficient

‘We’d already met the minimum and ticked that box without any extra features, so we knew that we had the right formula for the design,’ he says.

But how does a team achieve high energy efficiency before including any efficient features? Research and development, much of which comes from on-the-job experience during projects such as this one.

Dave Leggett discovered a new building technique during this project which helped increase sustainability and speed up build time: ‘the roof structure is an inverted, prefabricated truss – so a standard truss with a gable roof but turned upside down to create a raked ceiling inside and allow sun penetration right into the southern walls,’ he says. ‘We looked at that as a way of keeping the construction time down. Instead of doing a standard raked ceiling with a pitched roof structure, which has a lot of time and labour involved, we managed to do a prefabricated raked ceiling. Things like that, which we discover in our own process, help to keep the costs down.’

Being so ahead of the game doesn’t come without challenges and setbacks though. For example, when you’re pioneering a brand new technique, it means every trade onsite needs to undergo training in the method before construction can commence. ‘There weren’t too many design constraints, the challenges arose during construction, such as making sure all the trades were up to speed with different methods and what to incorporate,’ Ashley recalls.

But evidently, these types of first-hand discoveries help give the Beaumont Building Design team an edge in innovative design, one which has seen their projects succeed as both winners and finalists in the GreenSmart Awards program multiple times over the past decade, including under their subsidiary branch Ecoliv which constructs modular, prefabricated homes.

‘We also won this award back in 2010 with our Ecoliv house and now we’re getting it again nearly 10 years down the track, so it’s great to know we’re still kicking goals,’ Ashley says. ‘It’s an amazing honour, it gives us the confirmation that what we’re doing is correct and the confidence that comes with being recognised by your peers.’

So what’s next for the unstoppable Beaumont Building Design team? Ashley says they’re working on a number of projects still in the design phase.

‘We’ve got about seven builds underway in Victoria based on the CORE 9 and we also have a new CORE design coming out this year which will include all the same features but with different looks and feels,’ he says. ‘There’s also a new 8.3-star rated display home currently being built out at Cape Paterson in the sustainable housing estate.’

Ashley says that while delivering homes is the core of what they do, innovating in sustainable residential design is at the heart of the business.

‘We keep busy, but we’ll always be taking time to look at new materials and methods to use because we’ve all got a passion for sustainability in design and construction,’ he says. ‘The main aim is to provide people with options.’

CORE 9 at a glance 

Builder & Building Designer: Beaumont Building Design, Dave Leggett, Sharyn Blakemore

Builder: TS Constructions

Energy Performance Assessor: Phillip Island Energy Rating

Location: Cape Paterson, Victoria (The Cape Housing Estate)


  • Roofing and accessories: Trim Deck Zincalume roofing system, Blue Scope Steel
  • Cladding: Weathertex Woodsman Natural 150 with Platinum Green tag certification, LYSAGHT ENSEAM Monument Matt
  • Plasterboard: BCG Enviroboard
  • Timber: Pine plantations in Gippsland
  • Bricks: Reclaimed brick material sourced from local demolition site, reverse brick 100 per cent recycled red bricks
  • Windows: Thermal double-glazed, argon-filled and low-e glass windows and door systems, Trend Windows
  • Shade devices: Solar PV system
  • Insulation: Earth wool
  • Flooring: Concrete Eco Blend, Husquvarna Hiper floor concrete densifier
  • Kitchen: Caesarstone benchtop, Laminex joinery

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