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Looking for creative, sustainable house designs – no experience necessary

Entries for the 2017 Sustainable House Design competition have been extended and Byron Shire Council is challenging all residents to get creative and try their hand at designing a home that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

The annual design competition is a part of the Northern Rivers Sustainable House Day Expo and Awards Showcase which will be held on the 16 September 2017 at Tweed Heads.

The theme for this year is ‘Build it Local’ with designers asked to source all materials and labour within a 100km radius.

Andia Cally, from Sustainable House Day Northern Rivers, said this is a fantastic opportunity for people to consider the extent of amazing materials that are available in our back yard.

“We have access to plantation timber, bamboo, straw bales, rammed earth and mud building systems and wide range of recycled materials that can be transformed into a perfect energy efficient family home,” Ms Cally said.

“This competition is a great opportunity for anyone interested in design because while there is a category for professionals involved in architecture and building, there are also separate divisions for adults and young people who have a passion and interest in sustainability,” she said.

“The Northern Rivers building boom means our local designers are busy and we have had several requests to extend the deadline for entries.

“Designers now have until 4pm on 14 September to work on their sustainable ideas and ‘Build it Local’ designs.” Ms Cally said.

“The new deadline means that anyone with grand designs can still be in the running for the $5,000 prize purse.

“It’s a very exciting competition that always generates a lot of interest because it stimulates ideas and conversations about what is possible when it comes to designing a house that is not only energy efficient, but takes into account our communities,” she said.

“Building with local materials and tradespeople not only lowers the environmental footprint of the project, but creates a special relationship between the builder, the environment and their home.

For more information about the competition and entry details go to

The winners will be announced at the Sustainable House Day Expo on the 16 September at Seagulls Club, Gollan Drive Tweed Heads.  Doors open at 10am.

The Sustainable House Day Design competition, Expo and Awards Showcase is a joint project between Byron, Lismore, Ballina and Tweed Councils, Nimbin Neighbourhood and Information Centre, TAFE NSW, Self Seed Sustainability and Dorroughby Environment Education Centre.

Call Andia Cally on 0438 825 411 for more information.

Media contact:

Media Communication Officer
Byron Shire Council
Ph: 02 6626 7320

Byron Shire is located at Australia's eastern-most point with a population of almost 29,000. It is a thriving community where residents and visitors live, work and play in a sustainable environment and where Council strives to deliver the highest standard of local government services and infrastructure.