A HOUSE made of straw did not work for one of the three little pigs but for a Doubleview family it is ideal.
Christian and Deepti Wetjen, both architects, built their energy efficient and flexible home at the highest point of Scarborough Beach Road in 2011.
Known as the Wision House, it was the first approved and built property to use straw bale walls in the City of Stirling, which combine with insulated sandwich roof panels, passive solar design and double glazing to make the home comfortable year-round without needing heating or cooling.
They also use a solar hot water system, solar panels, energy efficient lighting and rainwater tanks, generating more power than they use.
The homeowners are opening their property as part of Sustainable House Day this weekend and Mr Wetjen hoped to encourage others to incorporate sustainable features in their home.
“It’s quite nice to inspire other people to do something that is not your standard,” he said.
“It doesn’t need to be straw bale, just better insulation.”
The two-and-a-half storey 170sq m home caters for Mr and Mrs Wetjen and their two young children upstairs, while a friend and her child live in the separate downstairs space.
The Wetjen’s deliberately sought a flexible design, using lightweight wall partitions to enable each of the storeys to be a studio, one or two-bedroom home to suit their changing needs.
It also maximises views – with stunning outlooks to the ocean and city.
Mr Wetjen believed many people considered sustainable options to be too difficult but said along with rainwater tasting “much nicer”, paying minimal household bills and feeling comfortable, their house had improved sociability and liveability.
“In our case less actually made more,” he said.
“It’s not restricting anything, it’s enhancing our lives.”
He likened it to a Tesla car, which looks like other cars on the outside but reveals its qualities inside.
“They include technology and smart systems that you may have never seen before and allow a comfort and ease of living that you may not have thought possible,” he said.
Wision House will open to the public on Sunday from 10am to 4pm and visitors can also check out a Tesla Roadster on display, which is electric-run and the world’s quickest car.
Other participating houses are in Karrinyup, Trigg, Floreat and Mt Hawthorn.
Register at www.sustainablehouseday.com.