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The UDIA NSW Austral Bricks Awards for Excellence celebrate the highest levels of achievement in innovation, sustainability and industry leadership in the urban development industry.

The judges commended the architect in delivering an innovative sustainable building with minimum energy costs. This included a hall built from rice straw baled walls rendered with site sourced clay.

A key feature of the hall was to engage the community in its construction. This saw over 22 local community members and school students work with the builder, Prime Constructions and Strawtec in delivering a place that is now a focal point for communities in South Blacktown to meet.

We look forward to many more projects like this one in the future!!

Read about our amazing trip to Germany, our adventures and discoveries in our latest newsletter!

Frank will be presenting at the Ausbale Strawbale building conference Australia and NZ 2014. Come along and hear him give his presentation “A Good Night’s Sleep”. Not to be missed!!

This will be an exciting event for all straw bale building enthusiasts.

Join Overseas, interstate and local presenters covering a variety of Natural and Strawbale building techniques
A full programme of presentations for Friday and Saturday, with Building tours on Sunday.

Hosted by AUSBALE.

A couple of fun photos from the Jindabyne working bee – what a great four days!

For more photos of that weekend, check out and like our new facebook page:

Photos from our first light earth workshop (in Australia) held in Victoria with James Henderson in December 2013.

Doesn’t it look fantastic?

AND – Adobe preservation and restoration of a mud brick home – also in Victoria. Images show repair work that was completed. The cement render was removed as it had delaminated. Behind this we found lots of cracks caused by building movement. All the loose clay was removed and refilled then finally rendered.

Repair work on a mud brick house is a lot of fun. Look at these results!

Need to hide ugly bricks? No more dusting – another renovation and another happy client.

This renovation and the 110 year old barn in Penrith, below, were fantastic projects. It was great doing different challenging work. This barn is a beautiful building.

Here are a couple of photos of a neat strawbale garden seat around a fire circle in Tomerong, built with the aid of a couple of working bees, the hard working owners and very crafty German Journeyman Max, enjoy!

Please see below if you are a “first timer” at buying or building a New Home:

First Home Owner Grant changes – maximum house price $750,000 from 1 July 2014

The First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) scheme (the Scheme) was established to assist eligible first home owners to purchase a new home or build their home by offering a $15,000 grant. To find out if you are eligible and to see the conditions read more on FHOG

Strawbale walls at Bungarribee Community Resource Hub, raised during workshop 26-29 July 2013.

This article was published in the Blacktown Sun on 30 July 2013, by Nick Soon.

TWELVE students completed their part in the construction of a $4.9 million community resources centre in Bungarribee, Blacktown, as part of their HSC requirement today.

They installed straw bales in place of timber in the main events room of Bungarribee Community Resources Hub,

The bales have a better thermal mass, high insulation properties, good acoustics and agriculturally-inspired aesthetic appeal, a spokesman said.

The year 11 and 12 students are from Wyndham High School, The Hills Sports High School, Tyndale Christian School, Colyton Trade School and TAFE Nirimba College in Quakers Hill.

They were doing the required 35 hours work placement in Certificate II in Construction for their HSC.

Student Brent Mula, 17, said he was the first to sign up after hearing about the new technology.

“The extra skill learned will help me to get a job on the completion of the course,” he said.

Straw bale expert Frank Thomas from Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Straw Construction supervised the students.

He said they were exposed to the newest technology in construction as well as sustainable building methods.

The program was organised by Blacktown Regional Economic & Employment Development (BREED), their schools and UrbanGrowth NSW.

go to for more great photos from the wall raising.

Follow this link to see first hand stories from the workshop participants.