Passive solar remodel of small Melbourne laneway home (+ rainwater capture)

Tyson Dirksen takes us on a tour of his Melbourne (Fitzroy), Australia remodel he designed for passive solar heating and cooling and to capture rainwater.

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Votes 124

Rating: 5 out of 5

Updated: December 18, 2013 — 8:58 pm


  1. I wish more people would place as much thought into their house as you
    have, nice job.

  2. bugs?

  3. this is a very nice place good workman ship 10 stars

  4. Great looking layout and work Surprising what thinking can do Virgina City
    NV USA

  5. This is definitely a 22nd century home I’d say 20 or 30 years beond it’s

  6. nice job. Good video. Well done.

  7. @handygote I just spoke with Tyson (I only filmed the video; he was the
    designer/builder). He told me… the bladder was cheaper than a hard
    plastic/metal tank. Additionally, you can customize the length of bladders
    and the cradles that they sit in so we were able to maximize our rainwater
    catchment system for the limited crawl space that we had under our house.

  8. can you grow mangoes in that backyard?

  9. @scir91 I believe Melbourne is outside the climatic range for growing
    mangoes, though I suppose you could try.

  10. lol, hes been in Australia long enough you can hear the accent growing on

  11. @Specialized1989 Ha. He’s my brother and I notice that a bit. He’s also
    married to an Australian.

  12. @kirstendirksen haha, well there you go, tell him he has an absolutely
    beautiful house!

  13. Hi tyson I just wondering arent any street cat at your place? coz if so
    usually the street cats pee and poop at the roof of the house and capturing
    the rain wasnt that good right? coz its with cats residues thanx alot 🙂

  14. WOW! where do i begin? I would love to move to Australia (I have not
    changed my mind since I was about 8 and I’ll be 39 in a few weeks) even if
    just for a few years…Melbourne being on top of my list. Also, your house
    is amazing!!!! I like the whole reverse south to north flip for winter sun.
    Any ideas how to relocate down there? I’m not asking to crash at your place
    – ha ha. I plan on paying off my student loans in about a year and half and
    will have some freedom to do whatever. cheers

  15. @ab3000x I wish I could be of more help. I filmed this video of my brother
    when he was living with his Australian now-wife-then-girlfriend in
    Melbourne. They have since sold the home (though they loved it) and moved
    to San Francisco. My brother is a green builder/designer by trade so he’s
    continuing to work on any construction that involves principles of passive
    solar and good building envelopes. Best of luck with your Australian Dream.

  16. the floors where I grew up in mexico were ceasar stone (though I didn’t
    know that before watching this video) Man my brothers, cousins and I put
    those floors through hell and back growing up, and they still look spanking
    new. Thanks for reminding me of such an awesome material i could use for my

  17. And I was wondering, why he didn’t really have an Aussie accent ;-))) Nice
    house – especially as it looks very traditional in the front and very
    modern in the back. Good mixture. We would also LOVE to put a water tank in
    our garden, but it’s just simply not paying off here in CH with water being
    very cheap and building/ installation costs skyrocketing.

  18. I wish that was my house.

  19. Very nice

  20. What kind of music did you use? i like it !

  21. Kristen – well done video of your brother’s wonderful & inspiring
    achievement.. The remodel is beautiful..

  22. America has so much to learn, and accept, it boggles the mind!

  23. Don’t forget that house is worth about half a million dollars, even small
    houses near major cities in Australia are brutally expensive

  24. justgivemethetruth

    Nice … no matter what people say, it’s nice to have a lawn, and nice to
    sit, lie or picnic outside on a lawn for relaxation.

  25. Was back visiting last week and really miss Melbourne (home). Nevertheless
    am happy to be living in stuffy, cramped UK for a few years if it forces me
    to understand the principles of sound home design, prior to buying.

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