“A Tasmanian green renovation” …. It just makes sense

Why a Green Renovation ??

WHY NOT !!  It just makes sense.


Sean, Mandy, and Jade the Jack Russell sold GreenTasReno house in May of 2019 after completing all the renovations. We then moved into our investment property for 16 months whilst buiding a sustainable hempcrete home. We moved into Westbury Hemphouse in September 2020.

July 2022 update: Westbury Hemp House is once again open for casual tours once a month. For more information about the tours please head on over to our website www.diyeco.com.au

You can follow our journey building a new solar passive hempcrete home also in Westbury at our new blog www.greentasbuilder.wordpress.com . See what we did with  renovating a rental property in a sustainable way so that tenants might enjoy the same low power bills and healthy living as we do, www.greentasrenter.wordpress.com



Welcome to our GreenTas Reno, our blog that follows the renovation we carried out to our 1950’s weatherboard and tin roofed house in the picturesque village of Westbury, Tasmania, Australia. Here you will find information, links and pictures of our renovation as it progresses.

Although we finished renovating in 2018 and the blog around that time also alot of the information will still be relevant. I apologise if links are broken or not relevant anymore. Keeping up with link checking etc on a blog that has over 130 posts is a full time job on its own.

To see the latest updates check out THE BLURB!! in the Index or the archives. To find specific things make use of the search bar.

Use the Index in the side menu to have a look at posts on each room, the exterior, and the garden as it progresses.

Subjects like hot water systems, roofing, solar , paints and finishes, and many other things that we are including in our renovation.

Most important of all make sustainable changes to your house and the world reaps the benefit.

  • Use sustainable or recycled products.
  • Non toxic coatings on floors and walls
  • Sensible insulation
  • Solar power
  • Alternative hot water systems
  • Publications and websites that offer some of this information
  • Introduce new technologies that help reduce waste in this wasteful world.
  • Half the fun is in the challenge and hunt for these things.
  • Spread the word about products that work or not in some cases.


To find out the reasons as to why we did what we did check out the “About Us” page

Casual Sunday home tours of Westbury Hemp House running again

Just a quick update to let people know that after having to stop the home tours due to Covid restrictions and just plain common sense we are starting them up again in March.

We run them on the fourth Sunday of the month from 2-3pm. Only take ten adults plus any children for a casual tour of a sustainable, owner built hempcrete home in Tasmania, Australia.

All details on www.diyeco.com.au including where to book tickets.

Sustainable House Day 2017

For more than 15 years, Sustainable House Day has provided a great opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people to visit some of Australia’s leading green homes – ones  that are not only environmentally friendly, but cheaper to run and more comfortable to live in.East at dusk

In Northern Tasmania there are three houses opening their doors on Sunday 17th September to give people an opportunity to see sustainable houses and to ask the house owners about their sustainable journey. The houses are in Westbury, Evandale and Sheffield. If you are interested in attending any of the houses please register at www.sustainablehouseday.com This will enable you to find out the addresses of the houses.

We started our renovation journey back in 2008 and opened our house in Westbury on Sustainable House Day four times in the past. We have also kept this blog of our journey www.greentasreno.wordpress.com Now after a four year break we are re-opening our 1950’s weatherboard home that has been renovated using sustainable materials and products. People will be able to see how these products have stood up to daily wear and tear, ask us why we chose the products we did and how we  made those decisions. Come along and see the additions like the shading options on the east side, or the rocket stove fire cob pizza oven which will be up and running.

To find out more:

Website: sustainablehouseday.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sustainablehouseday/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SustainableHD

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sustainablehouseday/

Earthbag wall and Pizza Oven part 5. Finishing off and trying it out

overall general view finished

Pizza’s cooking in the oven

After completing all the rendering, building etc we were very keen to christen the pizza oven. One Sunday afternoon in late March (perfect early autumn weather here in Tassie) we invited about 30 people to come join us in a pizza afternoon. We supplied the pizza dough, cheese and tomato base and asked people to bring their own toppings and create their own pizza’s.

The oven was lit about two hours before. two small fires in the oven itself, one each side of the cooking platform ( at the time two terracotta planter dishes turned upside down on firebricks) and one fire in the rocket stove.

The two small fires inside ensure that plenty of heat is soaked up by the cob thermal mass of the oven and the rocket stove kept the temperature up as we cooked about 40 pizza’s between 2.00pm and 6.00pm. A great time was had by all. The next morning all there was in the form of ash in the rocket stove was half a dustpan full which goes onto the compost heap. Very efficient.

small fire inside oven

Since that afternoon we have had several pizza cooking sessions. If we are just cooking pizza we only use the rocket stove. We have also cooked sourdough bread and a roast dinner which was very successful.

An inner door was made that shuts off the chimney and keeps the heat in the oven. A fire was lit in the oven and heated it up. Pizza for lunch was first, followed by three loaves of bread and then roast pork.

There is still stuff to be done to totally finish. We want to mosaic around the front of the suspended slab and mortar beach pebbles around the base of the earthbag wall.

Looking back at the project it has been a lot of work but much fun and creative. It gave a chance to use lots of materials that have been hanging about waiting for a use. Earthbag walls are definitely useful where curves are wanted and support a lot of weight.

Cost wise in Australian dollars we think it has been less than$600 including sand, cement, cement oxide, barbed wire etc.

Here is a list of materials and whether they were new or recycled.

  • Sheets and doona covers – used for earthbag tubes – recycled from op shops
  • Barbed wire – new
  • earth – recycled from garden
  • cement – new
  • lime – new
  • sand – new but used more than once ( pizza oven mould and render)
  • clay – from earth
  • straw – natural organic product
  • cement oxide colouring – new
  • cement slab as shelf – recycled
  • decking shelf – left over composite decking from building project
  • Steel for decking shelf – leftovers
  • laundry sink – recycled from building project
  • paving – left overs from other projects
  • flue – recycled from tip
  • door of pizza oven – repurposed oregon board