Beautiful, Sustainable Building Design

Huff’n’Puff Haus

The “Huff’nPuff Haus” Story

This beautiful contemporary all-electric, biophilic strawbale home is off-grid with completely self-sufficient power, water and waste all-electric AND has just been officially Certified Passivhaus Premium!

Our happy clients said:
“Excellent! Very happy to hear (that we achieved Certified Passivhaus Premium) and even happier with the house performance and comfort.
Truly remarkable.”

Passivhaus Premium Certification means the home generates more renewable energy than it uses – and this is the first strawbale home in Australia that has reached this standard.

  • Could this be one of Australia’s most sustainable homes? 
  • Could this be a truly regenerative development?

The intention was not only to do less bad, but also to do more good; exploring what’s possible for the future of housing. 

  • Doesn’t it just look like another beautiful home?

Our clients do think it’s lovely to live in (and that is important!) but this home’s real beauty is more about what you can’t see. Its inner beauty – its genuine ethical responsibility and loving kindness towards people and the planet – is what really makes it shine.

The brief was to design an efficient and self-sufficient home on a beautiful remote site in Ruffy, Victoria (Taungurong Country) that had a low carbon footprint as it was off-grid. It would function as a weekender, and become their permanent residence after retirement, including separate guest accommodation. It needed to be resilient and future-proof – secure and protected from bushfire, responsive to a changing climate, and able to adapt to age in place.

What started as a brief for an off-grid “strawbale home” soon led to the Passivhaus standard to ensure the home was healthy, comfortable and energy efficient. So the aim was for a real regenerative ethos. 

The site also has lovely views in all directions! Whilst important to maximise solar gain from the north, we needed to capture the south views too! This posed a new challenge – was it possible to achieve a net-zero-carbon, off-grid Passivhaus built using bio-based materials, with south-facing glazing?!

Project Details

“This is a residential project that is at once subtle, considered, complex and gentle.”
– Jury of the Biophilic Design Awards, 2024 by Living Future Institute Australia

The design balances the integration of Passive Solar Design Principles with the site constraints and local climatic conditions – view, orientation, site slope, sun, wind and rain. It has been designed with zoning of spaces, creating a flexibility of use with one wing of the house occupied by its permanent residents whilst the second wing can adapt to fulfill the needs of visiting family and friends when required.

VIEW this project on the International Passivhaus Database HERE.

Project Information
Country: Taungurung

Location: Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria

Project type: Residential – New Home

Size: 200 m2 (171 m2 TFA)


Some of the benefits/credentials that you won’t see in a photo:

  • True Zero Carbon Home
  • All-electric home (no gas!)
  • Self-sufficient with Solar PV
  • Passivhaus Plus standard
  • Low Operational Energy
  • Low/No heating/cooling 
  • Passive Solar Design
  • Low embodied-carbon 
  • Less construction waste
  • Healthy indoor air quality
  • A modest sized home 170m2 TFA
  • Biophilic Design
  • Non-toxic materials
  • Sustainable refuge 
  • Bushfire-resistant
  • An accessible dwelling
  • Self-sufficient with water harvesting, and wastewater disposal
  • Regenerating the land 
  • Self-sufficient with growing food too



Builder: Hedger Constructions
Strawbale SitUp panels: Huff’n’Puff
Windows: Logikhaus
Passivhaus Consultant: Alex Slater
Passivhaus Certifier: Detail Green
Photographer: Marnie Hawson


Client Quote:
“Many thanks for your wonderful efforts and those of your team to date. Your interpretation of our vision for a sustainable house has well exceeded our expectations – particularly the passivhaus concept. No doubt living in a passivhaus will have its demands and losses (like the roaring winter fire) but I think its gains are massive.”


ArchiTeam Awards Jury Quote:
“This project vividly illustrates the commitment to a set of fundamental and straightforward principles, persevering through each obstacle encountered. The resulting house offers its inhabitants an ethically responsible dwelling that is resilient and future-proof, capable of adapting to varying climatic conditions and accommodating the needs of aging in place.”



Building Designers Association of Australia (BDAA) Awards 2023: WINNER Chris Reardon Memorial Award for Sustainable Buildings 2023

Design Matters National (DMN) Awards 2023: WINNER Environmentally Sustainable Design

Design Matters National (DMN) Awards 2023: WINNER Residential Rural Design

Design Matters National (DMN) Awards 2023: WINNER New Home ($1m-$2m category)

Sustainability Awards 2023: Shortlist Single Dwelling (see all finalists)

Sustainability Awards 2023: WINNER Single Dwelling 

ArchiTeam Awards 2023: Shortlist Resi New: $1m+ (see all finalists)

ArchiTeam Awards 2023: WINNER Resi New: $1m+ 

ArchiTeam Awards 2023: WINNER Sustainability Medal

Biophilic Design Awards 2024 (Living Future Institute Australia): Shortlist Building Scale Category Finalist

Biophilic Design Awards 2024 (Living Future Institute Australia): WINNER Building Scale Category

HOUSES Awards 2024: Shortlist Sustainability



Country Style Magazine feature
International Passive Plus Magazine feature
The Design Files feature 
Grand Designs Magazine feature (pg 94)
Passive House Accelerator ‘Reimagine Buildings Magazine’ (pg 32)

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