The Beachmere Project

Sustainable Living Without Compromise

1. What is “The Beachmere Project”?

The Beachmere Project is the redevelopment of a modest beach shack into a luxury, eco-friendly home. Found at the seaside location of Beachmere on the Sunshine Coast, 40 minutes north of Brisbane and 50 minutes south of Noosa, this property is blessed with the “location, location, location” tag.

“Sustainable Living without Compromise”

The Beachmere Project is a launch into sustainable design and building initiated by Sovereign Homes in 2010. Since the projects inception, it now involves significant partnerships with some of the biggest players in the construction industry. These include market leading companies such as Boral, CSR Bradford Insulation, CSR Solar, James Hardie, Bretts Hardware, Hanson Concrete, ARC Steel, Architectural Window Systems, Resene Paints, Laminex Industries, Caesar Stone, KNX Home Automation, Hyne Timbers just to name a few. These companies have made a commitment to preserving the environment with sustainable product design, development and manufacture. All demonstrate a common determination to offer ongoing improvement in eco-friendly alternatives. The Beachmere Project is set to showcase some of the most innovative advancements made in sustainable design and construction available to the residential market to date.

2. Why did Sovereign Homes initiate this Project?

In 2006-2007, the construction and demolition sector accounted for more than a third of Australia’s 43.8 million tonnes of waste. Approximately 43 per cent of construction and demolition waste (81 per cent of which is building rubble) went to landfill.

As we become more aware of the impact we as individuals have upon the environment, we must “re-think” how we live and the way in which we go about everyday life. More than ever before, the building industry is required to be accountable for the impact it has on the environment and as an industry we are challenged to offer cost effective solutions that don’t compromise luxury or quality. Sustainable practice does in fact offer positive economic outcomes that defy the commonly held belief that ‘Green’ is more expensive.
Sovereign Homes has always been proud of the innovative design solutions and market leading building practice we offer.

The Beachmere Project is an opportunity to stretch these boundaries even further. Our responsibility as a quality design and construct builder compels our company to take on another dimension, one that encompasses our commitment to the environment.

Our vision is to present a concept home that is not only cutting edge in its design and construction but will also embrace the current changes in client priorities towards more sustainable living. A “cultural shift” in the residential building industry to reduce our environmental footprint has to start somewhere!

3. How are we ensuring the project meets our vision of sustainability?

Early in the development stage, Sovereign Homes engaged a highly regarded environmentalist, a guru in the field of eco-friendly and sustainable construction. An expert in his field, John Moynihan’s recommendations have guided our concept and have ensured our project will now almost certainly achieve the highest level of recognition for sustainable design and construction that a residential property can achieve at this time. This level of excellence goes far beyond present industry building codes and legislated council expectations for residential construction. After a long and carefully considered design and construction period, Ecolateral is presently placing the property under the microscope to perform independent, rigorous assessment of the property. Director of Ecolateral, John Moynihan believes “this project will achieve accreditation at an international level, recognition few residential homes have ever achieved”.

4. Green Smart

Green Smart certification will confirm that we have realised a level of achievement in sustainability based on clearly defined parameters. Early indicators suggest that the features of this property extend far beyond the indicators measured by this certification. For this reason we are seeking accreditation via other respected assessments that will more adequately assess the level of excellence in sustainability that has been achieved.

Further to our mandate to design and construct a luxury home with a negative environmental footprint, we are seeking environmental certification which will challenge misconceptions of being able to achieve sustainability in the luxury residential market. Sovereign Homes is undertaking transparent assessments of this property that will re-define luxury sustainable development at a level many desire but few have achieved.

Further certifications we expect to undertake include;

  • PassivHaus Assessment and rigorous testing of the property to determine its energy efficiency, heating and cooling properties, and ultimately its ecological footprint. Assessment to be conducted by PassivHaus International.
  • Net Zero Energy Home Assessment of the ability to produce energy that is surplus to the property requirements. This will verify the reduction of carbon emissions of the property and its dependence on fossil fuels. This anticipated net zero home will generate renewable energy that would be returned to the power grid via solar power and wind generation.
  • Net Zero Energy Building Certification This certification will verify that the building is operating as claimed, harnessing energy from the sun and wind to exceed net annual demand. It requires actual working evidence of operation over a period of time to justify certification. Assessed by International Living Futures Institute.

To further justify our confidence in The Beachmere Project we also aim to enter the home in recognised building industry awards such as the HIA Green Smart Awards (Energy Efficiency), Premiers Sustainability Awards and Master Builders Awards.

5. How is the home being developed?

The Beachmere Project is a leap of faith taken with us by our partners in the construction industry, that together we will exceed all current expectations in sustainable residential development and construction. This project has required extensive research, cooperation and consultation over many months through the design process.

To achieve our goal, we remain committed to implementing innovative design solutions, best practice construction techniques, sustainable product selections and supplier analysis. Not only do we aim to ensure the construction process is sustainable, we require that the operation of the home will offer long term efficiency and customer savings long after we have completed construction.

Over the construction period we have and will continually review our processes and practices to ensure the most environmentally sound outcome is achieved. Equipped with leading edge market knowledge in design and building practice, we are now only a few short months away from showcasing this uncompromised, luxury development. Ecologically sympathetic, energy efficient and sustainable, it will undoubtedly set a new benchmark in the residential marketplace.

6. What factors are considered in the design and construction of thisluxury, eco-efficient home?


The optimisation of local climatic conditions to capture natural light, heating, airflow and water resources is all part of the design consideration. This collaborative process was undertaken over six months to achieve the most desirable and sustainable outcomes possible.

Throughout this process consideration was given to:

  • The incorporation of design features that reduce the negative impact of the sun, whilst also harnessing the positive energy source it provides. Features such as high performance UV rated windows, specially designed eaves, and consideration of aspect and orientation of the home that ultimately affect the efficiency of the home.
  • Eco-smart and innovative utilisation of shade, wind and airflow to assist in the passive heating and cooling.
  • Controlled management of water capture and storage.
  • Renewable energy production, storage and conservation.
  • Minimisation of any environmental impact of the development on the surrounding area.


Implementation of an environmentally sound building practice was and is a priority for Sovereign Homes. It ensures the entire demolition and construction process supports sustainability.

This includes:

  • Best practice for reuse, recycling, or reassignment of valuable building materials.
  • Waste management, with significant reduction of materials sent to land fill.
  • Managed hand demolition and stockpiling of re-useable materials.
  • Reduction of power usage and carbon emissions through implementation of considered operational procedures.
  • Efficient management of bulk deliveries and back-loading to and from site.
  • Selective use of tools and heavy machinery.
  • Movement of people and materials to and from site which include a car-pooling policy, availability of on-site accommodation, bulk delivery policy and on-site storage.
  • Effective sediment control.


Critical to our success is the incorporation of eco-friendly product selection that supports environmentally sympathetic practice. Whilst some compromise is necessary in the construction industry due to the particular qualities demanded for safe, durable construction, significant advancements have been made in light weight, load bearing products that offer the strength and longevity required.

Product choice must be best suited to the purpose, given the structural and engineering demands of the building. Alternative, innovative design solutions have been implemented to reduce the need for materials high in embodied energy, such as steel.

Product choice considered the inclusion of products that:

  • Have a better than average life span.
  • Are rated highly in performance, verified by thorough scientific testing and acknowledged by recognised governing bodies, for example products that are water rated, energy rated and have a chain of custody.
  • Are low in embodied energy where possible.
  • Contain low or no VOCs. (Volatile Organic Compounds)
  • Are light weight to reduce the need for heavy machinery.
  • Have low long term negative environmental impact.
  • Are durable
  • Are recyclable
  • Offer advanced innovative design features and technology that support conservation of natural resources.


The suppliers chosen to showcase their product in this home are not only required to demonstrate proactive development of eco-friendly product, but are also required to produce their products in an environmentally sound way. We have chosen:

  • Suppliers who accept returns or have an acceptable recycling policy for product off-cuts and packaging.
  • Local suppliers where possible to minimise the transport requirements of readily available products.
  • A supplier with a delivery system which is endorsed as the best environmental option.


The design of The Beachmere Project will take ongoing advantage of the natural resources available to it, harnessing sunlight, and wind energy that will support its operation and minimise its impact on the environment. “Net zero energy efficiency” will provide long-term cost effective operation for the occupants of the property through power generation and water conservation. In addition, many other features will offer luxury, look, feel and desirable low maintenance liveability.

  • Air quality will be optimised by the selective use of products that produce low or no volatile organic compounds. The use of non-toxic adhesives and products that are proven to minimise the risk of irritation or allergic reactions are preferred for selective inclusion.
  • Optimisation of innovative “passive” heating and cooling of the home will ensure cost effective comfort and a sound environmental alternative to expensive, environmentally harmful air-conditioning.
  • The automated control of the energy demands of the home including security, lighting, ventilation, heating and cooling, water supply, appliances, doors, fans and blinds and the clever shut-down of non-essential services during periods of partial or no occupancy will further enhance the liveability of the home.

7. Completion

The construction of this concept home was completed in 2014 which coincided with the launch of The Beachmere Project website aimed at sharing our story of sustainable luxury residential development with others.

For more information about “The Beachmere Project”  contact John Firrell

Sovereign Homes | 120 Sexton St Tarragindi | Ph: 07 3255 8855