Sitting peacefully in an open field, this off-grid sustainable home captures the views without compromising on environmental performance.

Located at Franklinford in Victoria’s Central Highlands, this four-bedroom modular home is shared between two families, providing a gathering place for the extended family and a place to relax and relish the joys of rural life.

Taking its cues from agricultural buildings in the surrounding farmland, this sustainable house is predominantly clad in Colorbond with accents of Vitrabond. Yet upon approach it’s the radially sawn timber board and batten-clad form that commands attention. This beautifully textured façade conceals the calm rural retreat, while the long form provides a sense of enclosure and privacy.

Internally, a light material palette makes for a crisp and spacious prefabricated home. Rooms are washed in white, pairing with a marble-effect Caesarstone benchtop and white laminate joinery, creating a beautiful contrast against the dark oak timber floors.

The large living wing, separated from the private bedroom wing, is the focal point of the house. Living and entertaining spills outdoors thanks to expansive floor-to-ceiling glazing that opens up to a north-facing, sun-drenched deck. Views of the surrounding paddocks and creek are captured the moment you walk in the front door. The window itself becomes an ideal space to put your feet up and relax. Being a rural property, a mudroom laundry with external access was a must – with a seat included in the joinery brief to allow dirty boots to be easily taken off before heading indoors.

This prefab house is completely off-grid with all services systems designed to not compromise on the clients’ lifestyle. A nearby shed hosts the solar panel and storage system and a large 80,000L water tank is in use.

As with all Modscape modular homes, structural insulated panels (SIPs) have been incorporated to create a highly-insulated shell. The house has been oriented to capture the sunlight in winter, particularly in the large living area where the families spend the majority of their time, and carefully considered eaves, together with thermally broken, low-e double-glazed windows minimise solar heat gain in summer.

Project Specifications

Radial timber board and batten cladding with Colorbond Ribbon Strip (Monument) and Vitrabond (Matt Black) cladding, Black powder-coated frame and thermally broken, low-e double-glazed windows, European oak flooring, Laminex joinery to kitchen and robes (Parchment), Stainless steel benchtop and Caesarstone benchtop to island (Statuario Nuvo), LPG Euromaid rangehood and cooktop oven, Abey undermount sink and kitchen mixer, Lockwood door hardware throughout, Solar panel and storage system, 80,000L water tank, Septic tank and treatment system, Heatmaster open wood fireplace, Daikin split systems


Location: Franklinford, VIC

Status: Completed 2017

Photography: John Madden

Featured: Arch Daily, Hunting For George, Dwell Magazine