Australia’s first bushfire resistant straw house – a Joost Bakker creation – sold by prominent bottler

The Green House – a design achievement created by notable young architect Joost Bakker and Daylesford and Hepburn Mineral Water co-founder and managing director Mitch Watson, has been sold by the bottler.

With Bakker’s trademark grassed roof, the sustainable residence is Australia’s first bushfire resistant straw house and was constructed following external cladding testing by the CSIRO. The straw bale insulation is set into a steel frame and can withstand temperatures of over 1000 degrees. The offering also includes solar hot power and hot water systems.

The three bedroom home occupies a 7.41 acre plot with numerous garden zones with sitting areas and sculptural art. About 100 fruit for-jam producing trees, including plums, have also been planted on the site.

The Green House is the latest work of Bakker, an architect who over the years has sought to champion sustainable design. Bakker’s other business interests have widened in recent years to include a florist and restaurant.

Jellis Craig’s Tom May and Terry Gibson achieved a sale price of $1.4 million for the Daylesford home, at the foothills of Victoria’s spa precinct, near the Daylesford and Hepburn Mineral Water headquarters.

Watson saw a business gap in the market on a visit to the area in 2005 when the local restaurants were predominantly stocking Italian mineral water.

“Daylesford is home to 80 per cent of the mineral water in Australia,” Mr Watson had previously told Fairfax Media. “It has a 100-year history for this and no one was bottling mineral water and I couldn’t understand why” (the answer may have been Schweppes, which purchased the Hepburn Spa brand in the 1980s, which it never used. Hepburn Spa was the third largest mineral water brand after Coke and Schweppes).

The bottling enterprise has proven a sparkling success for Watson – if the number of original Bromley works of art adorned in the home throughout the marketing campaign are anything to go by. The Green House also includes heated concrete floors and sandblasted stainless steel benchtops overlooking an open plan living and dining room with a dual-opening Cheminees Philippe fireplace.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and experienced analyst, Marc is the co-founder of