Retrofit Houses

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Sustainable Retrofits by Remote Locations…Your total sustainable house designs and constructs solution for your entire property…

  • Provide future net worth to your property
  • Create sensible and sustainable wealth in inner city infill properties
  • Secure your future investment and reduce your ongoing expenses (water and energy). You can also reduce your greenhouse and carbon emissions.
  • Improve the lifestyle of your family
  • Flexible plan implemented in stages to suit your budget
  • Sustainable principles to Retrofit a house can bring a building to life. Sustainable can Retrofit an existing home to make it more liveable, enjoyable and importantly sustainable. We work with the environment to create a cool, bright and energy efficient place to live.
  • Large Retrofits will see a home charged with light, energy and life, whilst also maximising the flow of natural breezes.
  • Small Retrofits will make a difference (Eg: light bulb replacement, showerhead and tap selection).
  • People no longer choose to dwell in ‘dead’ buildings, instead the home becomes a breathing environment, at one with the natural surroundings.

Our term for Retrofit is slightly different from others. We don’t use the term ‘renovate’ as we don’t just add on a deck or a room without first looking at your existing home. We want your entire home to be effective and sustainable for the future, not just a small room that you add on.

We begin by conducting a full audit of your existing home to analyse the environmental conditions of your existing home and maximising key sustainability factors such as cross ventilation, views, daylight etc that may effect the house designs.

Hence we use our term ‘Retrofit’ which means a sustainable solution for your entire home. The focus of the SUSTAINABLE by Remote Locations Retrofit is to view the property on a total scale to develop a total sustainable solution to give comfort to future net worth with a relevantly designed outcome, minimising fragmented expenses on reactive renovations.


Sustainable by Remote Locations house designs and construct throughout:

  • Brisbane
  • Gold Coast
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Southern Downs QLD
  • Toowoomba
  • North Coast NSW

Where we design only (not construct):

  • Australia wide
  • Internationally

Your site

We can build on many different retrofit site types including:

  • Remote/difficult sites of all sizes/shapes and contours
  • Flat or steep slopes (we do both slab on ground and houses raised up on steel posts)
  • Urban development projects
  • Small Lots, Large Lots or Acreage
  • Locations were trades people are scarce
  • Projects with budget limitations
  • Projects with time pressures
  • Site where access to amenities is limited


Living Sustainable saves you money!

Our superb Sustainable by Remote Locations house designs incorporate principles of sustainability within our designs to address both your current and future needs. We focus on lifetime solutions and look at the 25 year life cycle of your house and savings to guarantee the certainty of your lifestyle and the certainty of a realistic fixed budget.

This means dollars back in your pocket long term!

Our homes are sustainable and energy efficient because they all take into account our proven Sustainability Principles for over 30 years of:

  • Passive design
  • Energy efficiency
  • Solar orientation
  • Passive ventilation
  • Site management
  • Water and storm water management
  • Integrated Landscaping Design
  • Built form issues
  • Views & vistas
  • Challenges versus commercial outcomes and opportunities.
  • Life Cycle Assessment of building, product and material choices to manage your Ongoing Resource Management & Costs after your home is constructed.


Sustainabe by Remote Locations Design Process

  • 1. We begin by conducting a FULL AUDIT of your existing home to analyse the environmental conditions of your existing home and maximising key sustainability factors such as cross ventilation, views, daylight etc.
  • 2. Your design challenges are identified that are currently present within the existing home.
  • 3. You are presented with responses that provide solutions. These responses enable you to:
    • Minimise your future individual requirements for energy and precious resources such as water
    • Automatically reduce your ongoing expenses
    • Most importantly reduce your green house and carbon emissions.


There are various design stages for each project. We discuss these Design Stages with you to make sure we tailor a package that suits your requirements.

Dependent upon your project type, this will determine which of the following stages you require. For instance a smaller retrofit/renovation, may only require Design Stages 1 & 3. For a larger retrofit, this would require all the following Design Stages:

  • Design Stage 1 – Needs & Site Analysis
  • Design Stage 2 –Concept Design
  • Design Stage 3 – Schematic Design
  • Design Stage 4 –Working Drawings


Sustainable by Remote Locations have been in the design and construction industry for over 30 years both locally and internationally. The Housing Industry Association (HIA) which is Australia‘s largest residential building organisation and the voice of Australia‘s home building industry has awarded Sustainable with over 60 Australian housing awards.

Our retrofit house designs have been highly award winning. Some of our awards for our retrofit houses include the following:

  • HIA Housing Industry Association Awards (Queensland & Australia wide)
    • 2011 – HIA Silver Queensland Renovation/ Addition Project of the Year (Oxley House)
  • HIA Housing Industry Association Awards (Brisbane/Toowoomba/Gold Coast)
  • 2011 – HIA Winner Brisbane/ Toowoomba Renovation/ Addition of the Year up to $300,000 (Oxley House)
  • Queensland Master Builders’ Association Awards
    • 1999 – QMBA Refurbishment/Renovation up to $2 million

For a full list of our awards, please see our awards page

Construction Process

One of the benefits of selecting Sustainable by Remote Locations is that we project manage the entire design and build process, including liaising with and obtaining all other information from external consultants.

The main consultants/services you need are:

  • Surveyor for a survey and contours plan of your site
  • Soils Test
  • Structural Engineer
  • Building Certifier for building approval

Other consultants and services that you may also need, that we project manage for you are:

  • City Councils ie Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Southern Downs City Councils etc.
  • Town Planners for Development Approvals
  • Accoustic Engineer
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Arborist
  • Bushfire Consultant


An retrofit house is customised to your lifestyle and requirements. We will be able to advise on design and construction timing once we know more about your individual requirements.

Other consultants will be required throughout the design process. Below is in indicative outline of timings:

  • Structural Engineer: approximately 3-4 weeks
  • Building Certifier: approximately 3-4 weeks
  • Development Approval: (only if your site requires a Development Application to be lodged through City Councils) – minimum 3 months

Please note that all timeframes are subject to design, construction, materials, site constraints, site location, soil type, client input and level of finish required.


Each retrofit is different depending on the size of the project. Below is an indication of costs for different types of renovations and gives an indication of the types of construction costs for projects we engage in:

  • Small Retrofit House = $100k – $300k
  • Medium Retrofit House = $300k – $500k
  • Large Retrofit House = $500k – above

Phone: (07) 3201 1177