“Coming Home” to Pullenvale After 20 Long Years

An unexpected client enquiry invited Sustainable® CEO Brett McKenzie to walk back in time to reflect on one of our finest Custom Design homes, located in idyllic Pullenvale. 

Some weeks ago, Sustainable® received quite a unique enquiry relating to a Sustainable® Custom-built Home from almost 20 years ago. Brett explains it as if he was returning to meet a distant family member.

For me, it was like coming home. It was just amazing to walk into the space and go, WOW! It was, and still is, at the edge of passive design and timeless space. Uplifting Architecture never loses its Spirit.

Brett McKenzie (CEO)

The home was recently purchased by a wonderful family who approached Sustainable® throughout the month of August. Inspired by the property and the home’s obvious design credentials and distinguished detail, the owners wanted to maintain the unique structure of the existing building. Therefore, they sought out the Sustainable® Team (the original design and construction team who created the home) to gain valuable advice and engage with the Sustainable® process for their proposed Retrofitting and minor maintenance project journey. 

It is a very functional and spacious house, and we were keen to maintain those attributes. Also, when we upgrade the home we want it to remain true to its roots, so we chose future work to be done by the company that originally built the house, to retain the same quality craftsmanship and to operate and to prepare it to meet our needs over the next 20 years.

R. Wilson

We wanted to retain the principles that guided the original build. The building has unique features that we enjoy but the previous owners has a different lifestyle and family dynamic. The flow and open spaces are multifunctional so it can be adapted to meet our needs while retaining the eco-friendly design and features. For example, converting water feature into additional deck space enhances the outdoor living. Sustainable Retrofit design and concepts fit well with what we want to accomplish.

B. Wilson

The Sustainable Needs & Site Analysis® meeting allowed Brett to reflect on a home that helped build Sustainable’s early foundations, specifically reflecting on the importance of the initial Planning & Design process.

Brett shares that the creation of this timeless Architecture has always been about sensitive design, with total respect of and inspiration from the chosen site. Dovetailing Sustainable® lifecycle modelling specific to a targeted demographic, together with the guidelines of the specific site location, orientation, elements, vistas and characteristics, is essential to the process. This procedure allows the Architecture, during its subsequent life, to be easily adapted if required because the purpose of use was so accurately targeted in the Planning & Design phase, some 20 years ago. Brett describes the Sustainable® Home Design & Construct, if adopted and followed with commitment, as “Bullet Proof”. 

Consequently, the superficial — “I am not sure about that colour, I want to change that window to a door, we want the light layout and patterns adapted, we want to extend the deck, etc.” — does not matter, because it simply does not require major interactions. It is essentially only a taste; a personal interpretation of an existing space and adapting needs. 

With over 39 years of industry experience, Brett explains that the key to any Home Design & Construct is to be able to capture lifecycle sustainability — i.e., the personality, the purpose and the targeted demographic occupant age variations, migrations and further needs — even when resale is a factor. 

Sustainable’s earlier Custom Design homes, such as this beautiful home, set the foundational inspiration and projection of Sustainable’s 25+ year success. It is quite a rare experience to be able to go back to those early beginnings and reconnect with the essence of Sustainable’s purpose. 

It was a real delight to have that architecture reinvigorate and deliver that inspiration, said Brett.

As I knew it would be, it was inspiring, and you get that every time. So whether it was when we first built it or in the next 20 years, when you walk in that front door you get presented with the Architecture. You know it’s special, you know it’s timeless, you know you’re in for an experience, and it continually delivers right out to the Grand Finale of the back deck as you look out to the blue silhouette of the magnificent Border Range Mountains. It’s just amazing. And that is still there even 20 years on. Still living and breathing as truly Sustainable Homes do.

For me, it was really inspiring to be able to do that. How fantastic to have such a respectful and loving family acquire and be custodians of the home now. They are sensational people of great integrity, so fitting to have the home regifting to a wonderful family.

Sustainable “Bringing the Built Environment to Life”

If the built form is not inspiring and of strong character, if the space is not living and breathing, the occupants’ life will most certainly be a direct reflection of that space.

Brett McKenzie (CEO)

Farewell Ann-Maree!

Brett McKenzie (CEO) with Ann-Maree Harris, our now former Office & Accounts Administrator of 7 loyal years. 

Today we farewell our Office & Accounts Administrator, Ann-Maree, after her 7 loyal and supportive years. Ann-Maree has been a part of the Sustainable Team since 2014; deciding to move on with the next journey of her life. 

Ann-Maree’s loyalty & support over the many and quite challenging years is greatly appreciated. The Sustainable Team and I wish her the very best as she moves forward into another chapter.

— Brett McKenzie | CEO

Our Sustainable Team will miss her “motherly” presence amongst the office space. We wish you well, Ann-Maree!

Sustainable LATEST NEWS — 20 May, 2021

Get a taste of Sustainable’s latest and most exciting news updates NOW!

As part of our first edition, we have provided our readers with a quick and interesting read on our latest news updates. Edition 1 delves into:

  • Sustainable’s exciting new major partnership with Warwick Horse Trials,
  • Brett McKenzie’s appearance on the emerging environmental podcast — PROTECT, and
  • Tobias Volbert’s truthful report on The Kingfisher’s passive performance.

Be sure not to miss out on Sustainable’s LATEST NEWS. Check this space for more updates soon.

PROTECT x Sustainable Podcast Episode

“Building Sustainable Communities”

PROTECT Podcast, Episode 6, S2 – “Building Sustainable Communities”

Host: Angela Fedele | Guest Speaker: Brett McKenzie (Sustainable CEO)

Sustainable CEO, Brett McKenzie, presented as a guest speaker on the PROTECT Podcast, hosted by Angela Fedele.

The PROTECT Podcast is an “environmental podcast” created and hosted by Melbourne-based journalist, Angela Fedele. Angela’s podcast explores relevant social topics relating to sustainability and protecting the environment. PROTECT Podcast can be reached by a variety of platforms, including: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast Radio, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Castbox, etc. Learn more.

“Building Sustainable Communities” briefly explains the importance of engaging sustainable principles within residential design processes. Angela and Brett’s discussion only lightly touches the depths of understanding sustainability and its benefits from a design, performance and community point of view. This podcast episode outlines the relevance of sustainability within the building industry across Australia, with particular focus on creating future developments that reflect truly sustainable communities.

Sustainable communities, a conversation we hope to hear more of and discuss further in the near future, encapsulates an understanding of the importance of applying basic sustainable principles and long-term thinking to the design process to ensure truly sustainable living.

A spare 45 minutes might change your perspective on sustainable housing developments. “Building Sustainable Communities” – a podcast discussion with Sustainable CEO, Brett McKenzie, and host Angela Fedele.

What an incredible discussion to be a part of. Thank you Angela. The Sustainable Team is celebrating!


PROTECT Podcast x Sustainable

Sustainable’s CEO, Brett McKenzie, was invited as a guest speaker on the PROTECT Podcast, hosted by Angela Fidele.

PROTECT Podcast Episode 6, S2 – “Building Sustainable Communities”

The PROTECT Podcast is an “environmental podcast” investigating relevant stories that relate to protecting the environment and all things sustainability. Learn more.

Angela and Brett’s discussion only lightly touches the depths of relevant conversation relating to sustainability and residential design. This podcast episode briefly explains the importance of sustainability in moving forward with our company towards building truly sustainable communities. This, a conversation we hope to hear more of and discuss further in the near future, encapsulates the importance of basic steps and thought processes to consider in home and building designs.

If you have a spare 45 minutes, this episode captures the fundamental concepts and principles behind understanding the build process of sustainable communities. It can be reached by a variety of platforms, including: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast Radio, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Castbox, etc.

What an incredible discussion to be a part of. Thank you Angela. The Sustainable Team is celebrating!


Sustainable Warwick Horse Trials

Sustainable is proud to announce that we have entered a long-term major partnership agreement with the Equestrian Sporting Club – Warwick Horse Trials (WHT, Morgan Park).

It is our passion for excellence and attention to detail that places our company among the frontrunners of sustainable design and construction, both locally and nationally. Sustainable achieves this by our commitment to long term visions, pushing boundaries beyond our clients’ expectations.

Our sights are always set on future proof and timeless developments.

“…what is often seen as impossible, we see as possible.” – Brett McKenzie | CEO

To many, it is no surprise that Queensland is well behind in providing particular high level sporting facilities and opportunities for emerging athletes and individuals to excel in their sport of choice. This is especially so in the equestrian field. Our commitment to Warwick Horse Trials, Morgan Park is to share our expertise with a focus on long-term planning and development of a world class equestrian precinct to provide those critical opportunities for emerging QLD athletes to excel to the highest level in their own back yard.

Over the last 18 months we have extensively conducted a total site plotting exercise to enable a comprehensive strategic Sustainable® Master Plan for the development of an exceptional and world class multidiscipline equestrian centre.

The Sustainable Team is excited to share our knowledge and vision in partnership with the Warwick Horse Trials Committee to “Have A Crack”, dream big and get our hands dirty in the support of our valued athletes.

More information will be released in the next upcoming months.


Brett and our Sustainable Team finished building Tobias Volbert and his family’s Award Winning dream home, the Kingfisher, in 2017. Now, 3 years on, Tobias shares his story of living in their sustainable Kingfisher Home.

Wow! 3 years ago we moved into our sustainable Kingfisher Home...it still feels like a dream! We've experienced now 3 summers and 3 winters and can truly say that the Kingfisher performs without air conditioning and heating. 

It’s incredible how the house works for us as a family.

Tobias Volbert
Even on the warmest summers days we get a breeze and the kids often call it "The Wind House" - a testament that the cross ventilation works to perfection! The amazing and innovative insulation process with the thermal chimney wall system, does its trick. It provides a house that stays cool in the summer months and passively heats during the winter, holding the heat coming from the thermal mass of the sleeping area of the house.
We also love our electricity bill that comes in under $100 per year, and our water bill is keeping at the minimum as the tanks (25,000 L) have never been empty so far. 

It's incredible how the house works for us as a family and Brett was so right by explaining the importance of volume vs. m2 as well as ensuring that home spaces are multi-usable and flexible. The entire property has now different rooms inside and outside to engage, find refuge, entertain or reflect. It just works superbly!

Also, how fast did our forest grow?! Unbelievable that now we sit on our deck and look into a proper forest just after 3-4 years. And the wildlife we are attracting...so good! 

Brett and the Sustainable Team, once again, thanks for making our dream come true!!”

                                                                                         - Tobias Volbert, 2020 
Watch The Kingfisher Video below!

Sustainable’s Retrofit, Deconstruction & Recycling Process


At our current retrofit project, we have designed around and over an existing footprint to short circuit lengthy and often very costly local authority approval processes. Throughout these retrofit journeys with our clients, we undertake a design… Click here to read more.

Sustainable by name, sustainable by nature.

Sustainable: 25 Year Milestone Celebration

Sustainable Pty Ltd. is featured in The Community Chronicle celebrating our 25 Year Milestone. (Click the image above to read)

Celebration time this Monday for the Sustainable Team!

This morning we came in to work to receive our 25 Year Milestone feature in The Community Chronicle. This year, Sustainable is celebrating 25 years within the building and construction industry. We are so excited that we get to share our story with our local community!

Share in our celebration by joining us for the rest of this year. Keep up to date with our latest and greatest stories via our social media platforms – Instagram, LinkedIn & Facebook. Also, don’t forget to check our website space for more exciting Sustainable news.

To read the full article, simply click the image above.

Celebrating 25 Years of Custom Homes

Wow…25 Years! Time to CELEBRATE!

Stay tuned this August to dive into our archives and reminisce on our most accomplished sustainable Custom Homes.

So to kick start the celebration, check out our latest video by simply clicking the image above OR the link here: https://youtu.be/aJgeQoreY5s

Phone: (07) 3201 1177