Sky High Renders have just finished work on the most passive home in Australia. That's great, but what the hell does passive mean???

Passive refers to a homes natural control of temperature and external forces. Lee and Sonya, the humble owners of this magnificent home, now have a home that sits at a steady 21degrees all year round. And believe me,  it does not come easily. 

Here is a list of what they have done to achieve their Eco masterpiece.

Sealed and pressure tested the home. It is the most air tight home in Australia. The European standard rating is 2-3. Australian homes average out at 20. This home came in at 0.4. Amazing. 

This means that warm or cold air cannot make it into the home and the resulting effect is a cool, consistent home. 

Heavily insulated walls and ceilings . Rock wool insulation. 

Double pane glass from Germany. 

Low VOC walls from us! That means there are far less chemicals in the walls and the is healthier. In the case of the Tadelakt bathrooms there are no chemicals and the walls actually absorb co2.  

Water tanks, grey water reuse to a vegetable garden, solar panels. 

North facing.

Single room extrusion. This means that there is a bare minimum of west and east facing walls which absorb direct heat, hence a cooler home. 

LED lights from Italy throughout. 

The home is partially built underground to naturally insulate it. 

The list goes on. The home has been rated at 9.6 stars and is rising. Below are some great images of the project. It was a very enjoyable experience to be part of.  

As a final touch, the home is designed to look like a leaf laying on the ground. As an architecture student, I love this. This home strikes a perfect balance between aesthetic and consideration of the topography it sits within. 





super insulated and air tight curved ceilings. 


the family banding together to get it done! 


the master bedroom and ensuite are designed around the view and natural light. 


door frames are replaced with hinges doors straight to our polished walls. 


even the neighbours are interested. 



partial underground build. 



this is the backyard. beautiful.  


Matt is a solid wall plasterer turned Architecture student and has 15 years in the game. His background saw a lot of hard wall plaster, cement glassface and other polished plasters. Matt's enthusiasm lies in design and he feels that polished plaster, in general, needs a total over haul. 

" This industry is born from an ageing population. A lot of the polished plasters come from Italy and a lot of the applicators are just that, old Europeans. I too am Italian so i totally understand it, haha.  These guys are guns dont get me wrong, but the time has come for a company with some real understanding of design to present these finishes in a modern format. I like to think we could, one day, be the leaders in that". 

Matt and Chris have been friends for a long time and share a passion for creating new finishes. 

"Thats what we do when we catch up. We lay out a whole bench full of sample boards and literally create new finishes. A lot of them haven't made it into our range for good purpose. We did want to confuse the customer with too many options. But they are there, and that is the exciting part. We always have a new thing to look forward too. Gone are the days of regular rendering for money. This isnt about that. Its about doing what we love, its about creating something that leaves a mark on peoples lives, and I think that has longevity". 



The team is flying to Adelaide in Feb to take on a major job. We are Cement Glassfacing 500 m2 of internal walls and Tadelakting 3 Bathroooms. 

The partially underground home is an Architectural and Ecological masterpiece. We will be posting photos and shooting some video whilst there. Stay tuned for more!


Co founder Chris Walker is the Melbourne based half of Sky High Renders! Chris has 15 years in polished finishes. He was at the forefront of Tadelakt use in Australia for many years before he and Matt  joined forces in Melbourne. After the success of the Block Sky High the boys relaunched their business with a new focus and direction and have positioned themselves as one of the leaders in the Industry. The directions for the future are immense. Sky High plan to cross boundaries with other industries such as interior design. 


Our goal is to provide a base for creative use of polished plasters. We differ in our knowledge of design and inventive methods of application. Stay tuned in 2014 for heaps of projects on and off the TV!