When likeminded creatives with big ideas get together, amazing things can happen. That’s been the case with builder, Dave Martin, and social entrepreneur, Danny Almagor, who have joined forces to create The Sociable Weaver – an innovative new home design and build company, which has just completed Australia’s first 10 star rated, carbon positive and zero waste home in Cape Paterson.
The pair originally met through working on a unique eco village development at ‘The Cape’ development in Cape Paterson. ‘We just started talking – a bit about philosophy, the building industry, what needs to happen, and what we hope can happen in the next 5,10, 20, 50, 100 years.’ explains Dave. ‘We are very likeminded in terms of our values, and the outcomes that we are trying to achieve. We also have three children around the same ages – we got on like a house on fire!’
It wasn’t long before these two blue-sky-thinkers came up with a project they hope might change the way we design and build homes in Australia.
They set out to create a beautiful, architecturally designed home with unprecedented energy efficiency and a zero waste philosophy, built entirely using non-toxic materials – from the building materials right through to the sheets on the bed. Designed in collaboration with Clare Cousins Architects, this home is also a truly beautiful space to be in – and that’s incredibly important. ’Because creating beauty that is timeless and blends with the environment/landscape means that it won’t be knocked down and replaced in 10 years’ explains Dave.
However, the building itself is only half the story. The whole project is about inspiring the future inhabitants to take this home to its full potential, utilising things like sustainable cleaning products, textiles and furnishings. As such, the display home has been furnished and decorated using products which meet its creators’ stringent requirements.
‘I think, the idea of a particular place holding an energy for us as inhabitants is profound. You walk into a space and it can elevate you, it can create and facilitate optimism, open mindset, positivity, creativity, and on the other hand it can also dull all of those things.’ – Danny Almagor.
‘We are looking at a new way to live, simply and beautifully’ Dave concludes. ‘That is our whole philosophy, rather than just build a home, it’s really the whole box and dice.’
And if, like me, you’re wondering where a name like ‘The Sociable Weaver’ comes from… there’s an inspiring answer, of course.
‘It is a particular bird, a beautiful little bird in Africa’ Danny explains. ‘It builds a nest that is so wonderful and profound. The nest is a community, the birds build it together and they add on to it, almost like an apartment building, hundreds of birds in one nest, and these last for over a 100 years. Generation upon generations of these birds live within the nest, and the nest itself lives symbiotically with the tree, as the tree grows.’
‘It’s a mouth full and maybe a hard name to push, but it’s our total inspiration!’ Dave says!
Next up for The Sociable Weaver, another display home at the Mullum Mullum Creek eco village in Donvale (Melbourne), and future beautiful, sustainable homes in the northern rivers region and Byron Bay area – watch this space!