5×4 Hayes Lane Project, one of Kevin’s Favourites

Posted on: April 23rd, 2017 by Barley Store


Over 60 diverse builds later, which homes did UK host Kevin McCloud pick as the best of the best?

The top 10

Open House Melbourne 2016 – 5×4 makes the list

Posted on: July 5th, 2016 by Barley Store


The 5×4 House will be part of the Open House Melbourne Event in 2016.

OHM 2016

This will be your chance to walk through the house and feel what it is like filling a 5×4 metre space, the design, storage, features and the outlook.

30th & 31st July2016

Saturday 1pm-4pm,
Sunday 1pm-4pm
Tours at 1pm, 1:20, 1:40, 2, 2:20, 2:40, 3, 3:20, and 3:40pm – Booking required

Bookings open Monday 18 July 8:30am until booked out.
For tickets visit: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/5×4-hayes-lane-project-tickets-26262774666

Interiors Addict’s, Amy Collins Walker speaks with Ralph Alphonso about 5×4 and Open House Melbourne 2016.

Posted on: July 3rd, 2016 by Barley Store

“Just 20 square metres…” read Amy Collins Walkers article on 5×4 and Open House Melbourne 2016.




A little mention in The Age from Katie Cincotta

Posted on: December 1st, 2015 by Barley Store

The arrival of home storage batteries in Australia is likely to make renewable energy a more attractive proposition for householders, writes Katie Cincotta.


Tony Abbott loved coal, said it was ‘‘good for humanity’’ . After Malcolm Turnbull dethroned him, the new Prime Minister declared disruption technology to be the way forward, ‘‘if we are agile and smart enough to take advantage of it’’ . (more…)

Bioregional and the 5×4 Project

Posted on: November 17th, 2015 by Barley Store

Recently our friends at Bioregional wrote a piece as a case study on the 5×4 building, as it is the first time that their One Planet Living principles have been applied to a singular residential building.
To read the article and see more about the great work coming out of Bioregional, click below.


Finally, some photos!

Posted on: November 17th, 2015 by Barley Store

It’s been a long time coming, but finally we have some photos to release. The 5×4 Project building scrubs up very nicely, lighting up in the foreground in a city-scape at night, and absorbing plenty of solar rays during the day.

The Fifth Estate

Posted on: November 11th, 2015 by Barley Store

Willow Aliento, from The Fifth Estate, has written a follow-up case study on the 5×4 Project, providing a conclusion to the initial write-up by Cameron Jewell back in May 2013.

The Fifth Estate is one of Australia’s leading online newspapers in the sustainable built environment, providing free online journalism to all.
Please have a read, and check out the initial case study (the link’s in the article) as a reminder of the Project’s conception more than 2 years ago!


Airing the Grand Designs episode

Posted on: November 7th, 2015 by Barley Store

With the Grand Designs episode due to air, we invited all the Project Partners to come and celebrate the completed 5×4 Project construction.
For many it was the first time they had seen the building in its completed form, and the 5×4 Building certainly put on a show! The episode was played on the front façade of the building, while people stood and took in the building showcasing its own construction.

Special thanks to Enphase Energy, Melbourne Cranes, Just Stairs and Paahammer Windows for their donations, The Little Mushroom Co. for their tasty mushroom/halloumi burgers, Temple Brewery for their beverage contribution, and Dan Murphy’s for their advice and service.

5×4 Hayes Lane Project airing on Foxtel, Lifestyle Channel – 106

Posted on: October 29th, 2015 by Barley Store

Why so quiet??? What have we been doing?

Securing the final piece

Securing the final piece


You can find out…
Just Head to Grand Designs Australia.  



Grand Designs Series 6 First Look!

Posted on: October 28th, 2015 by Barley Store


GD Sneak Peek First

Grand Designs have released a Initial Sneak Peak of their 6th season – and the 5×4 Hayes Lane Project is the main feature! Ralph even gets a few words in there as well!
Head to our Facebook Page to see the short video…

One Step Off The Grid

Posted on: October 14th, 2015 by Barley Store

Ralph recently had an interview with Giles Parkinson, from One Step Off The Grid, about the 5×4 Hayes Lane Project and his zero carbon lifestyle.
Please click on the picture below to read the full article, or head to their website: onestepoffthegrid.com.au

Click Here to read the full article!

^Click Here to read the full article!

PrefabAUS 2015 Conference

Posted on: September 2nd, 2015 by Barley Store

Ralph has been asked to speak at the PrefabAUS 2015 Conference in September!
He will present the 5×4 Hayes Lane Project as an example of sustainable prefabrication in small urban construction.
Click on the image below to see their website and the extensive list of speakers.

PrefabAUS conference2015

5×4 gets picked up by a T.V show!

Posted on: December 1st, 2014 by Barley Store

5×4 has had the very exciting news of being picked up by a T.V Show. While we can’t yet confirm the details, the program has chosen 5×4 for its unique, innovative design and will follow the build of the house.
The program is set to air in the second half of 2015, so keep your eyes and ears open!

5×4 Presented at World Sustainability Conference Barcelona

Posted on: November 27th, 2014 by Barley Store

Our humble 5×4 Project has developed more global momentum this week after being presented at the World Sustainability Conference (WSC) in Barcelona. A case study on the project by R.H. Crawford and T. Hollingsbee was presented, which assessed the Embodied Energy of our building, and how we have optimised its energy performance. The Embodied Energy is the consumption of energy over the lifespan of the building, including construction, materials manufacturing, and of course recurring energy costs – such as appliances etc.
The case study and resulting presentation looked at measures that the 5×4 project had taken to substantially lower the embodied energy of the building, and using environmentally friendly materials and appliances, building consciously for minimum energy consumption, and finally generating green electricity through solar power to cover the remaining energy costs.

Click here to download the complete paper, or visit the WSC website for more about their sustainable ambitions and their next conference in 2017.


5×4 Features in The Age

Posted on: November 25th, 2014 by Barley Store


Age Article

5×4 was the topic of discussion today in an article on how timber frames and structures are the way of the future.
Philip Hopkins wrote about timber’s Eco nature when compared to steel and concrete, and the ease of new-age prefabrication.
Read the article on The Age website!

5×4 Partnering with ASKO Appliances

Posted on: July 17th, 2014 by Barley Store


5×4 Hayes Lane Project & ASKO Appliances partner on the project to prove high quality can mean low energy!

The motivation for the 5×4 Hayes Lane Project is to construct a dwelling utilizing a small footprint of land. The space is to be liveable, functional and aesthetically grounded in a contemporary design. The engineering and materials in this project should be celebrated and on show. Living sustainably should not mean compromising on quality and The 5×4 Project aims to challenge such existing perceptions and encourage us all to embrace greener living.
Bringing together various specialists in their respective fields to contribute to the success of achieving these goals, 5×4 reaches out to ASKO, partnering to explore their high quality technology that employs lower levels of consumable energy.

 Click below to read the full article and discover more of ASKO’s innovate technologies:


ASKO project 5x4 page


5×4 Milestone – Receiving the Building Permit

Posted on: June 19th, 2014 by Barley Store

Today marks a major milestone in the 5×4 Hayes Lane Project: the reception of the signed and approved Architectural Plans from the building surveyor. This exciting events propels the 5×4 Project onward into the building phase – FULL STEAM AHEAD!


Coming up next= Demolition of the shed and the existing concrete and laying the groundworks for the Geothermal Heating.

5×4 Hayes Lane features in WellBeing Magazine, May 2014

Posted on: May 1st, 2014 by Barley Store


WellBeing Mazagine May/June Issue #105 – “Less Space, More Living”

With the ever increasing wave of interest in ‘Smaller Living,’ WellBeing Magazine engages with a series of projects striving for a sustainable lifestyle and connecting with their environment on a personal level. Questioning both the integrity and the practicality of downsizing, WellBeing writer Jo Hegerty, challenges our sizist natures and asks Ralph Alphonso whether less can in fact be more.


Click on the image below to download the full article:

WellBeing Magazine: Less Space More Home

Australian Geographic: Innovative Australians

Posted on: March 4th, 2014 by Barley Store

Innovative Australians: Ralph Alphonso

BY Fiona MacDonald

Ralph Alphonso is showing that individuals can reduce their impact in a big way, with some planning and commitment.

On a 4 x 5m Plot down an East Melbourne laneway, Australian Geographic photographer Ralph Alphonso is attempting to build a liveable apartment on a leftover slab of land.

“I was going to build a garage or an extra room but I live here by myself and I thought, ‘Do I really need this space?'” he explains from his current living room, which has twice the floor area of his soon-to-be-built home.

When he looked for examples of carbon-neutral buildings for inspiration, he struggled to find one locally that looked at the whole picture – including where products originated from and -lifestyle.

“I found it frustrating. A lot of architects were talking about what could be done, but I wanted to actually do it. Waiting for someone else to go first isn’t my thing,” he says, with a smile.

read more…

Ecolibrium Article: A window into the 5×4 Project

Posted on: March 1st, 2014 by Barley Store

A hidden back alley in East Melbourne will be home to an intriguing initiative. This project is named after the physical
constraints imposed by the site: a plot measuring 5m by 4m. Nestled between existing buildings, a prefabricated residential dwelling to house two people will rise three stories from the plot.

The design approach minimises the building’s life-cycle energy demand through innovative systems, materials and construction techniques

It will be an example of how to build and live in a small space. It’s an approach that is familiar in urban populations with high densities, such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, and interestingly, Warsaw, where architect Jakub Szczesny claims to have built the world’s narrowest house, which is 122cm at its widest point.

Such an approach will inevitably be embraced in big cities throughout Australia. The space between buildings will become increasingly more valuable as a growing and aging population competes for land, housing and desirable inner-city living

Click on the link below to read the full feature article

Ecolibium link image

Australian Institute of Architecture – Raising the green Bar & 5×4

Posted on: November 19th, 2013 by Barley Store

The Victorian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architecture last week held an event at the 5×4 Hayes Lane Project Site in East Melbourne.
Under the Sustainable Architecture Forum, ‘Raising the Green Bar,’ the 5×4 Hayes Lane Project was presented to the attending members of the Australian Institute of Architecture.
Craig Chatman (ARKit, Project Architect & Builder) along with Ralph Alphonso (Barley Store & Client/Project Manager) presented to the AIA members, their perspective and insights on the Project.

Craig’s presentation:

  • Introduction of the Design & Construction company ARKit – a hybrid prefabrication company which is combining architectural services, project management and manufacturing.
  • The local history of prefabrication buildings which show a rapid expansion in Australia during the last 10 years.
  • Discussion of the Design Overview including:
    -the way how to reduce emission of greenhouse gases
    -how to provide low impact, low cost residential buildings to manage urban sprawl
    -demonstrate to consumers and property developer markets how attractive and affordable sustainable solutions can be
    -demonstrate the self-sufficient of residential accommodations in energy requirements, water requirement and waste manage

  • The stair circulation options
  • The 10 Principles and Objectives of One Planet Living
  • Identify how the 5×4 project could respond to the One Planet Living principles
  • ARKit considered a variety of possible sustainable materials for the building
  • Presentation of Dr. Robert Crawford’s calculation of the total life cycle embodied energy of each system
  • Please download Craig’s Presentation Notes below

    Australian Geographic Magazine features 5×4… ‘More from Less’

    Posted on: November 7th, 2013 by Barley Store

    In the current issue of Australia Geographic Magazine a feature article ‘Six Global Megatrends,’ has included the 5×4 Hayes Lane Project as an example for one of the trends.

    Click below to download the article

    From little things big things grow – 5×4 Project

    Posted on: November 7th, 2013 by Sabrina Barley Store Productions

    The 5×4 Hayes Lane Project has just been featured in an article by Siusan MacKenzie of the East Melbourne Jolimont community magazine. The project has the support and interest of the community.

    Click on the image below to view the full feature!

    “Hayes Lane project – Ralph Alphonso has a big dream of small dimensions”

    Posted on: November 7th, 2013 by Sabrina Barley Store Productions

    The 5×4 Hayes Lane Project has just been featured in an article by Sarah Day of the habitat magazine published by the Australian Conservation Foundation.

    Click on the image below to view the full feature!

    “An inside look at living in one of the world’s most sustainable cities-
    Melbourne Australia”

    Posted on: November 4th, 2013 by Sabrina Barley Store Productions

    Ari Phillips featured the project in the article “An inside look at living in one of the most sustainble cities- Mebourne Australia” origionally published on ClimateProgress.
    The article has picked up and republished by CLeanTechnica,
    CleanTechReport and RenewEconomy.

    Click on the images below to open the full websites.

    TheFifthEstate introduces the 5×4 Hayes Lane building project

    Posted on: May 28th, 2013 by Sabrina Barley Store Productions

    The project has been featured in an article by Cameron Jewell of TheFifthEstate magazine. The article introduce the building and the project manager Ralph Alphonso and especially refers to the featured best-practice passive design and advanced engineering techniques, which includes the areas:

  • Water
  • Energy
  • Materials
  • Passive Design
  • CLick on the image below to read the full article.

    Support from BZE

    Posted on: May 23rd, 2013 by Barley Store

    Beyond Zero Emission featured us in their blog today.
    BZE is assisting the 5×4 team with the specification of these electrical appliances and the zero fossil gas/ 100% renewable electricity project. The dwelling will be powered by a combination of rooftop solar photovoltaic and 100% renewable Green Power.
    Click on the image below to view the full post!

    First Official Newsletter Out Now

    Posted on: May 23rd, 2013 by Barley Store

    We’ve officially launched the website and newsletter today! Don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list for exciting updates about the 5×4 Hayes Lane Project.
    Click on the image below to preview Newsletter #1

    5×4 Hayes Lane Project featured in ACF blog

    Posted on: May 23rd, 2013 by Barley Store

    The Project has been featured in an article by Sarah Day of ACF. Click on the image below to read the full article!


    Featured in City of Melbourne ‘Sustainability Stories’

    Posted on: May 23rd, 2013 by Barley Store

    The 5×4 Hayes Lane Project has just been featured as part of The City of Melbourne’s ‘Sustainability Stories’.

    Click the image below to view the full feature!

    Interview with Prof. Robert Adams – Melbourne City Council, supporting the ‘5×4 Hayes Lane Project’

    Posted on: May 12th, 2013 by Barley Store

    Our interview with Professor Rob Adams AM, Director City Design at City of Melbourne. His thought on the 5×4 Hayes lane Project.
    Rob was awarded the Prime Minister’s Environmentalist of the Year Award in 2008 and the Order of Australia in 2007 for his contribution to Architecture and Urban Design.
    A champion of both the arts and environmental sustainability he has worked to ensure that good urban design is established as a platform for city development into the 21st Century. Some key projects include CH2 Australia’s first 6 Star Green Commercial Office Building, Birrarung Marr, Swanston Street, City Square, Sandridge Bridge, East Melbourne Library, Urban Forest Strategy and the City of Melbourne Street Furniture range.
    His current interests concern the health and sustainability of the Metro city and he has published and presented extensively on the subject of Transforming Cities for a Sustainable Future.

    Presentation at Melbourne Forum 2012

    Posted on: November 14th, 2012 by Barley Store

    The 5×4 Hayes Lane Project was presented at the Melbourne Forum, a series of free public talks with the goal of increasing the development and refurbishment of commercial buildings in Victoria to achieve greater levels of sustainable performance.
    The 2012 series was based on One Planet Living and featured the 5×4 Hayes Lane Project as presented by mechanical engineer, Chris King, from GHD.
    Click on the image below to view or download the full presentation by Chris.

    Ecolibrium Magazine features One Planet Living & 5×4 Project

    Posted on: September 25th, 2012 by Barley Store



    Part rating tool, part eco-manifesto, part sustainability concept, One Planet Living aims to get us thinking about living within our finite resources, as Ecolibrium staff writer Rachel Urquhart discovers when she interviews Bioregional director Ed Cotter.


    Ecolibrium is the official journal of AIRAH.  It is read by over 10,000 professionals in the HVAC&R industry every month, and features the latest industry news, case studies on major projects, technical papers, information on the latest professional development opportunities available to industry and more.

    Click on the image below to view or download the full article

    Project’s ESD Engineer, profiled by Architecture & Design.

    Posted on: August 30th, 2012 by Barley Store


    Tai Hollingsbee, Principal Engineer at GHD was profiled by Architecture & Design and was proud to talk about his involvement with the 5×4 Hayes Lane Project.
    Tai, is the engineer on the Project.







    The ball is rolling

    Posted on: August 10th, 2012 by Barley Store

    The project is already getting exposure internationally…







    And, was presented by One Planet Living to the United Nations at the Earth Summit 2012 in Rio, Brazil.


    What a great way to get the ball rolling.


    5×4 Hayes Lane Project at the United Nations Rio+20 Earth Summit

    Posted on: June 22nd, 2012 by Barley Store

    The 5×4 Hayes Lane Project first received international exposure when it was presented by BioRegional at the Earth Summit 2012 in Rio, Brazil.
    BioRegional’s strategy is to work with partners on a number of projects that demonstrate One Planet Living, giving us a glimpse of what the future could look like and showing us how One Planet Living can work in the mainstream of our economy.
    The Rio+20 Summit, held in June 2012, offered BioRegional and their partners an unprecedented opportunity to influence global sustainability policy and practice by showcasing the One Planet Communities and Businesses and their One Planet Living Framework, as well as contributing to the process itself. They highlighted key projects and organisation throughout the globe, including projects throughout the UK and Europe, in China and the US, as well as South Africa, Mexico, Brazil and Australia (5×4 Hayes Lane Project).
    By 2015, they pledge to train 10,000 people to use One Planet Living. Based on the work of BioRegional and their partners to date and these fresh commitments, the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs invited BioRegional to register One Planet Living as a recognised UN partnership, providing opportunities for One Planet Living information, case studies and toolkits to be made available via the UN’s online platforms. It also brings recognition and acknowledgement for the One Planet Living sustainability framework amongst UN agencies and governments.

    Read more