WATCH: Welcome to the first Eco Cool Home north of Brisbane
THEY'RE not raging greenies or hell bent on getting "off the grid" but Ron and Deb Helwege have just moved into the greenest house in Gladstone.
With a green rating of 8.5, solar heating and lighting and five water tanks, the Benaraby couple are the first to build an Eco Cool Home north of Brisbane.
The house is made out of colourbond and polystyrene walls, which are three times thicker than a freezer room and keep the house consistently cool throughout the hot Central Queensland summer.
But for Ron and Deb they just wanted a home where they could get away from neighbours, mowing lawns, barking dogs and tuning cars.
"We wanted peace and quiet and it's just a positive that we have low running costs and a more comfortable house to live in," Deb said.
"We don't need to turn the air-con on at all.
"For this climate the house is perfect," Ron said.
Watch a timelapse of the Helwedge's home being built
The Hellweges also wanted a house that was low maintenance, termite proof and a little bit different from the average house.
"I wouldn't call myself a green - just conscious," Deb said.
"I was born and bred in the country and we live more like that which is pretty sustainable anyway.
"Also we've become a bit smarter and we don't take much rubbish away," Ron said.
"Most of our rubbish goes back into the yard and we've got a grey water system that can be used for the lawn and garden."
From start to finish the house only took three months to build which builder Troy Tenheggeler says is about half the time it takes to build a normal house.
He said what makes the house so energy efficient is the material used to build the house as well as all the fittings, fixtures, water harvesting systems and solar lighting.
"To build one of the Eco Cool Homes it's a little bit more expensive than a base house but pretty comparable to houses that are a just little bit more upmarket," he said.
"There will always be a need for brick veneer houses but because we live in one of the hotter climates, these homes will catch on."
After coming back from a holiday in Europe, the Hellweges have only just settled into their new home but said they are looking forward to living in a sustainable and low maintenance house.
WATCH the house in the final stages of construction