Our passion lies in transforming Melbourne’s rundown old homes into beautiful, comfortable, sustainable homes.

looking into the kitchen of a sustainable home that we worked

Sustainable Homes Melbourne was founded as an alternative for people that care for our environment, our children’s future and genuinely want to build a home to be proud of.

We find ourselves in a fortuitous moment in history where we have everything we could ever want. We have all the resources at our disposal, the knowledge at our fingertips and we know what we need to do. The task now is to do it and build our planet’s future together.

Let us tell you a story

We are Michael Burns and Simon Clark, founders of Sustainable Homes Melbourne.

We’re both self-confessed timber nerds and we’ve come a long way from the days of swinging a hammer as carpenters.

In another life (the early noughties) we each operated our own respective building companies. Honestly, all those years ago we never thought twice about the environmental impact construction has on the environment and we certainly weren’t aware of how thermal mass can help keep a home comfy.

After 5-6 years of running our own businesses as young men we were feeling stale and unmotivated and thought there must be more to life!

So, in 2012 we packed up our businesses and left for the trip of a lifetime overseas. We travelled together for the best part of a year through the USA, Canada, the UK and Europe.

Being the timber nerds we are, we couldn’t help but observe the construction industry in each country we travelled.

We snuck into a building site in Canada to check out the timber frame (nerdy much) and the walls were 190mm thick. We just loved the look and feel of it. It was obvious these walls were really solid, super soundproof and could keep the warmth in much better than any frames we’d built in Australia.

Another time we were in Boston, Massachusetts when it was a blizzard and -14 degrees celsius outside. But we were sitting inside playing board games, toasty warm, and the heating wasn’t even on that high.

To be honest, it felt like we were seeing the world through fresh eyes. We found an entirely new perspective on life and construction.

We visited National park after National park and all of them had some bird or animal that was near extinction. It’s clear our world has suffered so much just in our lifetime and if it continues this way, we too, will face extinction sooner than we’d thought.

Looking back on this time, it’s obvious why we thought there’s a better way to build but if we’d never travelled we wouldn’t have seen how other countries are building their homes and how we could do it better in Australia.

Returning home nearly 18months after we’d left, we decided to see if we could build better so we formed Sustainable Homes Melbourne with the intention to build homes we can all be proud of, Owner, Architect, Builder and most importantly our Children.

House in Brunswick stone exterior with wooden window sills and wooden doors, as well as a small garden and wooden deck
picture of Simon Clark co-owner of Sustainable Homes Melbourne

Simon Clark

Simon has been in the construction industry since the year 2000. He’s a qualified Carpenter, Registered Builder and has the following accreditations;

  • Cert III in Building and Construction
  • Cert IV in Building and Construction
  • Diploma in Green Energy Assessment completed in London, England
  • Certified Green Builder with the HIA Greensmart program

Simon founded STC Builders and Contractors and operated it for 6 years prior to 2012 where he then spent 18 months overseas traveling and studying.

Since returning from overseas Simon has dived head first into sustainable living, joining the Yarra Environmental Advisory Committee to provide feedback on environmental initiatives the Council is looking to employ.
Simon participates in the Alternate Technology Association events as a sustainable expert, talking with people at council events on how best they can make their homes more sustainable.

Simon is the founding Director of Build Cambodia which is the affiliated charity of Sustainable Homes Melbourne.

Simon’s role at Sustainable Homes Melbourne is Head of Operations, HR and Marketing.

Michael Burns

Michael has been in the construction industry since 2001. He’s a qualified Carpenter, Registered Builder and has the following accreditations;

  • Cert III in Building and Construction
  • Cert IV in Building and Construction
  • Accredited residential estimator under Cert IV in Building and Construction

Michael founded MHB Building and Construction and operated it for 5 years prior to 2012 where he then spent 9 months overseas traveling.

When returning from overseas Michael began working for a large company in the commercial sector but felt no fulfillment.

Michael found a new lease of life co-founding Sustainable Homes Melbourne. He is driven to impact the construction industry in Australia by lowering the impact we are having on the environment for the sake of his little boy Leo.

Michael is also a major contributor at the Alternate Technology Association events as a sustainable expert.

Michael’s role at Sustainable Homes Melbourne is Head of Solutions, Administration and Finance.

picture of Michael Burns co-owner of Sustainable Homes Melbourne

Here To Help

small picture of door coming from an outdoor staircase to a dining area


Download The Sustainable Home Guide - 10 Things you must know before building a sustainable home

small picture of a dining area and staircase


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small picture of a pergola and outdoor area

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