Tour of established sports field with ground swell implementation

This weekend as you fire up your mower and ask yourself “surely there is a better way” a local project is attempting to deliver just that.

We will be asking the residents of a local development to provide some green waste to conduct a trial on the conversion of that waste to a high quality topsoil.  Some experts are this week visiting a local sports field where this organic process is delivering a much better playing surface, reducing the water required without the need for imported soil to repair and upkeep the field.

There are numerous other benefits for the local participants in that the waste does not need to be taken to landfill and will be processed in your neighbourhood.

Stay tuned for more.

Wicking beds flat-pack kit install and demonstration

So you may wonder what is a Wicking bed and indeed I am still coming to grips with this beautiful elegant solution to low water use gardening.

It has been agreed with the support of local council and a local school to participate in a trial of the system with a view to help our community better understand what can work here in Townsville.  The trial will involve some selected students taking on some extension to their regular school syllabus by practical implementation of their learning.

A local builder will provide a highly accessible site and the council will also provide the understanding around water consumption.  The hope is that these students can inspire their fellow students and demonstrate to the Townsville community at large that we have the ability to produce some home grown produce within the suburban home environment.

Partnership with Josh Byrne and Innovation House 2.0

In the past there has been synergy and shared ideals around producing high performance housing examples between these passionate industry beacons.  The tyranny of distance (Josh based in Perth) and the Townsville example of Innovation House was not sufficient to prevent the natural alignment to occur.

Innovation House has been a renowned success and it has lead both Josh and Darren to consider the question “what next?”  In the very near future we will be able to publicly explore a next steps, today’s announcement can confirm that both Darren Finlay and the Innovation House team will be partnering with Josh Byrne and his research fellows to produce another outstanding example of housing solutions for the Townsville region.

The vibe and enthusiasm from the local community has been exceptional with both partners recognising the need to continue this great story and the communities appetite to ask further questions.

To refresh you memories of both previous examples refer to these sites:-

Skip Diving for Art’s sake


Exhibition opens on Friday 1st March at 7pm.

If you’ve been driving  through the new Sanctum Estate over the last few weeks, and noticed some bottoms sticking out of the builders’ skips, don’t despair – it’s only local artists skip diving!

In a collaboration between Finlay Homes and Artcetera Studio2, local artists were invited to choose waste materials from the building of Finlay Homes new ‘Innovation’ home, to create artworks for the display home. A range of materials from steel to plasterboard, wiring to tiles, and even lowly rust was swooped up eagerly for transformation into art.

The Innovation home will be an educational and interactive example of sustainable living for the tropics. Not only is it designed with sustainability in mind, but it will have monitoring systems running to allow visitors to see just how much energy is being saved. As part of that environmental commitment, and in an attempt to reduce the staggering amount of building waste that heads for landfill, the furniture and artwork will be made from offcuts, recycled and waste materials.

Exhibition curator, Sue Tilley commented that the artists really enjoyed thinking outside the square, and the challenge of using such unusual materials. They also appreciated a local builder supporting local artists instead of decorating their homes with the typical mass produced décor items that you see everywhere else.

Artists include Alison McDonald, Lynn Scott Cummings, Maggie Wretham and Margot Douglas. The exhibition will be on display at Artcetera Studio2, 486-488 Flinders Street from Friday 15 February to 12 March. The official launch is at 7pm Friday 1 March.

For more information please call Sue Tilley 0418 750 854 or Finlay Homes on 4758 4758





This year Finlay Homes are on a quest to discover, what makes a sustainable home sustainable?

Tired of the multiple questions surrounding sustainability with no solid answers, we’ve decided to find the answers ourselves! This year we are building a brand new display home jam packed with as many energy saving, green options and ideas we can find. The home will be open for you to visit, explore and experience for yourselves for 12 months. At which point Darren Finlay and his family will move in to the home to really test out their ‘sustainable claims’. With monitoring facilities in the house, Ergon Energy and James Cook University will be able to obtain and share real data, from real people, living in an affordable sustainable home built for the tropics.

Darren will be taking you on his journey from the initial stages of building the home, discussing reasons for his choices, through to actually living in the house, and his experiences with the products.

To join the journey find us at



Week 1

The ribbon has been cut and we are off and racing! The Innovation House is under way (woohoo!) Today is a very exciting milestone for all of us involved in the project.

Week 1 has kicked off with building essentials 101 commencing. Trenches, plumbing, and the slab. We’re using a new type of concrete in slab for Innovation House called Envirocrete. It’s a part recycled product that decreases our carbon emissions impact. So it makes us feel good, and is good for the environment too!

We also launched the Innovation House project by hosting a media release at the house. Darren, along with Lisa Kayrooz (Ergon Energy), Mark Robinson (Townsville City Council), Michael Cook and Morten Moxnes (James Cook University Honour Students) were in attendance to speak with the media about the project and our aims.

You can read the Townsville Bulletin’s article here
You can watch Channel 7’s story at

If you’d like to keep informed about up coming events remember to join us on Facebook at