Solar passive, energy efficient smaller houses with lower embodied energy or recycled materials can help lower our carbon emissions. MDa have designed well over 100 compact houses with over 80 built so far. Find out more below or contact us about your project....

Mar 2020

Flexi-living Affordable Housing

Near-complete construction of 18 lower carbon compact houses at Ginninderry. With both energy efficiency and solar panels, the houses meet the ACT Government affordability thresholds as separately titled townhouses and are in high demand.

May 2018

ACT Government Housing Choices Speaker

Melinda spoke about low carbon, liveable, compact housing to the Housing Choices Canberra community consultation series.

Jan 2019

Passive Solar Designed Lyons Townhouses

Interior shot (just before the occupants moved in) of the energy efficient passive solar designed  Lyons courtyard houses. 


Construction Underway Lyons Townhouses

View of the carpentry frame of the central 'spine' which links all spaces within the house and faces north onto its adjacent courtyards

Jan 2017

Missing Middle Housing Competition

The term 'missing middle describes compact housing and townhouse undersupply despite demand from 1 and 2-person households. MDa combined terrace and courtyard Houses on a site in Newcastle, with our entry receiving the Minister's special mention.


Single Residence Conversion to Duplexes

Construction is underway on compact duplexes involving a land subdivision and remodelling of this existing house on its corner block.


Design Begins on Flexi-living Ginninderry

Following our NEAT competition success, MDa has been appointed to design flexible, compact, energy efficient, affordable housing at Ginninderry.

Nov 2014

First Prize NEAT National Housing Competition 

MDa's scheme wins first prize in the NEAT housing competition by drawing directly on Melinda's PhD research on compact housing liveability.


Suburban Land Agency (SLA) Design Guide

MDa designed a 4.5m wide terrace house for SLA's design guide Living Options: Designs for Cost Effective Living.


Rue Terrace

MDa's cute design for a 4.5m wide terrace house plays with volumes to maximise both usable space and its perceived spaciousness.


Deakin Residence Receives Planning Approval 

MDa have designed this elegant Deakin residence. With planning and building approval now in place, construction will commence.


Residential Recycling and Reuse

Hughes residence maximises reuse of existing materials while sourcing other materials from Tiny's Green Shed and the Handyman's Trading Post. New 'virgin materials' have been minimised where practical.


Select Competition to Design Molonglo Houses

MDa has won a select competition to design 35 compact houses at the Molonglo Demonstration Precinct through to statutory planning approval. 


'Govie' goes Green

This renovated Canberra 'govie' has solar panels, rainwater tanks, double glazing and timber cladding. The extended and refurbished house now overlooks the public park, where the previous house did not. Once rectangular, the house is now T-shaped thus demarcating its landscaped courtyards.

'Govie' Flexible Makeover 

This original 'govie' has been converted into a flexible compact house which now includes a multi-purpose design studio space with loft. 



'Govie' Benefits from a Series of 'Popouts'

Our client's brief was to create beautiful flowing spaces without enlarging the house. Internal sliding walls and double glazed 'popout' windows add usable space to address existing pinch points within the house.

Jan 2019

+7.7star Energy Efficient Townhouses

Energy efficient passive solar designed  courtyard houses are complete in Lyons. 'Neighborly' low-rise compact houses overlook a series of private landscaped courtyards.


Taylor Townhouses receive Planning Approval

Taylor has received statutory planning approval (DA), taking the total number of compact houses MDa have designed through to DA to well over 100. So far over 80 have been built.

Sep 2020

Design Underway Net-zero Climate-wise House 

To support progress to a net-zero Canberra by 2045 we must reduce housing sector emissions. Housing net-zero operating energy coupled with low embodied energy materials is arguably within reach, as this project will explore. To do this, we will progressively model and monitor house performance.

Mar 2020

Melinda Discusses Compact Housing with ABC

Melinda spoke about compact liveable housing with ABC news.