Getting inspiration from other people is one of the best ways to learn, and peeking into other people’s homes is such fun! Australia’s best homes designed for comfort and low energy bills will be open to the public on Sustainable House Day again in 2018, taking place on Sunday, September 16.
The national event offers you a rare view into exceptional homes, designed, built or renovated with energy efficiency and environmental living in mind. Even better, you get the chance to mingle and chat with the homeowners so you can learn about how they designed and built their homes. If you have never been, we highly recommend it. It is a fantastic family day out and offers bucket loads of inspiration.
Tiny living, solar with battery storage, sustainable gardens, recycled materials and innovative energy efficient design are just some of the features you will see on the day. This year, about 250 houses will be open across Australia on Sustainable House Day with more than 35,000 people expected to attend. Held annually since 2001, the event is run by the Alternative Technology Association (ATA), a not-for-profit organisation that promotes sustainable living.
“Sustainable House Day is a great opportunity to come and learn how to make your own home more comfortable, more liveable and cheaper to run,” said Donna Luckman, the ATA’s chief executive. “A home that works – that’s well-designed, healthy and runs efficiently in an age of high energy costs – is what everyone wants. That’s what people will see on Sustainable House Day this year.”
We will be visiting some of the Adelaide homes but there are some brilliant options across Australia. Here are just a a couple!
The owners of this beautiful home in South Australia wanted to invest in solar regardless of having access to the grid. Rather than connecting to the grid, they decided to simply invest that money into extra battery storage instead. Part of the reason for wanting to display their house at sustainable house day is to help normalise off grid living and reduce the stereotype that it is cumbersome, radical or in any way less comfortable. They say they have not made design compromises and have made minimal lifestyle concessions, which overall, have been for the better. With over 80 fruit, nut and berry plants as well as a large vegetable garden the family hope to grow as much of their own food as they can as the trees become established. Future plans include a couple of chooks to help out with excess produce in exchange for a few eggs.
The Recyclable House – Beaufort Victoria
Completed in December 2015, The Recyclable House was designed and built by Quentin Irvine, Managing Director of Inquire Invent Pty Ltd. The inspiration for the look of the home was taken from iconic Australian galvanised steel wool sheds, hand crafts and industrial styles. The house was designed with passive heating and cooling in mind. What sets it apart is the use of experimental, closed loop design and construction methodologies. The house is a cutting-edge example of the application of cradle-to-cradle design philosophy, which means that you consider the end life of the product when designing it. Although all parts of this house are recyclable or biodegradable, it has been built to last and is of exceptionally high quality. The solar-passive highly insulated design ensures warmth in Beaufort’s harsh winter. Coupled with the super efficient Pyroclassic wood fire stove with wetback and solar hot water system, the house stays warm and cozy even on the coldest days of the year. It is extremely high performing which means it is very cost efficient and has low running costs whilst still being comfortable to live in. The one room width of the house enables cross flow ventilation and this coupled with first and second storey shade sails keeps it cool in summer.
Extensive research went into the design of this house in relation to it being recyclable. The house is made of recyclable materials and is screwed and nailed together. Wherever glues/paints/sealants have been used they are natural and biodegradable in all but a very few instances. A bi-product of designing a house built with natural materials and finishes for their recyclability and biodegradability is the sensational indoor air quality you achieve. Therefore this design philosophy is also compatable for those afflicted with ‘sick building syndrome’ (SBS)/ multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), ie. sensitivity to environmental toxins.
To view the profiles of this year’s homes opening on Sustainable House Day and to register to attend, visit sustainablehouseday.com
Details of the event
When: Sunday, September 16
Where: Locations across Australia
Cost of entry: Free
**The full address of all properties will be on their website 2 weeks prior to the event