Sustainable House Day comes to our area again this year on Sunday 9th September. From 10am to 4pm the Border Eco Living Program will host two open houses showcasing different approaches to sustainable living. The homes are in East and West Albury and are different to the various Albury-Wodonga homes that have been open in recent years as part of this event.
If you’re thinking about improving your home’s energy, water or waste management efficiency, speaking to homeowners about their own experiences is a must. Seeing real sustainable projects in action, and learning what worked well and not so well, will help save you time and money.
There will be plenty of information available on the day, including from the householders themselves, brochures from sponsors, and material from local community groups on hand to provide you with tips on sustainable living.
There are sure to be many inspirational ideas to adapt to your home or just get you thinking!
Here's a sneak preview of what you'll see at each home.
Home owners' comments: A three bedroom + study, modest size house (160m2) of unusual design to suit the site grade. The house uses passive solar design in conjunction with solar PV, solar hot water and whole house water tank system. Other features include external shading with shade sails and screens, vege garden, power monitoring, hot water boost timer, and LED lighting throughout. We’ve adopted Albury City’s organic composting scheme.
Home owners' comments: The only house we have built or were in a position to build came after the children grew up and left home and when we were both of retiring age. Life is full of ironies. However the house we did build was a product of 30 years of thinking about sustainable design and architecture.
The essential elements we worked through with the architect were:
• Orientation to the north on an east -west sloping block;
• Moderate house size;
• Internal spaces matched carefully to usage demands;
• Use of healthy, low impact materials;
• Grid connect photo-voltaic electricity generation;
• Energy efficient lighting;
• Solar hot water;
• Gas boosted, hydronic heating;
• Passive cooling via fans, cross ventilation, a breezeway and high levels of building insulation and double glazing;
• Water recycling and water retention on block; and
• Water wise garden.
We have lived in our new house for nearly two years now and are continuing to appreciate its many design advantages and beauty. Sustainable homes need not be bland boxes. It does work well as a passive ‘machine’. Whether it is heating and cooling, energy and water harvesting and usage or the use of low impact materials, this building ticks many boxes.
Having said that, it is the spaces we live in that we love and the interaction of those spaces with our actual and ‘borrowed’ outdoor environment. It is essentially a thoughtfully designed urban house that we hope contributes to rather than detracts from a sustainable future.
Entry to the houses is free.
For house locations and more details visit http://www.sustainablehouseday.com/new-south-wales.php and look for the Albury houses.
If you'd like to view even more homes in our area, Wangaratta Sustainability Network have an impressive line up for the event as well.
Visit as many or as few homes as you fancy, in the order of your choice. No booking required.