These days we're all becoming increasingly aware of the environment, and the need to minimise our impact upon it. The threat of climate change and its daunting consequences have made us understand the need for sustainability.
Sustainability is all about not depleting natural resources unnecessarily, about minimising pollution, and using green energy as much as possible. Building a new house can be harmful to the environment, but there are many ways that we can minimise that damage.
Sustainable House Day is all about understandinging "green" houses which sit comfortably with the environment. Not only is this good for the environment, it can also bring us significant savings through smart use of materials and clever design. Harnessing renewable energy can make big savings, smarter water use protects the waterways and cuts our costs, while wise choice of materials will give you a healthier life. See here for more information.
TS4 Living Lochiel Park House # 3 (Image: Shane Harris)
In Australia Sustainable House Day has been running for more than 10 years now, and is sponsored by the Alternative Technology Association (ATA). The ATA is a non-profit organisation which aims to inspire and enable people to live sustainably.
Each year on Sustainable House Day private home owners all around Australia showcase the sustainable features of their open house to the public, providing inspiration and advice on how to make housing more sustainable. Most houses are open for inspection free of charge, although some may charge a small fee. However you will need to register on the website first in order to get the address of houses - a sensible security precaution.
In South Australia visit the open house pf Earthship B&B at Ironbank and see how it has been designed to be self sufficient for electricity and water. Learn how the stunning Satori house achieved a 9 star energy rating in Queensland, using a combination of design, quality materials, smart energy and plumbing to achieve the rating.
Earshship Ironbank in South Australia (Image Supplied)
If you're thinking of building a home, or even renovating or extending, national Sustainable House Day gives you terrific opportunities to learn from other people and organisations all around Australia. Many of the ideas are capable of being adapted to existing homes, so this is bound to be an immensely popular free event with home owners.
Find out all about the free Sustainable House Day on the website and on their Facebook page. If you plan to visit an open house, be sure to check out the FAQ which contains important information about how to be a respectful visitor to these people who are so generously sharing their homes and their knowledge. You can also find lots of tips about sustainable initiatives such as energy efficient lighting and solar power in the website blog.
Enjoy your open house inspections, I hope that it helps us all in the long term to live more in tune with our earth.
This is a great opportunity for people thinking of sustainable homes to get a view of what is involved. I am a firm believer that as a nation we should be moving in this direction and would like to see building regulations starting to require some of these sustainable things. Here in Melbourne it would make sense for all new homes built to include water tanks and solar panels. Already some new estates here are being developed with grey water facilities in place which is definitely a step in the right direction.