Sustainable Homes

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The house is where we spend most of our time so if we can get that right I think we can all feel as though we’re contributing something more than just watching the news and worrying about things. And if you can walk into a sustainable home and go this feels light filled, it feels comfortable I wonder if I could get a home like that? The passive design, if you start there then your energy usage is really reduced. The house wants to stay warm in winter and wants to stay cool in summer so it’s just us working with it. We have the angled ceilings, the eaves, so we get the sunlight in in winter and not in summer. We’ve got the slab to heat that up that’s our thermal mass. And you get a feel on a day like today the sunlight coming through, it’s a winter’s day it’s probably 10 degrees outside, but it’s 21 in here and that’s done by the house because the sunlight’s coming in and warming things up. That’s the main thing then after that it’s how you build using sustainable materials, sustainable building methods and then you top that off with solar panels so that the energy you do get most of it’s coming from the solar panels. Sustainability is actually about things that last – sustaining. We dismantled a 70-year-old timber framed house. So instead of getting a bulldozer in and pulling it down, knocking it down in two days, we spent two weeks dismantling it by hand. It was a similar cost actually to do it but we ended up with loads of materials that were really amazing to be able to be used again The whole development has been constructed off an off-grid power station, which is just a really small 1.4kW system on a shed that we built for the property. Everything that you see has been built from solar power. If we can build three houses in a little suburban site off a tiny off-grid system I think that human beings can do a lot better than what they’re doing. And I think it’s just a much more enjoyable way of living our house blends with the outdoors, but is still very comfortable. And we do have that connection with the house that we’re opening and closing windows and thinking about what will do best for it. It’s beautiful, it’s so comfortable. Housing is where you can make a big difference – this is what it looks like.

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