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Architecture architecture General

Sustainable House Day - You are cordially invited

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by: Ariana M
sustainable house day   you are cordially invited

As a global platform, WhatsOrb presents an opportunity to share interesting local events and holidays related to sustainability with the world. So today I would like to share with you a great initiative coming from the Land Down Under – Sustainable House Day.

Established in 2001, this event allows Australians to visit and learn from the most environmentally friendly houses in the country. Sustainable House Day’s goal is to inspire people to live more sustainably and show how they can reduce their energy bills and help the environment. This is a unique opportunity for Australians to meet the people that have transformed their living and working spaces, learn from their experience and get a lot of practical information on how to make their own houses “greener”.  The event usually takes place in mid-September.

Unfortunately for those of us that aren’t in Australia on that day we cannot see the houses in person, but luckily we can still have a peek at some of these unique dwellings.

The garden of eco-friendly delights

Photo taken by the owner, taken from Sustainable House Day listing

First up is Jaspar’s Home and Gardens. It is a great example of an existing home that was improved upon to make it more sustainable and support surrounding wildlife. The house features solar panels that provide low-cost electricity and re-glazed and draught-proofed sash windows that help insulate the home. There are also above ground water tanks that supply all water throughout the house, including drinking water.

While the house itself is quite “green”, it is the garden that can become a great example of sustainability that goes beyond reducing resource usage. The garden beds are watered with filtered grey water and are covered with deep mulch to retain the water. Jasper grows many fruit trees and vegetables without use of any artificial fertilisers, making it all that much more enjoyable. When he has any vegetable waste from cooking, he puts it into his worm farms to compost that can later be used to grow more vegetables. In the meanwhile, his 6 native bee hives help with flower fertilisation and ducks assist with pest control. Lastly, he created habitats such as water features, log piles, drilled logs and other to increase local wildlife. This is a truly great use of his resources that takes sustainability to a new level – and by his own estimations all of the improvements cost him a mere AUD 30,000 (approx. EUR 18’500 or USD 21’000)!

Latest in sustainable house construction

Photo by the owner, taken from the Sustainable House Day listing

Another interesting example is Lekofly, an iBuilds Melbourne display centre that a result of a holistic approach to sustainability. This house demonstrates how a combination of various materials and technologies can create a modern stylish building that will save consumers hundreds of dollars every year in energy costs.

With iBuild’s technology sustainability starts with materials. They use recyclable and locally sourced materials that are termite and fire resistant and are guaranteed to last. These materials are used to produce unique modules that are then transported to the final destinations and assembled into finished houses. This model allows them to cut down transportation emissions, costs and time, as well as leave the neighbours happier due to lack of noise and dust pollution. The finished product is a highly energy efficient house that can be disassembled and relocated at any time. Naturally, one can add features like solar panels and water tanks to make it more self-sufficient.

A self-sufficient house with a tiny footprint

Photo by Richard Ellender, taken from Sustainable House Day listing

And of course this list won’t be complete without a tiny house. The Mayflower was designed and constructed by Tiny Footprint in just 8 weeks time in 2017. Its design is truly stunning and it wouldn’t look out of place in an interior magazine, while creative use of space makes it feel much bigger than it is. However, the true beauty of this house lies in its use of sustainable solutions.

The Mayflower was designed to be used off-grid and thus has no dependence on mains electricity, water and septic. This is achieved by using a composting toilet, low flow shower head, specialised rain and grey water collection systems, energy-efficient lights and appliances and of course solar panels. The house is completely insulated, allowing it to stay warm during winter with little need for heating, while the ceiling fan and carefully positioned windows and skylights provide the much needed cooling during hot Australian summers.

Does your house have sustainable features? Or have you visited one of the houses during the event this year? Share your pictures and stories with us on social media and don’t forget to tag WhatsOrb so we can see it!

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