Earthen floors have been used in buildings for thousands of years. As well as an effective way to passively heat and cool your home, they’re aesthetically beautiful, kind to the environment and delightful to walk on. It’s estimated between…
The most important design principle when retrofitting or building a new home is to ‘build tight’. This means eliminating air gaps in walls (due to poorly installed insulation), drafts around doors and leaky windows caused by single-paned glass or aluminium window frames. Things like chimneys above open fireplaces, air vents in older houses and even recessed downlights all release heat from your home leaving it less comfortable in cold weather, so identifying these areas are your top priority when looking to reduce the need for auxiliary heating
With almost one in three Australians now living in rented accommodation, it’s more important than ever to ensure permaculture practices are not just implemented by those who own their own home. Even if you’re renting, there are plenty of simple and reversible things you can implement in your home to reduce your living costs and make positive environmental impacts.
It was 13 years coming, but couple Mara and Ralph have created a sustainable, efficient and loving home that was well and truly worth the wait. I was singing Italian folks songs at the Boite Singers’ Festival when my partner Ralf asked for a second time ‘can we move to the country?’ Thirteen years earlier he’d made the same proposal but I wasn’t ready. On this occasion however, I craved change and the timing was perfect. So by the end of the festival weekend we had found a completely bare 15-acre grazing paddock just a 10-minute drive from the gorgeous town of Daylesford in Victoria’s Central Highlands.
Daryl Taylor lost his home in the firestorm that destroyed most of Victoria’s Kinglake in February 2009. On that day, 173 lives were lost and more than 3500 buildings destroyed. Following the fires many people left the community. Daryl, an elected member of the recovery committee, was pivotal in rebuilding the Kinglake community.
Heating your house, heating water and cooking are major users of energy in your home. Using wood to create some or all of this energy use can be one of the simplest ways to increase your household self-sufficiency.
Shamus O’Reilly believes that strawbale is the best natural building material of them all. He recently finished building his own strawbale home for himself and his family. He also builds strawbale homes for other people through his construction company, SO’R Construction. He has repeatedly seen firsthand the benefits of building with strawbale alongside passive solar design.
After years being active in co-creating the Bend eco-neighbourhood, it finally was time for Peter Ascot and Serena Kean to build a home on their own block within it. They wanted a beautiful home for their family of five – one that would function well in its design and environmental performance, and live up to the ideals of the place.
There is so much focus on reducing waste at the moment, but what is often forgotten is the waste of our most precious resource of all: water.
You won’t find many homes in the inner city that have intentionally shrunk to make way for a larger garden, but that’s what happened behind a bright red door in Northcote, Melbourne.