Sustainable house day

Monday, 22 May, 2006

Sustainable House Day is a chance to see how people have successfully implemented the principles of passive solar design, active solar design and water conservation and recycling.

It is a chance to see household sustainability in action and to talk to the actual homeowners, as well as the architects and designers, who have created sustainable living environments.

On the weekend of September 9 and 10 houses across Australia and New Zealand will be open to the public to showcase sustainable design in practice as part of the 5th annual Sustainable House Day.

The event aims to demonstrate how good design can virtually eliminate the need for heating and cooling and therefore save money and the environment.

It has been estimated that each Australian on average is responsible for the emission of more than 25 tonnes of Greenhouse gases per year - the highest emissions per capita of any country on the planet.

The new and renovated homes on show all have examples of "˜passive' solar design and many also feature "˜active' solar measures such as solar hot water and solar electricity generated via photoelectric roof panels.

"The five key issues in passive solar design are orientating the house correctly, gauging the appropriate levels of insulation, correct glazing with appropriate shading, the correct use of thermal mass, and natural ventilation," said Julien Lacave, the National Sustainable House Day Coordinator.

"The event offers the general public the opportunity to explore actual sustainable homes to gain insight into the effectiveness, comfort and economic efficiencies of good residential design. It is a chance to see houses utilising rather than exploiting nature's natural energies."

At each house visitors will receive a comprehensive information kit packed full of sustainability information and directions to houses involved in the day in that region.

House visitors will learn how homes are energy rated and be able to interact with designers and householders who will speak first hand on their experience of designing, building and living in low-energy homes.

"Sustainable House day is all about encouraging and empowering people to act locally, namely, at home. The greenhouse issue is now well and truly beyond debate and the need to do all we can to address the issue increases daily. Incorporating passive solar design principles in a new home or renovation project substantially reduces household greenhouse gas emissions and saves money at the same time. If more Australians adopted sustainable practices, our power demands could be met within existing resources and there would be no need for talk of nuclear power alternatives," said Malahath Halperin, chair of ANZSES.

Visit Your Home to find out ways to make your home more sustainable.

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