Eco homes around Australia open their doors to the public this Sunday 11 September for Sustainable House Day. People can nosy around and check out sustainable features to get ideas for their own homes. I’ve shortlisted the homes I’m most keen to see this year.
I’ve wanted to live in an eco house ever since seeing one on Grand Designs years ago. I was amazed that they barely needed heating and generated enough power to sell some back to the grid.
Last year on Sustainable House Day I dragged some hungover friends around Sydney to see a selection of cool eco houses. We didn’t get time to see all the houses we were interested in, so this year I’m planning the day with military precision!
These are the houses I’m most excited to see in Sydney on Sustainable House Day this Sunday:
The Treehouse, Narrabeen
Who doesn’t love a tree house? There’s something really special about a house surrounded by trees. This self-built four bedroom home has a separate granny flat for visitors. It’s in a lovely green part of Sydney next to the ocean, called the Northern beaches.
The owners have no heating bills, collect their own water, grow veggies and keep chickens for eggs so they’re pretty self sufficient.
See a full list of the house’s sustainable features here on the Sustainable House Day website.
Hempcrete House, Marrickville
This super insulated family home in Sydney’s trendy Inner West is designed to protect from aircraft noise. And yes, hempcrete is actually made from hemp!
According to Wikipedia “Hempcrete is one of the best performing, non-toxic, ecological and renewable materials available. It has a negative CO2 footprint… It improves air quality, energy consumption for heating and cooling providing a comfortable and healthy living environment. Cool in summer and warm in winter.”
I’m excited by innovative houses like this that go beyond convention, using new methods and materials. If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got!
Second Hand Cottage, Alexandria
Not far from Marrickville, this cute homely-looking cottage makes clever use of second hand items. It’s a very sensible approach because anyone can do the same to save both money and resources, so less goes to landfill.
The owners said: “We used eBay, Gumtree, friends and acquaintances to source all our windows (except one), timber floor boards (from an old scout hall), doors and many other materials we needed for the build. Where we were unable to source second hand, we researched and selected the most sustainable option” Gumtree is so much better in Australia than in the UK, it’s used widely and you can find some great stuff.
Folding Prefab House, Belmore
The Pavilion is a tiny clever prefabricated house that’s made in a factory, folded down for cost-effective delivery and then folded out on-site. The fold out process can be completed by two people in just a few hours! Because of the fast build time the homes are more cost effective.
The house is a show home in Belmore, and can also be viewed by appointment with Mode Homes on Saturdays if you can’t make it on Sustainable House Day. I love the idea of a prefab house and the company do different sizes and designs.
CSR House, Schofields
The CSR house looks very spacious, modern and fancy. It’s highly energy efficient with lots of cool features.
The owners say: “While the thermal stability of the home was mostly expected, the naturally lit and peaceful interiors gave the CSR House an amazing “feel” and ambiance. This feeling and level of comfort needs to be experienced first-hand.”
It’s a bit out on a limb but I hope we get time to see it.
This sustainable house in Naremburn on Sydney’s North Shore was built to last, with the durability of it’s elements in mind. I love the modern, modular design. It’s not far from where I live and work, but I’ve never been to Naremburn so I’m interested to see the house and area.
Sydney Houses Open on Sustainable House Day
If you’d like to see the full list of houses open near you for Sustainable House Day check here. There’s a handy map feature to help you plan the day. Just put in your postcode and a map pops up showing the nearby houses.
Seeing a sustainable house in reality can be so inspiring. It’s incomparable to reading about it, so go check them out!
I’ll report back on which houses were our favourites in a separate post.
Update: check out the houses we saw for Sustainable House Day Sydney 2016.
More Sustainable Houses Please!
Sustainable House Day is a wonderful initiative. I’d love to see a sustainable house weekend, or week, to allow more homes to be involved and more people to see them. If there was a different sustainable house weekend in each city, it would be a great boost for tourism. I’d love to see some of the eco houses in other locations, but you can only be in one place at one time!
A sustainable house is central to my future plans of a time-rich, location independent lifestyle with a home base. If we didn’t use up so much time, money and resources on our homes we’d be free to work less and live more!