Sustainable and futuristic home designs on show


Nina Bishops passive solar home.

Four sustainable and cleverly-designed homes and gardens around the northern rivers will be open to the public this weekend as part of Sustainable House Day.

Sustainable House Day, a national event that showcases sustainable building materials, household goods and practices that can be used in everyday home and lifestyle, was established in 2001.

This year, two events celebrate the event in the northern rivers, the open homes day on Sunday, 17 September, and the Living for the Future Home Expo tomorrow (Saturday, 16 September) at the Seagulls Club in Tweed Heads West.

As part of this annual open-home showcase, the four open-day homeowners will share their stories and tips to create sustainable homes that are comfortable to live in, cheaper to run and better for the environment.

Sustainable House Day co-ordinator Andia Cally said the event was ‘invaluable for anyone looking for practical, sustainable solutions and information on what works, what doesn’t, and how to transition toward ‘greener’ living’.

Included in this year’s showcase is Michael Leung’s six-star energy rated family home, SkyFarm, recently featured in Sanctuary magazine: Michael Leung and his company Balanced Earth won this year’s Energy Efficient Building Award at the Master Builder Awards in NSW for another hempcrete-designed home in Possum Creek.

‘Leung and his partners used a blend of recycled timber, natural paints and finishes, and hempcrete rendered with non-toxic lime and clay to create a breathable, termite resistant, non-toxic home in Mullumbimby that has great thermal properties and is brimming with character,’ Ms Cally said.

‘Also in Mullumbimby, Andrew Wadsworth will open his hemp house at Tallowwoods Estate. Designed by Jaye Irving from Barefoot Sustainable Design, the three-bedroom house features the best of passive solar design and sustainable building materials made by local hemp builder Xylosinuous.

‘Also on display will be the recently added studio and permaculture gardens.

‘Over on Brushbox Drive in Mullumbimby, Nina Bishop will be hosting a special open home event that includes the launch of an exciting new community-led initiative – Repower Byron Shire.

‘This is a joint initiative between Enova Energy, Zero Emissions Byron and COREM that encourages individual neighbourhoods in the northern rivers to work together, house by house, street by street, to commit to 100 per cent renewable energy.

‘During this event Nina will also open her passive solar home made from recycled timber and earth bricks constructed onsite. The home also features edible gardens and onsite systems.

‘Those seeking a sustainable sea change will be inspired by Jimi Gatland and his partner’s home in Lennox Head, which features efficient lighting and appliances, energy monitoring, organic and edible gardens, and solar PV grid connect.’

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