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Byron Shire
April 24, 2021

Sustainable inspiration: book now for sustainable house day tours

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Inside Nina Bishop's sustainable house near Mullumbimby. Photo supplied.
Inside Nina Bishop’s sustainable house near Mullumbimby. Photo supplied.

It can be where sustainable meets art and that is certainly the case for Nina Bishop, who designed and built her sustainable mud brick home LightFeat near Mullumbimby. Nina is opening her house this year, for the second and last time, as part of the Sustainable House Day (SHD) on Sunday, September 17, to give people a chance to see how you can both design a living space and create energy efficiencies.

Repower Byron Shire

Taking it up a notch this year the open day will also incorporate the launch of Repower Byron Shire by mayor, Simon Richardson at 10am at Nina’s house. Repower is being launched by COREM with Enova community and Zero Emissions Byron who have a vision of a 100 per cent renewable electricity for the Byron Shire.

‘This is a community led movement to support and inspire us all to transition to a renewable energy future,’ said Dave Rawlins, COREMs Vice President.

‘It’s about switching on people power, by using the Lock the Gate street by street model, to decrease the cost of electricity and increase local generation, while reducing carbon emissions.

‘This is a perfect way for individual households to make a choice to go for renewable energy and just get on with it.’

Nina highlights that it is not just about sustainable house design but the everyday activities and efficiencies people can make in our lives that change and reduce our energy consumption.

‘It is the person who makes the house,’ she said with a gentle smile.

‘Repower is about having a focus on energy efficiency, the everyday, on-going activities we can do that makes the house eco-friendly – it is not just about the structures.’

Parking for the launch is on Left Bank Road – look for the yellow flag and park then walk down to the house. For directions call Nina on 0422 684 683. Find out more here

Sustainable house day

Nina Bishop building her house with her nine year old son Casey. Photo supplied.
Nina Bishop building her house with her nine year old son Casey. Photo supplied.

Nina built her house from the mud at the house site and utilised orientation, materials, technology and clever design to create a beautiful house and gardens that is not only a pleasure to be in but has reduced her carbon footprint to almost zero.

‘It was the acoustics of mud bricks that first really got my attention, they are so incredible,’ she continued. However, Nina emphasised that it is important to consider the the site and environment you are building in and that would determine the best materials to use to for your sustainable house.

‘There are several other local properties that are also participating in sustainable house day,’ that demonstrate alternative building techniques and opportunities. Hemp house and studio and Sky farm have both used a range of recycled materials and hemp while Jimi and Helene’s house in Lennox Head is a stand alone three bedroom house that has been built to have a significantly smaller ecological footprint than a traditional build of that size.

If you are interested in checking out locally built and designed sustainable houses you can look them up here. House tours need to be booked online in advance with some houses collecting a donation at the door to donate to a charity.

‘I will be taking tours throughout the day every half hour between 10.30am and 4pm,’ said Nina.

Nina will be explaining how she designed and built the property as well as looking at the daily energy efficiencies that are achievable in the majority of homes.

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