26 August 2017
The most successful structure are achieved when design, materials and building techniques align with local climate and the values of the folks who live there.
This module is ideal for participants wanting to learn how to design sustainable, safe, healthy and comfortable living environments.
Sensible houses – heat themselves, light themselves, are not toxic, materials can be replaced easily and don’t cost a lifetime of debt. We’ll introduce you to: matching house design with your site, climate and available resources. Explore conventional building vs. earth building vs. sustainable building, retrofitting vs. new builds; container and tiny homes; making decisions regarding building longevity, low impact construction, footprint, orientation, passive solar design and energy conservation. We’ll discuss: indoor air quality, heating, cooling, and insulation choices, windows, flooring, electricity and how your home interfaces with your wider community. We’ll also discuss how you can use the residential Homestar Scheme to assess how well your design is performing and obtain an independent rating to prove the environmental value you have designed into your home.
For our afternoon field trip, we’ll visit a couple of properties, one is an exemplar home designed by the speaker 20 years ago that was awarded an excellent rating under the Branz Green home scheme. We’ll explore how permaculture principles were integrated into this design. We’ll also see how the house relates to the site, gardens and orchards and how these have developed over the last two decades.
“My partner and I have been stuck trying to decide if we should buy bare land and do a new build, or renovate our current suburban home. After our Holistic Decision Making session last month, we see that renovating will line up better with our lives, goals, and budget. And this month asking Nik our “eco” renovation questions has got us lined up to get into action.”
“It was good that the presenters and hosts were passionate about their topics and their homes, and were willing to share their experiences, good and bad.”
“I learned something about myself today. When we were outside and just observing the areas without getting into the details, it is so easy to get right into the details, “Oh, I could put a bench here.” And then I had to stop myself – “We’re not doing that yet.” I so often had to pull myself out of the detail!”
“It makes so much sense, before I start planning my solar power system, I should look at the energy efficiency of my house and my appliances, and how my family can change our habits to waste less!”
“Thanks Catherine for the wonderful opportunity to speak and the Koha. It’s a real privilege to be able to share, and it’s wonderful to have such willing listeners, you are doing a wonderful job.” Nik