Sustainable House Day

I would love to be writing that my house is open to the public this weekend, 13-14 September 2007, for Sustainable House Day, however, not only did I miss the deadline for nomination, I didn’t even realise such an event existed!

Having checked out the map on the site, there are no houses within 30km of our town that are featured on the day, and none that I could see that have had a retrofit performed on them. From what I can tell by reading as many of the Victorian descriptions I can, is that the majority of homes are purpose built from scratch. So what happens when the majority of people like me want to retrofit an older house? We can’t all build new houses, because that is not very sustainable, is it now!

Our house was built in 1972, and at the time this house was not very sustainable at all. The only sustainable feature is that the living areas have a northern aspect and we can heat the lounge room and study in winter by passive solar heating. The other feature is the massive 50,000 litre water storage facility in the back yard in the form of a swimming pool (call it what you like, I reckon!).

Having performed so much work retrofitting it so that it is as efficient as it can be with the budget we had, it was such a shame that we couldn’t show it. It is a good example of what you can do to an existing home, with a bit of dogged determination and a lot of enthusiasm, and some minor changes in behaviour.

So here is the news flash! Kim and I have decided to enter our house for next years Sustainable House day. We don’t know if we will pass the entry criteria, but are willing to give it a go. At least by delaying for a year, we should have the chook house complete, a second rainwater tank installed and plumbed to the toilets, a lot more land will be under cultivation for food crops, and just maybe my back will be completely healed.

So, if you are around my area, this time next September (2009), have a think about dropping in and saying gidday if my nomination is successful! However, if you are really busting to have a look at what a sustainable house looks like, then have a look at the Sustainable House Day website and have a look for something in your local area. There might just be a house to visit in your town that you didn’t know about, and you might learn a thing or two that you can apply to your own home!


  1. says

    Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I will surely enter next year. Kim already has it marked in her calendar for January, when the first nominations are open.

    From what I have read from the nomination process, someone comes and has a look at your house as part of the process. We will blitz it in.


  2. Rebecca Blackburn says

    Hi Gavin

    I think your house is a great example for Sustainable House Day! Most of the houses open (at least in Sydney) are retrofits which I agree is far more sustainable than starting from scratch. Good luck!


  3. says

    Hi Gavin,

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and having a read. I feel pretty ‘chuffed’ (aka happy) that you added it to your blog roll too. Thank you my green Aussie friend.

    Funny you should write about the open days as I too have just read about them. I am really impressed that you are at the stage of even being considered.

    We live in the inner city of Sydney and there are a couple of homes that are being opened. Like you my dream will be one day my house will also be considered because I am living a sustainable life.

    Keep up the good work Gavin and good luck for next year.

    By the way I love the photograph of your garden. Have to say I would love to have a bigger garden to do what you have done (Alas the joys of living in the city).

    Thanks Gavin

  4. Teena says

    Geez Gav !!!! Have a bit of faith in yourself and your abilities. Look around you, of course you will be accepted. You showed me that being sustainable is about using what you already have to protect the environment, not what you can buy or looks flashy, they got rocks in their head if they cant accept a 30 something year old home converted totally to a sustainable lifestyle, your home is the perfect example of an australian family who care deeply not only for your own futures but to educate other australians on how to do exactly what you have done and make a huge difference to the ignorance of society expecting others to clean up our great nation, YOU and your family are the reason that each and every one of your readers cant wait to log in to your blog each day just to see what you have done next! You are an inspiration! YOU are making a difference! I love you Gav keep up the great work, we are all standing with you…. Phill… Can we get a video of that?

  5. says

    Mate if you dont pass entry criteria, Ill eat a worm out of your wormfarm.

    Grid connected Solar Power, water storage, permacluture vege gardens, recycling, composting, chooks (soon), Hybrid vehicle….
    not to meantion the energysaving practices you have intergrated into your daily lives

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