Sustainable House Day, the national event that throws open the doors of homes designed with sustainability in mind, was held this year on Sunday, 16 September 2018.
More than 30,000 people visited a record 224 homes across the country, including 72 in Victoria. This year the line-up included offices, apartment blocks, gardens and community centres as well as residential houses.
Held annually since 2001, the event is run by Renew, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes sustainable living, formerly known as the Alternative Technology Association. All homes opening their doors have a minimum of four sustainable features, including sustainable lifestyles and energy saving and healthy home practices.
At each home the owners, and in some places architects and designers, lead visitors on tours of the home, explaining its sustainable features, how they were achieved, and taking questions.
Katy Daily, Renew’s marketing manager, said Sustainable House Day had drawn strong media and community interest.
Award-winning sustainable designer Luke Middleton, a member of the BDAV who opened his MM House in Northcote (pictured, above), was a guest on Jon Faine’s Conversation Hour on ABC Radio Melbourne a few days before the event. Quentin Irvine’s Recyclable House at Beaufort, west of Ballarat, which features a ‘cradle to cradle’ approach where every part of the home is recyclable or can be packed up and moved at the end of its life, also attracted media attention. Tiny Footprint’s two tiny houses at Kinglake West were the subject of a story on Radio National’s Life Matters program and were written up in Domain Magazine.
“Sustainable House Day was a great success again this year,” Ms Daily said. “It showed that people are keen to know more about good design, about saving on energy bills and making their homes more comfortable and generally liveable.”
“Those who attended were interested in many things including sustainable building materials, healthy interiors, energy efficient design, batteries with solar and tiny homes.”
Ms Daily said Renew was keen to drive efforts to lift the low energy efficiency of most established homes in Australia.
“People are becoming more and more aware that they can improve their homes from the standard, very low 1-2 stars and they’re hungry to find out what others have done well in their homes. Sustainable House Day provides an opportunity to be inspired.”
“It was wonderful to see that at many homes there was a community presence with stalls for local schools, sustainability projects and community centres. We’re proud of the fact that Sustainable House Day is having an impact fostering good community.”