Sustainable House Tour May 10th Northern Tasmania

A chance to talk to the owners of two very different sustainable homes, ask them the burning questions you might have about aspects of sustainability in a home and enjoy some great morning or afternoon tea.

 

Sustainable House Tours – The inside story.

Saturday May 10th

10.30-12.30 & 2.00-4.00

From the folks that brought Sustainable House Day to Northern Tasmania.

 

Come along and pick the brains of sustainable home owners about the nitty gritty of their experiences creating and living in a sustainable home.

 

  • Cost:  By donation. You pay what you think the session was worth.
  • Numbers:  Limited. This ensures that in depth information can be discussed
  • Session Length: 90 minute session at each home. Each home open in the morning and afternoon. You pick the session that suits you.
  • Afternoon/morning tea:  Yum. Will be available
  • Bookings:  Essential. Contact Lisa on 0427 283 403 or email annelisa(at)westnet.com.au Details of locations provided when booking.
  • House locations:  In the Meander Valley

 

Two very different homes.

House 1:        Transformation of a 1940,s weatherboard house that optimises energy efficiency and minimises running costs.

85 Meander Valley rd westbury 2

 

  • Sharing (by blog) extensive research on all materials used for sustainability and availability.
  • Owner built studio extension (mega anchors, double glazing, sustainable flooring, hardwood framing, wool insulation, plastic/wood composite deck)
  • Grid connect solar. Energy efficient lighting
  • Heat pump hot water unit, water saving devices
  • Up-cycled and recycled materials
  • Natural paints and floor finishes
  • Retro fitted insulation (roof and walls) and draught proofing

 

House 2:        Maximum sustainability with minimum environmental footprint. Purpose designed passive solar house.

100_2452

  • Passive solar design
  • Recycled materials
  • Stand alone solar power
  • Composting toilet
  • Permaculture garden with swales
  • Onsite greywater treatment system
  • water reticulation system for house and garden using dams, tanks and solar pumps
  • Owner built
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How the house is behaving thermally !!

Well as we are in the middle of several things at once but not far enough along on any of them to post them I thought I would re visit the steps we have taken to make the house thermally more comfortable than when we moved in nearly four years ago.

This year is the first year that the house stays noticeably warmer inside than the outside temp, even in the morning. Now winter is not here yet but we have had several mornings of below 5 degrees.

Here is a list of improvements we have made and there links to the relevant posts.

Now individually each thing has only helped a little, some more than others, but put together it means that the house is so far consistently warmer than it was and is using less fuel, in this case firewood, to warm it up.

Secondary double glazing

Something that Mandy & I have been meaning to do for ages and have not got round to…….till now, is somekind of secondary double glazing on the double hung timber windows that we have in the main part of the house.

When we first moved in we spent some time sealing the draughts and rattles in the windows and doors which made a big difference. Now it was time to trial a product which creates a secondary glazing panel at a low cost.

There are a few different options available to secondary glaze existing windows. I have just done a quick google and three jump out. Magnetite, Ecoglaze, and Clear Comfort . All three are very different products and you should research all three to see which suits you.

We decided to go with Clear Comfort as it was a reasonably cheap option that we could do ourselves. We also spoke to other people who had used this product with great success. Found a great resource on the internet GIY (Green It Yourself) a great resource that shows with a series of videos how easy it is to make your home more sustainable with reasonably priced products and a little elbow grease. It is being put together by Lish Fejer who was one of the presenters on ABC TV’s Carbon Cops. I have found it very useful.

Clear Comfort is a transparent plastic film that is attached to the window frame by very strong double sided tape. When it is heated with a hairdryer it goes taut. The film traps a layer of still air between the glass and the plastic which acts as an insulator. It is at present $198.00 for 10 meters x 1.6meter wide and the tape. this includes postage.

If you want a clear explanation of glazing and thermal performance then this link to the Home Technical Manual, an Australian government initiative, and in my mind a bloody good one is worth a look.

We decided to fit it in the lounge room first as we have south facing windows with two double hung windows and a large glazed panel inbetween.

Mandy & I cleaned the windows thoroughly and followed the instructions in cleaning the paintwork on the window frames. This took a while as we had mould where the condensation had been running down the windows onto the window frame.

Double sided tape

Then the tape was cut and stuck to the window frame and burnished with the back of a spoon. Note if you want to take it off again you have to order “temporary” tape not “permanent” tape.

Clear Comfort film

Next we cut the film to size with about a 10cm overlap. Pulled the second side of the backing tape off and gently attached the film. Working our way down we gently pulled the film until all the creases were taken out. When we were happy we rubbed the film onto the sticky tape and then burnished hard with the back of a spoon.

Burnishing with spoon 

Lastly we turned on the hairdryer and gently warmed the Clear Comfort as per instructions. The wrinkles magically disappeared and the whole thing went much tighter. Very last thing was to trim off the excess.

finished apart from trimming excess

END RESULT: Very very pleased. The room is much warmer and there is NO CONDENSATION!! Along with our floor length curtains and pelmets we have transformed a draughty south facing room into a livable room.finished apart from trimming excess.

The only tricky bit has been with the upper double hung windows as these have the sash window catches. Clear Comfort suggests putting it on the outside if there is good eave coverage. What we chose to do is to remove the catches and we will install a barrel bolt on top of the bottom window (the only one that moves in our case) that locks across into the side of the window frame.