Nov 10, 2005 1:22 pm
Hi ive been reading the posts with intrest on the topic from off-to-fnq and have found it to be very interesting. However rather then posting another message on off to fnq post i thought i would start a new topic under sustainable building and design and hope that those people whom have posted in the above mentioned post will continue the disussion.
I am very interested in building a sustainable home but am not educated at all in this area ive only just begun to research it.
Originally we were going to build a more traditonal home but then i leant about complying with basix (nsw) and became more interested in building a nice looking home both inside and out that is comfortable to live in and reduces the need for so many resources.
We will be building on a farm in central west nsw so our home will need to be self sufficent with water anyway so why not attempt to make it self suffiecent (as much as possible) for the sake of the enviorment (but more importantly for us at least more economical in the long term).
I have seen limited designs for sustainable housing and given where i live i dont believe there is anything available to someone who is not well versed in this type of building. I do not see any homes in our area built that look to be sustainable house designs, and am confident that most builders in the area do not focus on sustanabilty. After speaking to a few about basix Re; draftspeople who are also builders they say they would keep changing the design until it complied which says to me that if they arent sure they could design a house that complies with gov regs then they dont nessasarliy focus on enviormental issues when designing or building and basix is more then likley a big pain for them. I dont particulary wnat someone who has that mind set to be someone who builds my home.
Therefore the converstations that have started on this website have interested me and if you should like to continue with your discussion and anyother comments about enviromental buidling and sustainable please feel free. Also if anyone has any ideas or links regarding websistes were i may be able to find companies, builders so forth who speacialise in this type of building in my area id appreciate it as ive been unsuccesful thus far.
Nov 11, 2005 10:55 am
Good idea getting this topc a thread of it's own.
As I have already indicated, this is a HUGE subject.
The opportunites for alternative design are virtually limitless.
I am an Industrial Designer. We design new things and get new ideas to work. In this industry we very frequently encounter people who are unresponsive to our needs as we are asking them to do something that is outside of their daily experience.
When this happens to me I get into that part of my job which involves meeting all of the stakeholders needs while trying to maintain the original vision. We always get a result while rarely having to compromise on fundamental design issues. As I do not specify structural design I will always take my plans to a relevantly qualified draftperson/engineer/builder or architect to discuss the specifications and needs of my design - and how to get it to work!
Green Design has been a personal interst of mine since the mid nineties. From a design point of view there are so many fantastic and radical ideas and processes available it is impossible to list them.
There are also some very fundamental concepts which should be incorporated into any design regardless of eco friendly intentions. Such as aligining and designing the house to suit the geographical location in terms of winter/summer sun, prevelant wind and rain et cetera.
I am sure you will get a lot of great input from this site. I am more than happy to contribute to any discussion which involves some of these subjects, or if you have any specific enquiries I can also be contacted privately.
Struming Design - Industrial Design
Kitchen Design; Kitchen Supply; DIY Kitchens
Re: sustainable building and design - OT (off-to-fnq)3
Nov 15, 2005 4:05 pm
Good on you, I could not agree more BRING ON THE SUSTAINABLE HOUSE THREAD.... My wife (Meg) and I are going through the process of designing and owner building a passive solar, minimum impact house (i.e. minimum foot print, low embodied energy, energy and water efficient/self sufficient) on our small farm down on the far south coast. Our area is lucky to have a high proportion of ‘alternate’’ people (they seem pretty normal to me??) and one would expect there to be an established 'green' building industry here but Nup... nothing. Part of the problem is that most people that build such houses end up doing it as owner builders. We have renovated 5 houses over the past 8 years and hence have had a chance to play and learn about house design / building and have decided that to get what we want Owner Building is the way to go. Once we finished our basic design we went and spoke to every single draftsperson/building designer we could find (about a dozen all up) until we found one that smiled and was genuinly excited about our house (as apposed to rolling their eyes and going yer well we don't normally .......blah blah blah)
I would suggest that a great place to start for you is here;
http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/yourhome/t ... l/fs00.htm
read this site from start to finish as it covers the basics really really well... I love it; it is the best basic house design resource EVER.
Also do a net search on 'Passive Solar Houses’ and learn as much as you can about the (passive heating and cooling) design concept. Go to the library and borrow every book they have on Passive solar houses. It is the basis of all sustainable design and is where you should start design wise.. It is the best starting question for a draftperson/bullding designer "Have you done Passive Solar houses?" If they have not. forget them and keep looking. If they have go and look at their houses and talk to the people that live in them. (most people are more than mad keen to show off their sustainable houses).
Hope this gets you going down the right track, it’s a trip but you will end up with a really unique home that is pleasant to live in and better for the planet.
Re: sustainable building and design - OT (off-to-fnq)4
Jan 30, 2006 2:22 pm
I couldn't agree with Steve more, the government greenhouse website is great for anyone to get a good understanding of environmental design. The funny thing about environmental design is that it isn't rocket science. The basic principles are simply good design which every architect and designer learns when studying. Somewhere along the line the importance of these issues was lost. Again, BASIX is not a particulary onerous requirement. Unfortunately, designers are not prepared to 'think outside' the box they currently work in.
My wife and I are both in housing design and have recently returned from living and working in europe where they have a very positive attitude towards environmental design. Good environmental design is critical in europe because they generally have such harsh winters and it's important to optimise solar orintation etc. Wheras in Australia our climate is relatively mild, so we take it all for granted.
Having come home and seen such a poor attitude to environmetal design, we have started our own architectural design business, with a focus on environmental design.
Hopefully in our own small way we can try and make a differnce.
Re: sustainable building and design - OT (off-to-fnq)5
May 12, 2006 12:37 pm
There is currently only a small amount of builders and designers getting involved in this side of the industry. We are finding the number is growing every day. if you are after information in BASIX compliant products or other sustainability measures please check out our website www.ecomanage.com.au
We can also recomend builders that are using our products.
Eco Manage - Delivering market leading Eco products and services.
Re: sustainable building and design - OT (off-to-fnq)6
May 21, 2006 10:29 am
I would be interested to hear from people who are building "green" as to what sort of things you are incorporating into your home. I have found that I had to ask for certain things myself (stuff like considering orientation of the block, position of rooms in the house, size of windows, etc).
We initially looked at a green village display but were hugely disappointed at lack of knowledge, how some builders got a status of a "green builder" I just don't know. The houses were all paper-like and it seems that everyone can be considered "green" if they only have a water tank.
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