Renew 153 out now: meet our new editor; prefab buyers guide

8 Old Wingello Road Bundanoon
Prefab modules form pavilions in the Bundanoon house and have been positioned so that sunlight from the front of the property can reach the south-facing rear of the home. Image: Mode Homes

Hello Renew! I’m your new editor, Tom Hawking. It’s a pleasure to be here, and to have been welcomed so warmly by everyone at both the magazine and the organisation. I come to Renew from a long, if somewhat meandering, career in media: I’m a former editor of the sadly defunct Melbourne alt-weekly Inpress, and I’ve also lived and worked in the UK, India and the USA. I spent most of the 2010s working in online media at NYC-based online culture publication Flavorwire, and I’m delighted to be back in a job where I can produce an actual, physical magazine.

I’m even more delighted that that magazine is Renew. I have great respect for Renew/the ATA and its work, and it’s exciting to be taking over a publication with such a rich history, such a strong identity, and such a dedicated readership. Advocating for sustainable living and technologies is as important as it was when Renew‘s first issue was published in 1980, and it’s exciting—if daunting—to take over the magazine at what feels like a key moment for Australia in deciding what our future will look like. So far, it’s been a pleasure to take part in creating our next chapter.

On that note, our newest magazine is at the printers, and will soon be in shops and in the post! In Renew 153, we take a detailed look at prefab housing, a subject on which we’ve never before printed a buyers guide. If you’re ever wondered about any or all of the various prefab house construction methods available today, you’re in luck!

There’s much more as well: South Australia’s big solar switch-off and what it might mean for the rest of us; why Covid provides an opportunity—and an obligation—for getting rental properties up to sustainability scratch; a real-life road test for our Sunulator model; a DIY piece on solar water pumps; an investigation of Australia’s paper recycling industry; the world’s first in-depth piece on sustainable bidets (probably); one woman’s journey to building a sustainable prefab home on a sensible budget; a report from the Central Sydney branch’s event on rooftop PV for apartment buildings; a first-hand account of what it’s like to own a Hyundai Ioniq EV; and an analysis of how the EV market in general is shaping up for 2020—and beyond.

Plus: a crossword!

Renew 153 will be on sale in the coming weeks and available to purchase online and in newsagents. Or, you can always subscribe, and guarantee you’ll get every issue delivered to your door.

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