Sanctuary 52 out now: Sustainable House Day special
As we navigate the challenges and opportunities of a world changed by an ongoing global pandemic, this issue our focus is on shaping a sustainable ‘new normal’.
For our long-running flagship event, Sustainable House Day, this year that means a shift to an entirely online format, giving attendees the chance to video-tour homes across the country without leaving their own, and to see what over 100 forward-thinking households are already doing in this sphere. In this Sustainable House Day special issue of Sanctuary, we profile eight of the best homes opening their doors (virtually of course), including a modernist, affordable Passive House on a tiny Perth block, a high-performing off-grid home in coastal Victoria built using a set of freely available sustainable home plans, and a modest but effective renovation and small extension to a Wollongong bungalow – including phase change material (PCM) for help with temperature stabilisation.
With around one third of all new dwellings built by Australia’s 100 largest builders, we’d love to see the ‘new normal’ for this volume build (or project home) sector shift towards true sustainability too. ESD consultant and housing researcher Erika Bartak explains the easy wins, the pitfalls to avoid and the important questions to ask for those wanting a more sustainable volume build, and in our Design Workshop one Melbourne family gets expert advice on ‘greening’ their own new project home.
Also in this issue …
Our publisher Renew is campaigning hard for the ‘new normal’ to include healthy, affordable homes for all Australians, which means new energy efficiency standards for our existing housing stock. In ‘Avoiding the winter cold’, health researcher Dr Toby Cumming explains how upgrading your home’s building envelope with even relatively simple retrofits can have a positive effect on your health and wellbeing as well as on your energy bills.
Elsewhere, we dig into the subject of garden design for improved mental health – pertinent when facing the uncertainty of life in a pandemic. In On the drawing board, builder Craig Riddle explains his experiment to design and build a 10-Star house using readily available materials by making the most of iterative energy assessments, and we consider the tricky topic of choosing sustainable timber for your project – plus much more.