Thursday, October 21, 2010

Home sweet home


The new residents are settling into the house, adjusting to the change from a grand old Queensland to a sleek new home, and finding places for their belongings. Some technology glitches are being ironed out but the garden has been well watered with all the recent rain, the tanks are full and the owners are enjoying their new space.

The front garden's strawberries which fruited at completion of construction are fruiting again, much to the delight of the local bush turkeys and the owners' son.
The water tank beneath the courtyard is full and ready to be used on the garden and pool when the weather dries up.Mint and native violets are filling up between the pavers outside the Laundry and Kitchen.The pool is enjoyed for a dip after kayaking on the river.

3 comments:

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
S said...

Just discovered your blog as partner and I are in the early stages of researching costs of sustainable Australian homes.

Do you have indicative costs for a home like this? I think the idea is a keeper and something everyone would ideally be doing. However, I do wonder how realistic it is for the average home owner?

Cheers

Sarah

Emma Scragg said...

Hi Sarah

The house was not an affordable build, partly due its location in inner Brisbane and the level of finishes demanded by a riverfront inner city location. However some of the high upfront costs, like rainwater tanks and solar power mean that the owners should never have to pay an electricity bill (except perhaps in our current extended wet weather) or water bill and the house does not require artificial cooling. With recycled materials (more labour intensive $ but very low embodied energy) and high finishes, excluding all the infrastructure (rainwater tanks, solar panels, greywater treatment, landscaping, retaining walls, hot water divertors), the build cost was approximately $3,800/sqm. This could be reduced considerably with an easier site (this one was very steep and narrow with difficult access which slowed construction, increasing labour costs), simpler finishes, smaller scale (height, particularly) build and construction during a more cost-competitive time in the building industry.