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Showing posts from October, 2010

Laneway trellis

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Principle 11: Use edges and value the marginal

I wanted to make the most of the laneway that runs down the east side of the property. The laneway is regularly poisoned by the local council with Roundup, so using runoff water from there needs to take that into consideration. Roundup, produced by the company Monsanto, is one of the most commonly used herbicides on the market. It has falsely been claimed as 'safe' by the company, and has never been submitted for testing by the EPA.
Thankfully, the council workers began poisoning the laneway up from my property, as they could see that I was growing plants nearby. Still, I'd prefer if they would mow the laneway instead. I spoke to the workers about maintaining the laneway around my property myself, so to avoid direct contamination. They were fine with that, so long as I kept the grass / weeds down.
Following on from my keeping water out of the cellar post, I want to ensure that water runs away from, and not into the cellar. I e…

Sustainable Homes Tour

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Principle 8: Integrate rather than segregate

One of the ideas behind the building of Abdallah House was to share the experience and inspire other people. Earlier in the year I was contacted by Cathy Koning from the Sustainable Communities Program and invited to become part of the Sustainable Home Tour, the first of its kind in the region. Of course I was delighted to be involved.
There were three houses on the tour, Abdallah House in Seymour, a stone cottage in Tallarook Ranges, and a strawbale house in Kilmore. You can see the case study of the tour here.
I was sent this letter in thanks for my participation in the event, with some feedback from the attendees.
I would love to be part of other similar events in the future, and have been thinking about running tours of our own, along with workshops on 'low impact living'... sometime in the future.


Getting the Grant

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Principle 3: Obtain a yield
As an owner builder I needed to get an Occupancy Permit from council before I could apply for the First Home Owners Grant. There is quite a bit of paperwork involved in this process, along with a final inspection. Of course, whenever you try to do anything a bit differently than 'the system' is designed for then you run into some interesting challenges. I didn't actually get some of the certificates required, instead I sent them letters confirming that I conformed with the standards. This is how I did it.
Electrical Certificate of Compliance 
supplied by Electrician

Plumbing Certificate of Compliance
supplied by Plumber

Glazing Certificate of Compliance
Letter written by glazier below, he laughed at me when I asked for a certificate, he said none exist.

"This is to certify that the glazing of 1a Abdullah Road Seymour complies with the Australian Standard for Selection and Installation of Glass in Buildings (AS1288). All glasswork carried out …