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Showing posts from September, 2012

In the (local) news

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Principle 8: Integrate rather than segregate

We were in the news twice this week, local acknowledgement for our achievements at the GreenSmart awards and for running a tour for the Seymour Garden Club.

There is something deeply rewarding about being recognised for our efforts, especially locally - by the people that we bump into around town. When I met the postie at our mail box the other day he asked me how we went at the awards in Sydney, we had a bit of a chat about what we were doing. It lit up my day. Nice to know that people care, reminding me that we are all human, not just strangers going about our business.

Something that I have found when appearing in the local news is that there always seems to be something in the article that's NQR (not quite right).


Outdoor rooms

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Principle 12: Creatively use and respond to change

I'm in the process of reading The Permaculture Handbookby Peter Bane. In it he discusses the benefits of outdoor rooms, which our carport has become. In the book Peter states "especially valuable are outdoor rooms lying between the connecting buildings" (our carport links the house to the cellar and workshop). He also mentions that "a most important outdoor room is the... Summer Kitchen", which has got me thinking more about an idea that's been brewing of an outside sink to wash vegies, it may now become a preparation area for preserving - incorporating a permanent home made rocket stove.

I've just finished painting the box beams that were showing signs of weathering. My father recommended that I give them an undercoat before painting them with a colour, which I did, even though the paint can said that I didn't have to. I'm very happy with the end result, creating a welcoming outdoor space that …

2012 GreenSmart Award finalist x2

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Principle 10: Use and value diversity


"Owner-Building is an important part of the building industry, and has many benefits beyond the experience and possible cost savings. In recent years, both the banking industry and the building industry associations have made it tougher for Owner-Builders. This is regrettable for Australia."
- Peter Lockyer GreenSmart professional, architect and builder.

When Peter Lockyer suggested that we enter Abdallah House into the HIA GreenSmart Awards, I laughed. Not just because the HIA represents the industrial housing system - which is the opposite angle of where we are coming from, but because of the really tight deadline that we had to make the submission - two days! Frankly, I felt that the effort would be a waste of time  - I was wrong.

In the rush that followed we put together a half-decent submission. The award would only recognise Peter, being a member of HIA GreenSmart, while I am not. Still, we made our submission pointing out that t…

Sustainable House Day tour feedback

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Principle 4: Apply self-regulation and accept feedback

I was pleased with the turn out that we got on the 2012 SHD with 39 signed in visitors, our biggest yet. It kept Peter Lockyer (builder / architect) and myself (Richard Telford - owner builder) busy for six hours straight. As part of the day we were asked to get visitors to sign in and include their postcode. I decided to map the information that I collected so that I could visualise where people where coming from who visited our house. Most of the visitors came from towns directly south of us, Tallarook, Broadford, Kilmore and Wallan - within the Mitchell Shire. We had some from Melbourne, Heathcote and even a woman from Castlemaine. What was interesting was that there were only a couple of people from Seymour who turned up.

A big part of what I wanted to do with this project is to inspire and empower people to become more self-reliant. Here are some of the comments that we got in our visitors book on the day:
Thank you for your g…

deconstruct -> reconstruct

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Principle 6: Produce no waste



I was reminded recently of a little clip that I made of the original house being deconstructed and thought that I'd revisit and revitalise it, getting permission from Charlie Jones for the use of his song "No Such Thing as Waste"