Eco-homes open doors

Living lighter: The Sativa Sanctuary Hemp House in Witchcliffe will be open as part of Sustainable House Day on Saturday, September 15. Photo: Supplied.
Living lighter: The Sativa Sanctuary Hemp House in Witchcliffe will be open as part of Sustainable House Day on Saturday, September 15. Photo: Supplied.

The South West region will boast more than one-quarter of the WA homes set to open their doors to showcase design features for healthy, low-cost living as part of Sustainable House Day.

The national event, which will be held on Sunday, 15 September, has been running annually since 2001.

Organised by not-for-profit sustainable living consultancy Renew, the open day offers the public a rare insight into how the homes have been designed, built or renovated with environmental living in mind.

Over the last two decades, the event has grown in popularity, with more than 35,000 people expected to visit the 250 homes on display across Australia this year.

This year has seen a record number of 'Passive House' houses, the gold standard of well-sealed, efficient houses.

Sustainable House Day allows Australians to see real homes that have achieved this, and get unbiased advice on how to make their homes more comfortable and cheaper to run.

Renew chief executive officer Donna Luckman.

Several of the houses on display have also migrated off gas to be all-electric, or have been built without gas.

Many of the homes are net-zero energy, producing more energy than they consume.

In the South West, there will be nine homes open, including a Hempcrete home in Witchcliffe and the Fair Harvest Permaculture farm and gardens in Margaret River.

Though the gardens were established 25 years ago, the owners have recently opened an 'Eco Campground', equipped with composting toilets, showers with grey water systems, worm farms and composting for campers.

The 'Mad House' in Busselton has also announced that it will open its doors on the day to showcase the home, which was built using reused, low embodied energy materials and features cross-ventilation and convection ventilation for both the pantry and fridge.

The 'Mad House' in Busselton. Photo: Supplied.

The 'Mad House' in Busselton. Photo: Supplied.

According to Renew chief executive officer Donna Luckman, earth building construction, including hemp, rammed earth and strawbale, is featuring prominently among this year's entries.

"Everyone wants a home that is well-designed, healthy, and runs efficiently in an age of high energy bills," she said.

"Sustainable House Day allows Australians to see real homes that have achieved this, and get unbiased advice on how to make their homes more comfortable and cheaper to run."

For the full list of open homes, or to register, visit www.sustainablehouseday.com