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Maroondah resident opens door to sustainable living

Published on 07 September 2017
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One of Maroondah’s most environmentally progressive homes will be among 200 houses around the country to open to the public for Sustainable House Day, held on Sunday 17 September.

Janine Strachan, an expert in sustainable housing and planning, will be opening the doors of her Warranwood home to others eager to find out how they too can embrace eco-friendly and sustainable practices within their own home.

The only national event of its kind, Sustainable House Day is aimed at helping everyday Australians to make their homes more sustainable, comfortable to live in and cheaper to run.

The day gives people a rare insight of exceptional homes that have been designed, built or retro-fitted with sustainability in mind and allows them to speak to and learn frocm homeowners.

This is the fourth consecutive year Janine’s house will be open to the public, with last year’s Sustainable House Day attracting 150 visitors through her door in search of some inspiration.

Janine designed her house 12 years ago with the aim of reducing her environmental impact and carbon footprint.

Her passive solar home features an exposed concrete slab, which helps regulate the house’s temperature year-round. During autumn and spring, a ventilation system that extracts heated air in the roof cavity can be pumped back into the house as supplementary heating.

The house uses renewable energy, as well as recycled materials.

Janine says the key to building a sustainable home was following good design principles that worked with the local climate.

“More and more people are realising that your home doesn’t need to look like a mud brick house, but that it’s about using alternative building products that are responsive to the local climate,” she said.

“By simply making a few changes, people can bring about a better outcome for themselves and the environment.”

Simple changes like using solar energy and rainwater, and using recycled materials where possible, needn’t cost the earth, she said.

Janine said that often people designed and built houses for their current needs, without thinking of how their home could work for them long-term.

“I try to get people thinking about how they can stay in their homes for longer as their mobility levels change, such as designing a home with wider doorways and considering factors such as safety,” she added.

Councillor Marijke Graham, Chair of the Maroondah Environment Advisory Committee, said Council was proud to be supporting Sustainable House Day.

“The event is a great way for the general public and see first-hand what was possible in sustainable living,” Cr Graham said.

“As a participating Council, we hope that as many residents as possible take advantage of this event and see for themselves real sustainable projects in action,” Cr Graham said.

“I would like to thank Janine for generously opening her home to the public as a way of engaging and inspiring the community to take their own steps towards incorporating sustainable design and building practices into their everyday living,” she said.

Sustainable House Day is run by the not-for-profit Alternative Technology Association (ATA) and sponsored by the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment and Energy.

You can also download a copy of Janine’s free eBook How to Create a Home for Life which is packed full of tips on how you can create a liveable, healthy and sustainable home for today, and into the future. 

Janine’s home at 1/30 Kardinia Crescent, Warranwood will be open from 10am to 4pm on Sunday 17 September. Entry is a gold coin donation, with all proceeds being donated to WaterAid Australia.
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