Home truths for sustainable living

THERE’LL always be a place for a solid slab and sturdy frames but energy efficiency is coming to the fore in the design and construction of new homes in Orange.

Residents had the opportunity to see how architects and builders are moving with the times through more environmentally-friendly features on Saturday at workshops held as part of Sustainable Living Week.

Three workshops at homes in Orange and Millthorpe gave people looking for a new house or renovation tips the chance to consider more energy-efficient ideas in their designs.

Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange’s (ECCO) Nick King said there were was no shortage of in-house energy options.

“What we’re looking at is forms of energy which have been around forever: wind, solar and water,” Mr King said.

“But we now have sophisticated ways for harnessing them and renewable energy is becoming more accessible.”

Mr King said the technology was not just about harvesting the energy but, just as critically, finding ways to store it for later use.

“It’s showing people what’s out there and what they can do to make their lives more sustainable,” he said.

“This isn’t just for new houses, you can add things like double-glazing into older houses.

“There’s a range of sustainable building options which are becoming more mainstream thanks to builders such as Banksia Bulding and GJ Gardner Homes.”

Sustainable Living Week is organised by ECCO and the Rotary Club of Orange.

“These workshops give people practical solutions to make their homes more efficient,” Rotary Club of Orange president John Mills said.

Mr Mills said sustainable living was more than just solar panels, involving design, insulation and double glazing.

“It’s not just using less energy but also using energy from renewable sources,” Mr Mills said.

“Solar only works during the day, but by coupling it with batteries, you’re able to use it when it’s cloudy or at night.

“We’ve had water tanks for years, now we can have one for electricity."

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