Sydney’s Sustainable House 2020

This profile is written and maintained by the homeowner, architect, or builder. You can ask them questions about their home in the comments below.

Location
Chippendale NSW 2008
    • Housing Type:
    • High Density Housing
    • Project Type:
    • Renovation
    • Open with support of
    • Sustainable Chippendale
    • Designer
    • Michael Mobbs Sustainable Projects

About Sydney’s Sustainable House

It’s easy. All I’m doing in the city is what farmers do every day in the country – use the sun and rain that falls freely on my property.

You’ll see, discuss, get details about how anyone can do this, work with local plumbers, electricians and handy folk to install, build, operate and use a very, very ordinary household where, since 1996, two adults and two children lived for energy and water bills less than $300 a year. Anyone can. You just need to be who you are, no one else. Come and copy and do better than we’ve done here in this old terrace house built in 1894 and turned into an elegant, simple, off-the-grid joint, about ten minutes walk from Sydney’s Central Railway Station.
Since November 1996:

  • Not connected to town water or sewer
  • Solar power

Energy and water bills less than $300 for 23 years

Since March 2015 not connected to grid electricity.

Kept over 2 million litres of treated sewage on site and over 2 million litres of stormwater on site in a 2m square area of clay soil – and waste and pollution kept out of the mouths of the whales and marine life off Sydney where it otherwise goes.

My two books, “Sustainable House Book” and “Sustainable Food Book” are available on my website or may be purchased during the tour.

Free parking permits available for SHD visitors, please ask at the registration desk.

Michael Mobbs talks:

 

View Featured Video

SUSTAINABLE FEATURES

Years Open
2017
2019
2020
ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENT FEATURES
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
      Energy monitoring
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Shading
      Thermal chimney
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Evaporative
    • Water heating:
    • Solar hot water (flat panel)
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Blackwater system
      Stormwater management
      Low flow shower heads
      Low flow taps

    • Average water consumption per day:
    • 57L
    • Water harvesting and saving
    • Sump well with dry wall sandstone blocks through which surplus overflow water from the rain tank may drain and be absorbed below ground
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
      Skylight
    • Window Protection:
    • Adjustable Shading
      Awnings (external)
      Blinds
      Deciduous tree/vegetation
      Drapes/curtains
SUSTAINABLE & RECYCLED MATERIALS
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • All water and sewage stays on site - for 23 years
    • Sustainable materials:
    • Recycled timber, water, sewage, food waste
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Aggregate
      Bricks
      Concrete
      Doors
      Glass
      Insulation
      Paving
      Timber
      Windows

INSULATION SPECIFICATIONS
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      Ceiling
      External walls
      Floor
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Internal / External Walls Type:
    • Brick
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • Bulk – polystyrene board
RENEWABLE ENERGY SPECIFICATIONS
    • All-Electric Home?
    • No
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Energy storage/battery
      Solar PV off-grid
    • Size of PV system:
    • 4.5kW
    • Average Daily Energy Consumption:
    • 1.2kW
COSTS AND COST SAVINGS
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • In 1894? No idea. The 1996 reno cost $168,000 including the energy, water, recycled water and food systems
    • Cost estimate of sustainable home/features:
    • $48,000 in 1996 for water, energy, recycled water systems
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • $3,000+ - with no water or sewage or electricity bills, including no fixed charges.
HOUSE DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
    • House Size
    • 149 square metres over two floors on a 5 m wide 20 m footprint
    • Roof
    • Corrugated iron
    • Wall Materials
    • Double brick
      Timber

    • Wall Materials
    • Typical inner city terrace shared brick walls
    • Window and Door Types
    • Clerestory windows
      Double glazing
      Louvre windows
      Low-e, films
      Skylights
    • Universal design accessability
    • Adaptive design
    • Universal Design Features
    • Hobless showers
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 4
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 1
GARDEN AND WASTE REDUCTION
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • No stormwater has left in 23 years due to absorption pond; all treated sewage re-used and excess of average of 300 litres absorbed on site
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Bee keeping
      Chickens
      Composting
      Edible garden
      Green walls
      Organic

    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Compost all food scraps
      Recycle
      Repair
      Swap with friends and neighbours
HEALTHY HOME FEATURES
    • Healthy home features
    • Chemical free cleaning products used
      Cross flow ventilation
      Indoor plants for air filtration
      Lime render/wash
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
      Natural light and ventilation
      Natural oil sealer/finishes
      Wax based sealer/finish

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