04/07/2006 - 22:00

Environmental benefits flow from Maddington ‘green house’ retrofit

04/07/2006 - 22:00

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The cities of Armadale and Gosnells, and the Serpentine-Jarrahdale shire have joined forces to help residents of older, existing homes, retrofit their properties to save energy and water.

Environmental benefits flow from Maddington ‘green house’ retrofit

The cities of Armadale and Gosnells, and the Serpentine-Jarrahdale shire have joined forces to help residents of older, existing homes, retrofit their properties to save energy and water.

The councils, which have formed the South East Regional Energy Group, recently completed a retrofitting of a double-brick-and-tile home in Maddington as part of the Switch Your Thinking initiative.

Located at 23 Willow Way, the ‘green house’, as it is now known, was built in the 1970s with little consideration for the state’s climate.

Using local contractors and some local products, the SEREG has installed a number of technologies, including compact fluorescent down lights, grey-water recycling and sub-strata irrigation.

The property also incorporates a solar hot water system, insulation, skylights, and a selection of energy efficient appliances and water saving measures, including a water-wise garden.

SEREG chair and Armadale councillor, Pat Hart, said in a statement the group hoped the successful retrofitting of the older home would demonstrate to the community that the environmental and economic performance of homes could be substantially and cost-effectively improved by addressing a few simple areas.

“Retrofitting of the home has been kept mainstream, practical and is easily replicated with the emphasis in the promotion and display of the energy and water-efficient features,” Ms Hart said.

Before the fit-out, the group gave consideration to the orientation of the lot and the existing layout of the house, with a focus on improving comfort levels and minimising the need for additional heating and cooling.

Gosnells mayor, Pat Morris, said the Switch Your Thinking initiative was the first of its kind in the Perth metropolitan area and demonstrated that any home, regardless of age and location, could be successfully retrofitted and in turn help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In earlier trials of the initiative, 200 households in the Gosnells area were switched on to energy saving methods last year after receiving a retrofit pack from the council, which contained items such as fluorescent globes, a five-minute shower timer, an energy-smart thermometer, door snake, and optional worm farm.

It is expected that participating households will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by between 12 per cent (household retrofit only) and 21 per cent (retrofit and worm farm), and save an estimated $160 a year on energy bills. 

The ‘green house’ will be open to the public on Saturday’s from 11am to 4pm, and Wednesdays from 1pm to 5pm.

The initiative follows a project undertaken by the City of Subiaco, which commissioned Glenway Homes to build a sustainable demonstration home in the area for public viewing in 2004. The home, designed by Solar Dwellings, combined architectural features and technologies to create an example of ecologically sensitive housing design.

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