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Sustainable potential on show in Subi

THE results of a collaborative project involving the State Government, universities and more than 40 businesses are on public view in Subiaco.

The recently opened Subiaco Sustainable Demonstration home is a two-storey, four-bedroom, two-bathroom house at 2 Allora Avenue. It was designed to educate and raise awareness among the community of the benefits of practical and innovative solutions to sustainable living.

City of Subiaco director of Development Services, Geoff Glass, said public response to the house since its opening on March 18 had been overwhelming. 

He said the ideology behind the house was to “make the ordinary extraordinary”. 

“The house was designed to educate, show direction and leadership, so that the marketplace demands homes that are better,” Mr Glass said.

The Subiaco Sustainable Demonstration home will remain on display for the next two years and Mr Glass said it was expected that, during this time, every school in Perth would bring students through the house.

The house is practical and energy efficient, and uses a variety of building and technological techniques to achieve this goal.

For example, the main thermal mass of the home is created from rammed rubble taken from the previous building on the site. Solar louvers are positioned on the north facing windows at 38º to maximise sun exposure in winter and minimise it in summer. 

These techniques mean that, 90 per cent of the time, the house temperature should remain between 20-25º, and never drop below 18º in winter.

The design incorporates many features that are disability friendly, including: wide doors; a wide and straight stairway that allows for installation of a future chair-lift; higher positioning of light switches and power points; and items such as taps and cupboard handles that were selected for ease of use. 

Artwork in the house emphasises the use of recycled materials, with several pieces made from used plastic bags, and a sculpture made from leftover rubble and chrome industrial drill pieces from mine sites.

The house was co-designed by Solar Dwellings director Griff Morris and Curtin University architecture lecturer Elizabeth Karol. 

Mr Morris said the design was intended to be inclusive and accessible to as broad a range of people as possible, in terms of aesthetics, cost, technology and design.  He said many homes were not being designed for the future, and people should not be building homes that would quickly date.

Education tours for industry, schools and community will be held during the home’s two-year open period.

The home will also feature in a public art competition, in school competitions, and interactive displays.

Located alongside conventional display homes in Subiaco Rise, the house is open to the public on Wednesday from 2pm to 5pm and on weekends from 1pm to 5pm.

 

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