Previous SHD

Some Statistics
Sustainable House Day 2013 – Wangaratta area
Four houses, one vegetable garden and one Eco Living Centre
Number of home owners etc involved – 12
Number of volunteers to assist home owners - 20
Number of visitor – 171
Number of house/site visits – 403

Total number of home/site visits over the last three years in the Wangaratta area - 1166
Past Sustainable House Days

Wangaratta Sustainable House Day 2013
 Markwood Fruit and Vegetable Garden 
  • Vegetable and Animal Growing on 1.6 hectare
  • Crop rotation – brassicas, legumes, root crops, leafy greens, legumes
  • Soil improvement where plants are
  • Area for creeping plants – pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers
  • Green house propagation Vegetables grown from seed
  • Berries include strawberries, raspberries , thornless blackberries
  • Eight citrus trees and 20 deciduous fruit trees
  • Sheep, goats and chooks
  • Preserving excess – jam , sauce, bottling, pickling, drying
Wangaratta House
  • Siting to maximise solar access
  • Separation of less used area
  • Added natural light with clerestory windows
  • Outdoor area with insect proof screens
  • Recycled rubberwood decking – a substitute for Merbau
  • Thermal mass in living area – polished concrete with extra black basalt
  • Northern windows double glazed and sliding for greater air movement
  • Windows shaded from summer sun
  • Gas space heating supplements passive solar heating
  • Usual cooling by ceiling fans, cross flow ventilation and thermal mass
  • Gas boosted solar hot water
  • Grid connected solar cells
Whorouly House 
  • Brick work uses recycled brick
  • Plantation timber used extensively for internal lining and ceilings, no plaster in house at all
  • All windows double glazed
  • Fixed louvres keep out summer sun on north side
  • Adjustable louvres on east side allow maximum light and restrict heat in summer
  • Design to allow cross flow ventilation
  • Ceiling fans and no installed air conditioning
  • Wood fired heating with small supplementary gas heater
  • One Kw solar cells, grid connected
  • No steps
  • Conservation

Wangaratta South House

  • Custom built two storey
  • Modern rural aesthetic
  • Siting for solar access and views
  • Living areas, kitchen and bedrooms with North facing windows
  • Eaves sized for shading in summer
  • Zoned sleeping and utility areas
  • Double glazing
  • Concrete slab for thermal mass
  • Some recycled timber flooring
  • Cooling with ceiling fans and cross flow breezes
  • Casement windows for maximum air flow
  • Low energy lighting throughout
  • Waste water treated and used for irrigation
  • 6.9 star rating

Murmungee House

  • Passive Solar, Energy efficient
  • Orientation of house- North facing
  • Double glazing ( E glazing Laundry)
  • Steel frame
  • Solar hot water
  • 2 KW Photo Voltaic electricity cells
  • Hebel walls
  • Insulation
  • Designed with cross breeze air flow
  • Nectre combustion wood heater – renewable
  • Dark tiles absorb heat in winter
  • Design of carport on west mitigates western summer heat
  • Skylight in internal bathroom
  • Second bathroom for disabled use
  • Block out blinds
  • Large veranda 8 m on west
  • Pergola slats for sun protection, north east and west.
  • 3 Water tanks, gravity fed water flushing to 2 toilets, reduces pump use
  • Hard landscaping –gravel areas surround house reduces fire danger
  • Grape vines on north to protect from summer sun
  • Deciduous trees close to house ( non native- fire risk)
  • Organic vegetables
  • Orchard and tree planting on west for wind and sun protection
Border Mail Article
Eco Living Centre - HP Barr Reserve

  • Evacuated tube solar hot water
  • Tracking solar cells
  • Stormwater collection
  • Interpretive signage


Sustainable House Day 2012

Sustainable House DayDuring Sustainable House Day 2012 the Wangaratta Sustainability Network coordinated the opening of five homes in the area to the public.  Some of the features of each home are listed. 

Boweya North

 - home is a converted farm shed with two storey extension
- cladding is recycled corrugated steel both colourbond and galvanised
- thermal break insulation resulting in walls R3 and ceilings R4 at least
- windows and doors double glazed
- extension allows zoning of area
- passive solar gain and cross flow ventilation
- sealed concrete floor in main living area for thermal mass
- Solar electricity off grid – 18 panels, 48 volt battery bank and 5kW inverter
- rainwater collected in two 22,300 litre tanks
- dams for stock and vegetable garden


- standard home raised to 7 star rating by some modifications
- insulation levels in roof R5 and  R 2.5 in walls and waffle pods in floor slab R1
- House design and siting gives north facing glass
-windows double glazed and with curtains
-wood fired heating
- evaporative cooling – rarely used
- pergola over north facing windows keeps house cool in summer
- solar hot water with timed booster
- 3 kW solar array grid connected
- all fluorescent lighting – pre LED
- power points with automatic stand by switches

    - newly built home to take advantage of the views and be energy efficient
 - external walls are thermally efficient Insulated Concrete Forms (styrene, concrete and reinforcing)
- passive solar design
- off grid photovoltaic power supply
- wood heating and cooking
- high thermal mass in living area
- ceiling fans throughout
- energy efficient lighting either by fluorescent fittings or LEDs
- designed for safety in fire risk area

   - design of house centred around hexagonal living area
- use of hexagonal area gives efficient use of space
- passive solar winter heating
- north facing windows 2500 mm high to maximise heat and light
- Comfort Glass installed on North facing windows
- house zoned with separate heating and cooling equipment
- toilets and laundry supplied with tank water
- gardens planned to assist in cooling
- home and "bed and breakfast" business
- specifically designed transportable home brought on site in 2007
- house built of plantation pine
- painted with a natural paint
- insulation in walls, roof and under floor
- North, East and West walls painted white to reflect heat
- 8 panel off grid solar electricity with rarely used generator backup
- gas boosted solar hot water system
- double glazed windows with pelmets and curtains
- solar air heating with Solar Venti
- solar exhaust fans and security light
- wicking worm bed for vegetables
- native gardens over 2 acres with salt bush hedging
RCOW Eco LivingCentre (Community Centre)
- solar hot water
- passive solar design
- tracking solar cells
- down light comparison
- eco living trailer


·       Two bedroom, 9.3 square home.

·       Rammed earth external walls.

·       Louvre windows at highest point of sloping ceiling release hot air.

·       Water collected from roof into 47,000 litre tank.

·       Worm waste system processes all grey and black water and compost.

·       Power from 6 PV panels and a battery bank.

·       Low pressure solar hot water backed up by wood heater in winter.

·       Native plants used in garden and selected for resistance to extremes of climate.

·       A 40 metre long straw bale wall shelters garden.

·       Fire wood plantation established.


·       Sited on one hectare block within walking distance of CBD.

·       Designed for solar access and views.

·       Living area and kitchen zoned from rest and face North.

·       Polished concrete floor provides thermal mass.

·       Embedded black basalt stones increase the solar capacity of the concrete floor.

·       Windows in Northern part of house double glazed.

·       Insect screened outdoor living area in path of air blowing over dam.

·       Energysaver gas space heater assists passive heating in living area.

·       10,000 litre tank captures roof run off for garden watering.

·       Gas boosted solar hot water.

·       2 kilowatt PV array.


               ·       North facing aspect to capture winter sun.

·       Specifically sized eaves and pergolas minimise sun entry in summer.

·       Shape encourages cross flow ventilation.

·       Ceiling fans.

·       Light grey colorbond roof to reflect heat.

·       Thermal mass through mud brick and stone walls and polished concrete slab.

·       North facing windows double glazed.

·       Wood fired firebox heats and distributes heated air.

·       Photovoltaic cells.

·       External buildings illustrate straw bale and radially sawn timber construction.

·       Native garden thoroughly mulched with gravel.


·       Retro fitted 1930's home.

·       Grid connected PV cells.

·       Energy efficient appliances.

·       Two zoned living areas.

·       Reversible ceiling fans.

·       Slow combustion wood heater.

·       Cross flow ventilation.

·       Grey water system.

·       Draft elimination.

·       Organic food garden.

·       Added insulation in roof.

·       Some double glazing.

Sustainable House Day 2010
Over 200 people visited the three Sustainable Homes that were open in and around Wangaratta.  The three houses meet the different sets of needs of their owners, but  are at the same time great examples of how, with a bit of careful thought and determination, our ecological and carbon footprints can be lessened.

·       Two bedroom, 9.3 square home.

·       Rammed earth external walls.

·       Louvre windows at highest point of sloping ceiling release hot air.

·       Water collected from roof into 47,000 litre tank.

·       Worm waste system processes all grey and black water and compost.

·       Power from 6 PV panels and a battery bank.

·       Low pressure solar hot water backed up by wood heater in winter.

·       Native plants used in garden and selected for resistance to extremes of climate.

·       A 40 metre long straw bale wall shelters garden.

·       Fire wood plantation established.
-Two bedroom relocatable house on 40 acres.

-Design modified slightly to provide double glazing, wood heating and cross flow ventilation.

-PV cells for electricity – off grid.

-Water collected from all roofs.

-Eighteen acre firewood plantation – heating, hot water and cooking.

-Food self sufficiency – chooks, sheep, vegetable garden and orchard – provide half food needs.

-Entire house heated by one wood burning heater.

-Cross flow ventilation for cooling and fresh air drawn from an external watered garden.

-Ceiling fans.

-Worm driven composting toilet.

-Grey water to reed beds

-No digging in vegetable garden.

Permaculture principles in operation.


-House designed for a typical urban block – 888 square metres.

-Long axis of block and house run East West to allow easy passive heating.

-Colourbond roof very light grey to reflect heat.

-External cladding is concrete blocks – consider embedded energy.

-Design of house provides five zones along length of house – when two people only 2 zones used.

-Two zones have stand alone gas heating.

-Waffle pod slab to reduce amount of concrete and aid insulation.

-Living areas double glazed and with significant North facing glass.

-Floor tiled extensively for thermal mass.

-Cross flow ventilation and ceiling fans.

-Solar driven heat/cool assistance 'Sun Lizard' or 'Solar Source'.

-Evacuated tube hot water

-PV cells on grid

-Rain water storage – 18,000 litres

-Low energy light fittings – pre LED times.

-Extensive vegetable garden and fruit trees.

-Native plants, no lawn.