Hepburn Springs eco house sets standards

A Hepburn Spring’s eco house will be open to curious visitors on Sustainable House Day. 

Six sustainable homes will be open throughout the region on Sunday. More than 150 homes will be on show nationwide. 

Ballarat region Sustainable House Day coordinator Tim Drylie said the day allows visitors to understand the practicality of a sustainable house. 

“There are lots of different approaches to building a sustainable house,” he said. 

“It is nice to get out there to see how people have done it themselves rather than looking at theory or pictures in a magazine.”

Mr Drylie said people may be interested in learning about the features of sustainable homes to reduce carbon emissions, reduce costs and meet lifestyle choices. 

“Given that there is an energy crisis and we are moving toward a carbon zero target, it is important for us to be looking at sustainable options,” he said.

“Another reason is for lifestyle choices. Often if you are building a sustainable house you are building a house that is really comfortable to live in. Another reason is economic, with huge rises in electricity costs people are thinking more about the way renewable systems can reduce their energy bills.

“Sustainable homes have design features that just make sense.”

Daylesford sustainable building specialist Unicorn Architecture and APHI Projects designed the “Green Retreat” in Hepburn Springs. The house features an air tightness system to maximise air quality, triple glazed widows and a heat pump for hot water. 

ECO HOUSE: House owner Tony Ward at the Green Retreat in Hepburn. Pictures: Dylan Burns.

ECO HOUSE: House owner Tony Ward at the Green Retreat in Hepburn. Pictures: Dylan Burns.

Hepburn Springs sustainable house owner Tony Ward decided to make sustainable choices for their short-stay cottage based on his experience renovating an 1860s cottage on the same property. 

“It was chilly unless you had the heater full blast so we were really aware of the inefficiencies of poor insulation. We wanted to make sure that everything that was wrong with the old was rectified in the new,” he said. 

“We wanted to make this a home that would stand the test of time.”

Mr Drylie said there was a big picture involved in designing sustainable homes. 

“We are talking about the amenity of communities where houses are designed to connect people and make communities more resilient in the future,” he said. 

Sustainable House Day is a free national event. Visitors must register at www.sustainablehouseday.com.