Sustainable living takes on new home front

The new sustainable green home in Mullumbimby which is set to do away with the ‘castle-build’ mentality.
The new sustainable green home in Mullumbimby which is set to do away with the ‘castle-build’ mentality.

THE days of energy-gobbling and inefficient 'McMansion' homes are over, according to designer Alexander Kinross-Rowe.

Mr Kinross-Rowe, a passionate advocate for sustainable building, said bigger did not always mean better.

He recently completed his first sustainable house in his hometown of Mullumbimby, which measures just 140 square metres.

“For too long the industry has been focusing on the castle or 'the bigger the better' mentality, which also means a lot of dead space in the house,” he said.

“But the future in sustainable design is not to be building bigger spaces, because they use more energy.”

Mr Kinross-Rowe's house has been designed to make the most of available space. It uses sun and wind to heat and cool.

The house was built using plantation pine and recycled framing timbers, and sustainable bamboo has been used for the floors in the living areas. It also features low-wattage lighting, solar power and solar hot water, a 4000-litre water tank, a grey water system, a septic or composting toilet, and glass louvres to control ventilation.

With the house completed, Mr Kinross-Rowe is now hoping to make sustainable building design more accessible through his work with Byron Bay company, Beyond Building Energy.

Together they have developed the Green Change Home, which will be launched in the next few weeks.

Instead of timber frames and layers of cladding, the green home is built by bringing complete and fully insulated walls to the site and stacking them up.

This means construction takes weeks, not months.

Designing the home has been a labour of love for Mr Kinross-Rowe and he believes it will be embraced.

“We know there is a market for sustainable design and given the choice, that's what people will want to buy,” he said.

Green features
  • Passive heating and cooling
  • Recycled materials
  • Grey water system
  • Solar power and solar hot water

What environmentally-friendly features have you added to your home?

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