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The Forum > Article Comments > One way to make more environmentally friendly housing > Comments

One way to make more environmentally friendly housing : Comments

By John Harrison, published 15/3/2002

John Harrison describes a process for making house bricks from recycled waste

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I wish to build a kit home, making use of wind and sun for power, rainwater for drinking and recycled grey water for the garden etc, though I would prefer to use a dry (worm) toilet . The mechanics of these features will need to be allowed for at the planning stage, but it is difficult to find any tradesmen with the necessary experience to advise the kit home producer how to structure the kit to incorporate them.
My block of land is on an island in Bass Strait, 75 mins flying time from Moorabbin, which means that sea ferry freight is a cost factor. Salt in the air is also a maintenance consideration. I was thinking of using straw bales if the kit can be adapted for them. Town water and electricity are available to the block, though my intention is not to rely on them.
Could anyone refer me to any builders or kithome providers who have eco-house experience sufficient to advise me?
To complicate matters, builders need to see a finished plan before they can give me a quote. The figures quoted to date on the squareage are three times the cost of the kit itself, without the kit and freight, which all up would be comparable in price with a conventional new house and land package in outer Melbourne! In other words, despite the Victorian government's in-principle support of sustainable housing, conventional building still appears to have an advantage compared with misleadingly inflated prices by skittish builders unfamiliar with eco-friendly materials and techniques.
The wish to use natural resources rather than unnecessary electricity and water is widespread now, for many good reasons, and I would be interested to know whether any universities or organisations had considered the above scenario in their projects, possibly for easily constructed and transportable homes for outlying regions.
Feedback would be appreciated.
Posted by Polly Flinders, Friday, 19 May 2006 8:27:34 PM
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