Hepburn Springs eco house sets standards

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.

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

Ballarat region Sustainable House Day co-ordinator Tim Drylie said the day allowed visitors to understand the practicality of a sustainable house. 

“There are lots of different approaches to building a sustainable house. 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 make sense.”

“Green Retreat” in Hepburn Springs features an air tightness system to maximise air quality, triple glazed windows and a heat pump for hot water. 

The house was designed in collaboration with Daylesford company Unicorn Architecture and Geelong’s APHI Projects. 

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. 

Sustainable House Day is a free national event and six sustainable homes will be open throughout the region. Visitors must register for Sustainable House Day at www.sustainablehouseday.com