Sustainable House Day

September 25, 2010

Sustainable House Day is a whole of community event and goes to the heart of key social aspects in our society, a critical component if we are to become a truly sustainable nation and global community.

Thank You

A big thank you to all the untiring volunteers who made the opening of Canberra’s Sustainable House possible on Sustainable House Day 12 September 2010. At this stage for privacy reasons I will not mention names, but you know who you are and you the visitor may have met and perhaps even know some of these fine people. If volunteers would like their names added here, please let me know and I will do so.

Thanks also to SHMECO, Australian Institute of Architects and the event sponsors. The organisation is a huge task and relies enormously on volunteers, paid staff and financial contributions of the sponsors. Let’s hope the Commonwealth Government reinstates financial sponsorship and support for Sustainable House Day 2011.

I also want to thank various parts of the Media for their contribution to promoting Sustainable House Day in 2010. I particularly make mention is no priority order of The Canberra Chronicle, The Canberra Times, WIN TV, and ABC Radio (666 Canberra).

Finally, I want to thank you, the public, who gave of your Sunday time to visit Canberra’s Sustainable House as you journey towards a sustainable future. Remember the summit of this mountain is well above above the 8 star altitudinal level. Remember to turn your frustrations into fascinations as you grapple with awkward times retrofitting, renovating or building new.

On The Day

Sustainable House Day 2010 dawned frosty, bright and sunny – we knew it would. All the solar aspects of Canberra’s Sustainable House were shining. The solar hot water system was heating at full tilt, our power station with it’s untiring work ethic was busily converting light to electricity. The north facing windows allowed in sunshine, gently warming our home. We opened some windows mid morning as the power of sunlight combined with the warmth emanating from our enthusiastic visitors brought Canberra’s leading sustainable house to a balmy 25 degrees celcius. The kitchen garden was of course showing off and leaves hard at work, magically converting light into gourmet ingredients. The link between Kitchen and Garden is a critical one as we move to the low carbon society.

300 visitors in all. My sincerest apologies to the countless others who were turned away. Guided tours are available everyday at Canberra’s Sustainable House. Sustainability education and learning is a key focus of our tours. It is as though Sustainable House Day is everyday here. Every hour is Earth Hour and every day is World Environment Day at Canberra’s Sustainable House.


I am always inspired to have young people on tours here at Canberra’s Sustainable House. Yes I have to rack the gravel paths after they visit, replant the flower beds and even wait for the next round of raspberries to fruit. But these are the people who inherit the future we leave them and it is a privilege to observe them learning about sustainability. Eating raspberries picked fresh from the vine is sustainability in action. I was fortunate to discover a piece of artwork left behind on our verandah on Sustainable House Day. The woodland trees festooned with mistletoe maybe seen in this artwork? And the sun is shining brightly – brilliant. I know not who the artist is, but I would be happy to both credit the work and return it to the rightful owner. Do let me know if you know more than I do.

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