Green goddess

 

IS this Perth’s most sustainable home?

It’s a big call, but the vendor is a veteran of Sustainable House Day and says he’s never seen so many environmentally-friendly features packed into one place before.

Being a rare 2xbed, 2xbath combo aimed at downsizers and lock-and-leave retirees, it really only takes a moment to walk from one side to the other, but between the greywater-reticulated native garden out the front and the “game-changing” solar PV battery in the back carport, I managed to fill my notebook with more than 1000 words – in dot point!

Part of that is because there’s so much going on behind the scenes to make sure minimising your carbon footprint is completely effortless. 

Just a few things that stood out include the greywater automatically adjusting to mains if you go travelling, a bank of windows near the ceiling that open to catch the ‘Doctor’ at the touch of a button, and an ozonator that filters the drinking water 15 minutes every day (31 times more pure than chlorine, thank you) so no sediment builds up in the rainwater tank if it’s not being used. This place is also completely and utterly sealed so you won’t be hammering the Hoover when you get back from holidays.

The battery unit is clearly the superstar and makes Synergy’s billing department a distant memory.

It’s fitted with a 2kW battery pack, but unlike most other versions on the market, you can buy up to six more packs depending on your energy use and simply add them in (just over a grand each). Perhaps you’ll 

be plugging in your electric car into the EV charging point in the carport, but being so close to Freo maybe an electric bike to chain up to the bike rack on the verge is all you’ll need.

The packs are guaranteed for 10,000 cycles (from charged to flat) which equates to about 27 years (the industry standard is a six-year guarantee) and they’re monitored by the manufacturer 24/7 so if they waver even a little, you’re given an alert and their technician comes to sort it quickly.

Aiming for the older demographic, accessibility is also a huge feature.

Offstreet parking out the front is designed so anyone can wheel straight into the house, while both bedrooms fit a wheelchair and the main is big enough to give you somewhere to store it while you sleep. The bathroom basin has been specially designed to fit a wheelchair underneath, while the spout is extra-long so you don’t have to lean too far. I really dug the electric oven (no gas needed here) where the door simply slides away. 

That’s great for a cook in a wheelchair, but also makes it easier for anyone to slide dishes in and out without slopping them.

Another great feature is the 50sqm internal courtyard, covered by shade sails. It’s a survey strata so there’s no committee and you’re pretty free to do what you want with your own place – the only common areas are the driveway and the low-maintenance common wall (which by the way is 300mm thick stabilised earth (looks like rammed earth but doesn’t crumble after a couple of years).

Of course all this doesn’t come without a decent price tag, so smile nicely at the bank manager, but the vendor was aiming to offer something none of the project builders could come near to and has clearly built something special.

90B Hope St, White Gum Valley
Price on request
White House Property
Agent Louise Pope 0410 803 722
Home open today (Saturday January 23), 12noon – 12.30pm

The vendor says the idea for this home came from questionnaires he left out when he opened up his own place for Sustainable House Day.

He says people all came up with the same five priorities in the same order:

• Single storey;

• Sustainability;

• Security;

• No strata fees; and,

• Dogs and community. This place ticks them all off and then some.

In terms of sustainability, according to Victoria’s sustainability index the carbon footprint on this place is just 5 per cent – and food makes up 3 per cent of that.

“If you are down to 5 per cent carbon footprint, you’re talking about 50kg of carbon a year, rather than 7 tonnes [which is the shocking average of Australian homes],” he says proudly.

And that helps the back pocket as well, as you won’t be paying a cent in fuel ever again and your utility bills are likely to be a minuscule $150 each year from Water Corp.

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