Monday, April 6, 2009

A Sustainable Farm in Australia

Here's another interesting sustainable housing project I came across recently..

This 25 acre farm, which is located about 3 hours North of Sydney, Australia, was constructed over 10 years by a couple, Judy and John, with the goal of creating a truly sustainable home/farm in the middle of the Australian bush. "Sustainable", according to Judy "means living now without compromising the future". I found this to be a simple and logical way of looking at sustainability; a word which is often thrown around without a clear definition of what we mean by it. "If we don't look after the environment, there will be nothing left", Judy explains. "What will be left for our children and grandchildren?" The couple constructed the home by hand over a 10 year period using materials taken almost entirely from the surrounding land (including 3,500 mud bricks and a lot of mortar). 
The home is completely disconnected from the local electrical grid - they rely on a chain of rechargeable batteries, which are charged daily by solar panels, to heat their home and power the basic appliances they depend on for daily life. All of the sewage produced in the home is filtered and dried into a compost by a simple fan-based setup, and the roof is used to collect rain water, which is then filtered and used for drinking water and other purposes. The home also has a 5,000 gallon water tank, which the couple claim can last them for a full 4 months (which is quite an accomplishment for a small farm in an area of Australia where water is becoming more and more scarce each year, and restrictions have already been setup to control the use of freshwater). 

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