How We’re Doing It – Sustainable Building Materials & Construction

I’ve got no-one to blame but myself

I decided I would construct a model sustainable home. Then I deliberately chose a dark house on a small block in a location that many building experts would consider “difficult”. The aspect is terrible, there are heritage constraints and access to the site is limited.

Sure, I knew it wouldn’t be easy, and I chose the house to show it could be done on even the trickiest site. But I didn’t realise just how many challenges I’d face – from people promising the earth and not delivering, to people telling me it couldn’t be done – when I knew it could. This is why I’ve been through 7 architects, 15 water specialists, 10 solar experts, 3 sustainability experts, 2 legal experts and 1 project manager

See my step-by-step breakdown for urban off-grid living

Everything I wish I’d known before I started

With my current team we’re developing a number of sustainable design solutions:

  1. A pre-fab timber construction that salvages as much of the existing materials as possible.
  2. A water solution that recycles every drop of water I use and isn’t connected to town water.
  3. A self-sufficient solar solution (still some negotiating to be done on that with the council).
  4. An incinerating toilet (not connected to the sewerage system).
  5. Interior design based on recycled, sustainable materials that are beautiful too.
  6. A vegetable garden designed for small spaces.