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2021 Sustainable House Tour Booklets — $10 from Armidale Outdoors

Saturday, 8 May
10:00 amto4:00 pm
Sunday, 9 May
10:00 amto4:00 pm

Once again Sustainable Living Armidale (SLA) will be holding the fifth of its popular Sustainable House Tours. On previous tours people have visited around 10 local houses, some brand new, that displayed sustainable features. They talked informally to the owners/residents.

SLA’s Bar Finch, looking at the Sustainable Hour Tour booklet with two of the hosts, Julie McCarthy and Arjan Wilkie.

The format will be different this time. The focus will be on renovations, so no newly built houses, and only 5 houses are included. Two are centrally located, one right on the bushland fringe of town, and two a couple of kms out of town. There’s a range of house sizes, and each demonstrates a different approach to altering a house.

“In terms of the urgency of the climate crisis, and the fact that only a small number of people are up for building a brand-new house, we wanted to show a variety of changes that people can make to their existing homes, sometimes quite modest, that all add up to lower energy use, and more home comfort,” said Mahalath Halperin, one of the House Tour organisers.

In each of the eight two-hour sessions at individual houses, the first hour will be a group discussion with the owners, looking at problems and solutions towards increasing the sustainability of older houses. The second hour is simply open house.

Access to all the weekend’s sessions is $10 per person, by purchase of a 24 page booklet that sets out the locations, opening times, and features of the houses, and also includes short articles about aspects of sustainability.

Local couple Julie McCarthy and Arjan Wilkie have been renovating their house for several years and it now includes two home offices, a separate-access small apartment, as well as the usual spaces for a family of four.

“Renovating has been like getting an elephant – you start with the tail and keep going,” said Arjan. “We’ve been trying for as small a footprint as possible with an existing largish house,” said Julie.

The Sustainable House Tour is on Saturday and Sunday 8th and 9th May. $10 Booklets, which give access to the Tour, are on sale at Armidale Outdoors, 152 Rusden Street; at the SLA Stall at the Restore the Earth Day in Civic Park on Saturday 24th April from 11am to 2pm; and at the SLA Stall at the Farmers’ Market on Sunday morning May 2nd.

After purchasing the booklet and planning your visits, please register for any group conversations you’d like to attend (max: 20 per house). Covid protocols will be followed.

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