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Harmony House

SUSTAINABLE LIVING IN THE MODERN WORLD

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BEST OF

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These are the things we included that most 'float our boat' - usually on a daily basis! They're the solutions we're most excited to talk to people about, and come from sources and suppliers that we've had good experiences with and are happy to recommend. They are things that are intgral to the sustainability aims of our project, and that we think will be useful to others.



OUR HOUSE DESIGN

The core of our sustainable living project

This is the core of the whole project of course, giving us a ready-to-go passive solar house design that has met and exceeded all our expectations. It was the perfect base from which to add and construct our project as a whole. It is free to download from the government’s YourHome site. We are proud to be the first to have built this design, and know that others down the track will enjoy this design too.


See House for more details.


(House design by: YourHome, website: https://www.yourhome.gov.au)




OUR RAMMED EARTH LIVING ROOM WALLS

Rammed earth walls as internal thermal mass in living room

This is one of the most visually satisfying elements of the inside of our house, as well as being integral to the overall energy performance we’ve achieved (a sizeable part of the internal thermal mass). Although the option of using rammed earth almost fell off our budget a number of times during the planning phase, we’re very glad we stuck with them, appreciating their beauty quite literally every time we walk into the living room.


See Materials for more details.


(Rammed earth by: Dave Lovell, Earth Structures Peninsula, ph: 0458 723 594, website: https://www.earthstructuresgroup.com.au)




OUR OFF-GRID ENERGY SYSTEM

Environmentally friendly off-grid energy

There’s a great satisfaction that comes from generating one’s entire family energy needs from the sun. This is a key element in the sustainability aims of our project, and an investment in the future. It has turned out to be a superb system.


See Power for more details.


(Off-grid energy system by: Hugh Driscoll, Off-Grid Energy Australia, ph: 0403 316 474, website: https://www.offgridenergy.com.au)




OUR STAINLESS STEEL WATER TANKS

Stainless steel is a healthy and cost-effective water storage solution

Clean healthy water is an important daily necessity, and we’re so glad we went with stainless steel water tanks as a key element in implementing that. It gives us daily peace of mind, as well being an excellent long-term solution.


See Water for more details.


(Stainless steel water tanks by: Luke Marendaz, Stainless Steel Tanks Pty Ltd, ph: 0456 778 265, website: https://www.stainlesssteeltanks.com.au)




OUR HEAT EXCHANGE FLOORING

Heat exchange wood and stone floor boards

We still count ourselves so lucky to have avoided the need to have a polished concrete floor in the pursuit of passive solar performance. The floorboards we found - specifically designed for heat transfer to and from the concrete slab underneath - are appreciated by us every day in the house, both in terms of comfort and aesthetic appeal.


See Materials for more details.


(HeatWood floorboards by: ECO Timber Group, ph: (03) 9421 6866, website: https://www.ecotimbergroup.com.au)




OUR SELF-CLEANING CLADDING

Durable self-cleaning cladding

Another lucky find, our cladding ticks so many boxes in terms of longevity, performance, low maintenance and aesthetics. And as one of the most outwardly obvious features of the house, it was an important decision to get right.


See Materials for more details.


(Territory cladding by: Cemintel, ph: 1300 236 468, website: http://www.cemintel.com.au)




OUR FAR-INFRARED HEAT PANELS

Far-infrared heat panels are healthy and effective

Unlike the other items on this page, we rarely use our far-infrared heat panels, however the uniquely perfect fit of this radiant heat source as a back-up heating option in a passive solar house design makes it worthy of a special mention here. The healthy and warming far-infrared rays produced by the panels (akin to the sun’s warming rays, but without the UV) work in perfect tandem with the internal thermal mass of a passive solar home. These panels are a solution not often heard about, but I think will become very popular as they become better known.


See House for more details.


(LavaHeat far-infrared heating panels by: Warmer Australia, ph: 1300 308 223, website: http://warmeraustralia.com.au)




OUR AUTOMOWER

The Husqvarna 450X Automower is an energy efficient time saving tool

Quite literally one of the best things we’ve ever spent money on, our automower mows all our grassed areas without us lifting a finger, and uses a minimal amount of energy doing it. This has turned out to be a very sustainable and time-saving solution, and is a fun talking point with guests. We love Humphrey.


See Landscaping - Self-Maintained Lawns for more details.


(450X Automower by: Husqvarna, ph: 1300 804 105, website: https://www.husqvarna.com/au/)