August 23rd Energy efficient house visit

A group of 18 people visited John Morgan’s off grid, highly energy efficient house at Galaxy Hill Lexton. This is the third home resulting from John’s love of turning the physics of heat and electricity to good use for low carbon living. You can read in great detail about how John’s well thought out and innovative ideas regarding building have evolved at the website http://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/the-off-grid-experience-and-how-its-changed-from-1992/

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Some key points made by John were:

*the need to get the thermal mass of a building correct….It is better if this is under than over the optimal level (which is difficult to design for) as water filled containers can be used to adjust upwards thermal mass eg stack water bottles in a cupboard or on top of a shelf. Too much thermal mass will prevent a building reaching a comfortable temperature on colder days.

*The need for every house to have an attached greenhouse. In John’s case the house windows are never opened and warmed oxygenated air feeds inside from the attached carport size greenhouse (which also is a plant greenhouse)

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The attached green house

We all left the visit understanding the importance of being smart about how we design homes and convinced of the importance of science in helping achieve this.

How appropriate for us on the last day of National Science Week

15 – 23 August, 2015