Ecovillage founders are getting ready to start building their Ecovillage home!

Michelle and I are very excited to confirm that we’ve finally started site preparations for our new Ecovillage home! We’ve only just felt like we’ve got the headspace for it after the huge amount of work over the past four years of building the Ecovillage.

We’ve spent a lot of evenings and weekends designing the home ourselves and are super excited to be joining the list of others in the Ecovillage that have been brave/crazy enough to owner build!

After a huge amount of thought we’ve decided to build using reverse brick veneer on all of the external walls (brick on the inside with insulated cavity and further insulated timber frame with weatherboards on the outside), which will provide us with a bit over R4 insulation. The internal wall are all going to be brick as well, for thermal mass. The bricks are all going to be recycled to reduce embodied energy, as CO2 emissions associated with firing clay bricks is quite high.

We’ve also been storing lots of recycled timber from years of collecting, along with timber from a couple of magnificent old Jarrah and Marri trees that had fallen over on our farm over the years. Both of which were hundreds of years old and came down in large storm events.

We’re very happy with the solar passive design and very confident about it’s performance, however, we’ve also decided to get it assessed using PassivHaus software, and will include a heat recovery ventilation system with HEPA filter to improve it’s performance and air quality. We’re also going to insulate the perimeter of the concrete pad to make it a bit warmer in winter and cooler in summer, without using any energy.

It’s taken so many years to get to this point, and whilst we’ve renovated many homes, we’ve never built a new home, so we’ve been very patient to make sure it’s as good as we can build in this day and age, a bit like the Ecovilage as a whole! It’s just for the two of us as our three kids are now all young adults living independently, so we’ve been able to design a home that we can grow old in together 😊.

We’ll cover the process of building in future newsletters, however, as with everything we seem to do, we’re not going to rush it. We’re doing site works at present and will install the sand pad and some site drainage this week. We’re going to let the sand pad settle in over winter and pour the concrete pad in August, and then start construction in October. This is in part to get the best results with the pad, but also to wait for the tradies that we’ve chosen to help us. More on all of this in the next newsletter!

Photo taken onsite today.
Header image provided by Clara Evelyn Fischer.