Friday, March 19, 2010

These Little Pigs aren't scared of the Wolf!

I wanted to share this REALLY EXCITING project happening in Perth, Western Australia. It's called the Green Swing and is an urban development but done a little differently!

The project is a collaboration between two Perth families: Mark and Alana Dowly and Helmuth and Eugenie Stockmann. They are concerned about:
  • Urban sprawl
  • Climate change
  • Environmental footprint
  • Lack of community feel
  • Little encouragement for creativity
  • General health & well-being
  • Car dependency
The project is in the initial phases of development and they are working with an architect who specialises in Passive Solar Design and a Landscape Architect who specialises in Permaculture.  They will also be designing the buildings to be strawbale architecture - being so close to Western Australia's wheat belt it is surprising that more buildings are not looking to this renewable resource - often something that goes to waste!

I'll be following along and updating the progress of the Green Swing as Helmuth and Eugenie are friends of ours!

For those families who might be contemplating a move or a new house to build, here are some thoughts to consider:

- Did you know that approximately half of the world's houses are built using straw, mud and brick?
- Straw bale house building can be very inclusive - easy for people of all ages to become involved and help out
- Straw bale houses cost approximately the same conventional framed houses but the superior insulation benefits from the bales can reduce energy costs by up to 75% (over a 30 year mortgage), saving money and vital natural resources.
- Straw bale buildings do not pose a higher fire risk, are not prone to pests and rodents and allow moisture to pass through the walls, increasing the interior air quality without causing damage to the house or bales

- can look very beautiful and like 'normal' houses!!

Australian Strawbale Building Association
Ontario Straw Bale Building Coalition
European Straw Bale Building Association

Great Blog
Andrew Morrison - - Frequently Asked Questions 

Amazing book list from
The Straw Bale House  (and others at

Tracy Lydiatt
The Green Families Guru

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