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Live Green House

The need for sustainable housing and design has inspired Archology’s Terry Bail and Martin Urakawa to join forces and create the Live Green House showcased in Sydney’s Martin Place  during National Recycling Week (November 9-15).

The City of Sydney will play host to the sustainable home and visitors will have the opportunity to peruse not only Bail and Urakawa’s creation and sustainable vision but also to explore greener living options with a range of experts who will be on hand to discuss sustainable design, energy, water use and minimal waste.

The Live Green House will feature an array of sustainable fittings and products demonstrating the practical ways in ways in which consumers can reduce energy and water use and minimise waste.

Bail and Urakawa, say the home has been designed to create a simple kit of parts that could become a lively exhibition space while displaying sustainable technologies. The pair say the abode has been produced as an operating house rather than simply a display dwelling.

“It was important that the design methodology be translatable to the building of a house and in this respect, the Live Green House can be seen as a prototype modular home,” say the designers.

“Throughout the design process we approached (the project) as a small home, shed or artist retreat. The modular components of the house are equal divisions of the source materials, primarily a 1200 x 2400 plywood sheet. This allows for each of the components to be relatively interchangeable and also minimises off-cut wastage.”

The duo has followed construction principles such as ensuring minimal waste, prefabricating components off-site, utilising lightweight elements that can be moved by hand, assembly and disassembly using screws via hand construction, modular design to allow for a variety of configurations while components that embody a low energy have been locally sourced and produced efficiently.

Timbers have been left unpainted and are sealed with a citrus-based oil for visitors to see the range of wood used in the project which has inlcuded Australian Hoop Pine veneer on the plywood panels and a selection of Australian hardwoods such as Spotted Gum and Blue Gum.

The woods remain unpainted state as it is generally thought that painting can compromise future recycling.  The unpainted timber also showcases natural textures and characteristics.

The Live Green House displays a range of environmentally friendly and sustainable products such as curtains and soft furnishings produced from hemp to provide efficient thermal insulation as the cell structure of hemp fibres are suited to sustainable design.

Screen printed hemp has also been used in a pendant light shade and a hemp-rope rug that was hand-woven in India. A bed throw made from a concoction of pure hemp, yak hair, hemp blend, linen and organic cotton adorns a bed and a banksia stool, artwork created from fair-trade coffee sacks sourced from Single Origin Roasters and water-based screen printing inks also feature in the home.

The home office also espouses green virtues and includes pens manufactured from recycled plastic product, a staple-less stapler and recycled paper.

“Residents have told us that they want a more sustainable lifestyle, and we are committed to providing them with the tools to help them make greener choices and sustainable changes in their lives,” says Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP.

National Recycling Week