By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Making Your Home Sustainable: A Guide to Retrofitting
By Derek Wrigley (Scribe, $45.00, softcover, 144 pages)
Here’s a realistic, easy-to-follow guide for those who are motivated to counteract the effects of climate change and environmental degradation.
Actually, this book has the “blood, toil, tears and sweat” involved in retrofitting an existing house in Mawson using natural rather than imported energies.
The practical advice is the result of a design challenge successfully completed by Canberra architect Derek Wrigley.
The project, which involved developing a series of innovate devices, revealed that it was possible to improve the energy efficiency of an existing home, modifying the design to work harmoniously with the local climate.
“In the colder months, both north- and south-facing rooms can be heated and cheerfully illuminated at the same time and air conditioning is not necessary in summer.”
The simplicity of some of the ideas is surprising.
However, Wrigley sounds a warning: “Many of the topics are interactive, cumulative, and very specific to their particular situation. The use of one may very well affect the use of efficiency of another, so professional advice should be sought wherever possible to ensure good integration”.
Complete with detailed descriptions and more than 40 photographs and 100 diagrams, Making Your Home Sustainable points out how vital it is to the future of the world that concepts to reduce the production of greenhouse gases become better known and practiced.
The solar house design pioneer calls for a change in our way of living. There is an “urgent need to control global warming caused by our enormous consumption of fossil fuels, with its resultant greenhouse gas emissions”.
The old ways of constructing houses are no longer appropriate and points out that the “speed of national retrofitting incentives need to be much faster if existing houses are to be made adequate to the challenges of global warming”.
Edition 327, 21 August 2012
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.