Sustainable House Day

Awards, panels, exhibitions and a long overdue update by Julian Rutt

Once again, it's been too long between posts. With two projects due to begin on site shortly, its been a busy time of late.

The Billabong Houses are once again (most likely for the last time ever) being opened to the public on Sunday the 23rd of October as part of the Space Open House tours, a national day. Bookings are essential: Eventbrite link

The AIA awards were held back in July, and once again I had the honour of being a juror for the sustainability category, entailing a full day of presentations from architects and clients on the design philosophy and sustainability merits of their projects, followed by a day of site visits of those shortlisted and interesting discussions. All up an interesting, thought-provoking process celebrating excellence in architecture. You can see the results and winners of the various categories here with beautiful images and jury citations: AIA SA Awards


As a precursor to the 2016 Sustainable House Day, I recently had the opportunity to speak on a panel in a forum hosted by the Adelaide Sustainable Building Network (ASBN) regarding zero energy homes along with representatives from Sustainability House and Solar Quotes for the ASBN's mini-expo. A podcast of the discussion is online HERE.

For the first time in 20 years, April saw the AIA National Conference held in Adelaide, curated by the former State Government Architect Ben Hewitt, Sam Spurr & Cameron Bruhn. Another fantastic event with a myriad of intriguing global speakers, well attended by delegates from all around the country.

And the Billabong Houses picked up another award in the City of Norwood, Payneham & St Peters Excellence in Urban Design Awards 2016. Held once every 4 years or so, the award aims to foster excellence in the public realm through design and thoughtful regeneration, other award winners included Troppo for their Maylands House and Williams Burton Leopardi for Base 64 in Kent Town. NPSP EIUDA

On the photography front, I've had the pleasure of exhibiting again with Skrambled Eggs, this time being run as part of the Shimmer Photography Biennale held by the City of Onkaparinga in September. Skrambled Eggs is the brainchild of photographer Ben Liew, having established photographers exhibit works taken purely by smart phones - my contributions being typically architectural in nature. For something a little different I was asked to document various Indonesian batiks and fabrics for an exhibition run in conjunction with Flinder University and the Oz Asia festival and held recently at the Adelaide Festival Centre.

Talk at the Alternative Technology Association, Monday 16th March by Julian Rutt

Long time between updates!

This coming Monday I'll be giving a presentation at the Adelaide branch of the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) about sustainability, architecture and the Billabong Houses, and I promise to keep it upbeat and entertaining given no one likes a lecture!

The ATA describe themselves as "...a not-for-profit organisation that exists to connect, inspire and assist people to make sustainable choices in the homes and communities" by providing an advice service to its 5600 members and consultants to the public, organising / co-running the hugely successful national events Sustainable House Day and Speed-Date a Sustainable Designer (both of which I have participated in), engage in research and advocacy for the sustainability sector, provide access to discounted sustainability-related products and services as well as publish the sustainable architecture and design magazine Sanctuary and Renew which deals with some of the more technical aspects and developments in sustainability and the reduction of waste, energy and water consumption.

The Adelaide branch meets monthly with presentations on a range of topics including sustainable design, developments in sustainable products with a Q&A session, with meetings open to the public.

See more on the ATA and its many benefits here and event details for Monday night HERE.

Talk for the ASBN available for streaming + download by Julian Rutt

The Adelaide Sustainable Building Network have uploaded both the talks from the recent 'Eco Build Experience' spotlight event where I got to talk more about the building & philosophy side of the Billabong Houses, with Terry Dollman, a lecturer at TAFE in sustainable design & building talking about his own experiences designing and building a sustainable residence. The event was capacity and completely sold out, so if you were one of those turned away at the door, you are in luck!

Unfortunately my voice was a little worse for wear (recovering from laryngitis) but thankfully I avoided having to cancel at the last minute and managed to squeak my way through the lively and often humourous Q&A session afterwards, sounding a bit like a teenage boy. Terry's talk and a host of other informative talks are hosted on the ASBN page of vimeo, located here:

Also a reminder that the second installment of Sustainable House Day 2014 is up this coming Sunday afternoon and this will be the last time the Billabong House will be open to the public for tours (having been open for SHD '13 and several award juries in the past 12 months). The tours begin from 10am and leave regularly throughout the day. Please check the Sustainable House Day website for details and other houses open to the public, or the Billabong House page for a brief summary.

Sustainable House Day '14 - Billabong Houses open by Julian Rutt

One of the Billabong Houses is open for 2014 Sustainable House Day!

Started in 2001, Sustainable House Day is a national day opening the most environmentally progressive homes to the public. To quote the website:

On Sunday 7 and 14 September, you have the opportunity to tour an amazing array of everyday Australian homes all built and created around the ideal of reducing their footprint on the earth.

By partaking in Sustainable House Day you can tap into local knowledge to learn how to successfully integrate renewable energy, recycling, and other sustainable practices into your home and lifestyle. This unique event is a valuable resource for anyone looking for inspiration, ideas and the key to sustainable living. Our homeowners, sponsors and local sustainable groups look forward to sharing their knowledge with you.

For the first time, Sustainable House Day is being spread across two weekends, with one of the Billabong Houses open on both weekends. Demand was high last year with 6 hours of back to back tours.

There are all kinds of homes open for viewing, everything from brand new homes, to extensions and renovations of existing houses, check the SHD 2014 website for more information.