Sustainable living to go on show


Past design student Rodger Moerkerken
Past design student Rodger Moerkerken in the construction stage of an energy efficient home in 2011

Charles Darwin University staff and past students will show their commitment to sustainable living as part of a national Sustainable House Day on Sunday 8 September.

Four homes in Darwin all belonging to CDU staff and students will open to the public to showcase environmentally sustainable design, innovative use of materials, and homes that have invested in renewable energy, recycling and other sustainable living practices.

Lecturer in Residential Drafting Lisa Jeffery will open her home in Bellamack, Palmerston, designed by CDU graduate Rodger Moerkerken as part of his "residential project".

The "residential project" is undertaken by all Certificate IV in Residential Drafting students who design solutions to suit the needs of a real industry client to give them hands-on experience.

Ms Jeffery said her family chose Rodger’s design because it of its fresh approach to an energy efficiency.

“Because of the ventilation in the walls and roof, we don’t have to use any air-conditioning,” she said. “The centre of the house has a raised roof atrium, with windows so the hot air can escape. It also has a pool in the centre. Because the pool is contained inside, it requires very little chemicals and power to run the pump.”

Ms Jeffery said that although it looked like many of the other houses found in Bellamack the design meant the family’s energy bills for a three-bedroom house with a pool were only $350 to $400 a quarter.

Houses of other CDU staff will showcase concepts including passive cooling, natural ventilation, solar panels, chooks for managing food waste, tropical housing design or planting “cool” gardens.

Darwin event coordinator Sophie Edwards said the homes on display would feature experts in areas of green living and energy efficient products.

“Some 150 private houses around the country and five in and around Darwin will open their doors to the public for Sustainable House Day for the ‘eco-conscious stickybeaks’ to learn from the people who know best,” Ms Edwards said.

“We see the event as vital in offering inspiration and practical advice to householders keen to take on sustainability initiatives and providing an opportunity for householders to show off just how stylish and comfortable sustainably designed dwellings can be.”

All houses will be open to the public between 10am to 2pm, and entry is free. For more information visit W:

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