Put Solar On It! (2)

Solar power has been going gangbusters since my previous post under this title (2014) and an update of it is well overdue. This isn’t it, however. What I want to do here is talk about domestic solar power, and specifically its advantages here in North Queensland, via four small projects which came out of our own move from one suburban Townsville house to another two years ago.

I will go from smallest to largest.

Hall Lighting

The new house is a low-set, 1950-ish cement block home pleasantly surrounded by trees. That makes it much darker than our old high-set home, and its double-fronted layout means that the central hallway gets no direct natural light at all.

We had to choose between running lights all day, every day, and putting in a small skylight. Initial quotes for a skylight (Solatube, basic model) were around $750 with, of course zero running costs for about 10 hrs/day of adequate light, 365 days/yr. Could we do better?

Continue reading “Put Solar On It! (2)”

Art for sustainable housing

landscape painting
Sue Tilley: Landscape (house paints on plasterboard)

Another local public service announcement:

Innovation 2 – Studio2 Exhibition 
Opening March 1 at 7pm
In a collaboration between Finlay Homes and Artcetera Studio2, local artists were invited to choose waste materials from the building of Finlay Homes new ‘Innovation’ home, to create artworks for the display home.  A range of materials from steel to plasterboard, wiring to tiles, and even lowly rust was swooped up eagerly for transformation into art.

The ‘Innovation’ home will be an educational and interactive example of sustainable living for the tropics.  Not only is it designed with sustainability in mind, but it will have monitoring systems running to allow visitors to see just how much energy is being saved.  As part of that environmental commitment, and in an attempt to reduce the staggering amount of building waste that heads for landfill, the furniture and artwork will be made from offcuts, recycled and waste materials.

Artists include Alison McDonald, Lynn Scott Cummings, Maggie Wretham, MJ Ryan-Bennett and Margot Douglas.
The exhibition will be on display until March 12 at Artcetera Studio2, 486-488 Flinders Street
For information: 0418 750 854  Sue Tilley.

I missed the opening but got there with my camera on the Sunday. It’s a small show but with a wide variety of good works; the two pictured here are from the two ends of the art-to-craft spectrum on display.

timber breadboard with wrought reo rod handle
Denise Axelson: Bread Board (scrap timber, reo rod, marble)