Fully solar-powered, with a petrol generator as support.
Hot water for main part of house is solar-generated with a heating loop through the slow combustion stove.
The orientation of the building maximises the input of solar energy.
Eaves on the north face of the house minimises the input of light into the house in summer.
The south wall of the main living area is rendered mud brick and acts as a heat sink in winter.
Walls and ceilings are well insulated.
All windows are double glazed.
All household waste water (grey and black) is diverted to a very effective worm farm composting system which works aerobically and produces a liquid outflow used to provide water and nutrients to fruit trees.
The composting system also handles biodegradable scraps for the kitchen and some of the surplus plant materials from the garden.
Grey water from the laundry can be diverted in dry weather to parts of the garden.
Rain water falling on the roofs of the house and main shed is collected into a system of tanks with a total storage capacity of almost 100,000 litres which has sufficed even during the drought years.
Minimal use of chemical fertilisers of a ‘non-organic’ nature has been made in the garden, olive grove and grazing paddocks – we even held Organic Certification for a few years.
Extensive plantings of native seedlings have been done as well as highly successful direct-seeding with endemic Acacia and Eucalypt species to augment the remnant of box-ironbark forest on the property and to provide shelter belts for stock on the fringe of some grazing paddocks.