Saturday, 9 April 2011

A SYDNEY architect is looking for a family willing to let him smash down their home.

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A good friend of mine sent me this link from the Sydney Morning Herald.
Thanks T

Family deal: free downsize with every McMansion
A SYDNEY architect is looking for a family willing to let him smash down their home.
But don't worry. He will build two or three new ones to replace it.

Mathieu Gallois wants to take a large, environmentally unfriendly home - which he refers to as a ''McMansion'' - and use the materials to build smaller, more eco-friendly and cost-effective homes.

The Reincarnated McMansion project is one of five finalist ideas in the Taronga Zoo Green Grants initiative.
The zoo invited applicants to submit project ideas that would inspire Australians to live more sustainably, with a $50,000 prize to fund the winning idea.

The idea came to Mr Gallois, an architect and artist, after he stayed in a holiday home in Lorne, Victoria. ''This very typical Australian home was contrary to everything we'd been taught about how to build a good sustainable house,'' he said.

Instead of retro-fitting a large house to make it green, Mr Gallois said complete rebuilds could be the answer.
''NSW has some of the biggest homes in Australia,'' he said. ''Bigger houses require more energy. This [project] would take a poor housing model and create the very best - a zero emissions home.''
The final designs of each Reincarnated McMansion would depend on the site. Mr Gallois said one strategy would be to crush the old dwelling's brick veneer, cement slab and excess roof tiles and convert them into a type of rammed-earth internal wall. ''All those materials we associate with suburbia - concrete, terracotta tiles and red bricks - will be visible in the Reincarnated McMansion's walls as a kind of archaeological, suburban frieze of a bygone era,'' Mr Gallois said.
The project is ambitious and while plenty of people have offered to donate their home, Mr Gallois is yet to find one suitable for the project.

''We need someone with both the unsustainable home, and who is also able to finance the rebuild,'' he said. He is hoping green businesses will sponsor the project and will make use of government rebates.

Another finalist, Healthy Homes, Healthy Parks, would rate homes on their energy, food, healthcare, water and waste costs.
Home owners would then get advice on how to improve those costs.
The Healthy Homes Index is the idea of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils.
There would be a Healthy Parks Index, too, because according to the applicants, household health has a direct impact on the environment.
The Healthy Park Index would record the parkland environment and local wildlife, and monitor how those things improve through positive human intervention. If they win the grant, the applicants hope to make a documentary about the project.

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