Illawarra homes taking part in 'Sustainable House Day' on September 16

Environmentally sustainable properties throughout the Illawarra will be opening their doors. 

Sustainable House Day is a national open house event on Sunday, September 16, aiming to give the public an insight into homes designed, built, or renovated with energy-efficiency and environmental living in mind.

The Illawarra/South Coast homes participating include the ‘Silk Farm’ in Mount Kembla.

The 'Silk Farm' in Mount Kembla's features include a garden that boasts tropical fruits like jackfruit, lychee, and longan; an eco-hair salon; and a "chicken mansion". Picture: Georgia Matts

The 'Silk Farm' in Mount Kembla's features include a garden that boasts tropical fruits like jackfruit, lychee, and longan; an eco-hair salon; and a "chicken mansion". Picture: Georgia Matts

This is described as a “permaculture paradise”, with a garden that boasts tropical fruits; an eco-hair salon; and a “chicken mansion”, among other features. 

“It’s an elaborate chicken house,” home-owner April Sampson-Kelly said of the latter. 

“It doesn’t stink; it’s aerated from underneath, so the air can get in through the floor. It’s designed to not stink, and to be comfortable for the chickens.”

Mrs April Sampson-Kelly said visitors will tour the garden area and not inside the home itself, but there would be many interesting features to showcase, including surface water management methods. 

She said they would also be able to “show people how you don’t need a big farm to grow high-value foods”. 

Other participating homes include:

The Russell Vale Reno

This weatherboard cottage has been renovated and is now a comfortable, cosy, budget-friendly family home that requires little mechanical heating or cooling all year round.

Broker’s View in Tarrawanna

This is a five-bedroom home that showcases both passive design and active energy-efficiency measures.

These range from reflective roof films, double-glazed skylight, battery storage, and a native plant garden that is now a haven for local biodiversity. 

Illawara Flame House in North Wollongong

This boasts sustainable features such as solar energy, and also showcases “ageing-in-place” principles that enable residents to enjoy it even as they age. 

Culburra Hemp House

This is a home made using Hempcrete. Combined with solar panels that produce three times the amount of power, the home uses a smart design that keeps the house comfortable without the need for any mechanical heating or cooling. 

Visitors are able to tour the homes from 10am to 4pm on the day.

Most of the homes are free to visit, although some home-owners may charge a small fee to benefit a nominated charity. 

For more details including registration, click here