Jan 25, 2019: Progress and Other Good Stuff

Hello again, it’s been a productive week here on Russell Island. We’re solidly into the finishing stages of the house and it’s exciting and rewarding seeing it come together. So far we’re very happy with the design and materials we’ve chosen.

I could have done the tiling but we’ve got too many other things to work on so we’ve hired a lovely German couple to do it for us.

Hans tiling the kitchen floor

Hans tiling the kitchen floor

Hans started with the kitchen floor while Ursula was doing the waterproofing in the bathroom and ensuite.

Tiles going down in the ensuite.

Tiles going down in the ensuite.

The lovely blue colour is the waterproofing compound and today Hans started laying the floor tiles in the ensuite. Meanwhile Cintia and I have completed the second bedroom….

Second room completed!

Second room completed! (the walls aren’t pink, they’re white… that must be a reflection off the floor).

….I’ve started gluing the benchtop for the kitchen island….

Gluing laminated bamboo panels together for our kitchen island.

Gluing laminated bamboo panels together for our kitchen island.

….and, we’ve started putting finishing touches on the outside.

Just to prove that Cintia hasn't done ALL the work on this house...

Just to prove that Cintia hasn’t done ALL the work on this house…

We’re hoping that, in a couple more weeks, we might be ready for our final inspection. We don’t have to have every little detail finished but, if we can get our occupancy certificate, we can move into the house while we finish the last bits and pieces.

Meanwhile, some other good stuff caught my eye this week…

How To Cool a House as Sustainably as Possible

With temperatures hitting record highs and heat waves causing havoc across Australia this summer here is a timely article from Renew Magazine. It delves into the details of how to stay comfortable as sustainably as possible in the hot weather. It’s a long article and quite detailed but well worth the read.

Energy Positive Car???

Long-time readers may remember our mention of the ‘Stella Lux’ in a Newsletter back in 2015. In case you missed it, it was a Dutch university entry in the Solar Challenge aimed at creating an energy positive car. Since then, a number of the students involved have formed a company called ‘Lightyear’ with the goal of taking the energy-positive car concept to the streets.

This seven minute YouTube video describes what I hope will be the future of automobiles… cars that produce more energy than they use. The video doesn’t provide much detail (apart from the fact that these cars are likely to be hugely expensive) but, if they can make it work, it’s only a matter of time before it will become cheaper and more accessible for the rest of us.

More Friends Go Electric

In last week’s Newsletter I mentioned my friends, Daniel and Kari, who have recently purchased a Nissan Leaf. This week it’s Cintia’s ceramicist colleagues, Steve Harrison and Janine King who have switched to a brand new Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid. They have also recently invested in an expanded solar power system and a Tesla battery.

Here is a link to their Blog post entitled ‘Driving on Sunshine’. https://tonightmyfingerssmellofgarlic.com/2019/01/21/our-2nd-electric-car/

Steve and Janine live and work in the Southern Highlands of NSW making beautiful pottery, running workshops, building pottery kilns and trying to live and work as sustainably as they can. Along with their PHEV purchase they are also working on making their pottery workshop as carbon neutral as possible. Steve’s latest project is to build a small electric kiln (made almost entirely from spare parts he had lying around) which they can run off their solar and batteries and use a tiny bit of LPG to create a reduction firing (you’ll have to ask Cintia or Steve about that but it’s an important thing for potters).

Here’s another link to their blog where Steve describes the building of the kiln and the philosophy behind it. https://tonightmyfingerssmellofgarlic.com/2019/01/19/solar-pv-fired-pottery-kiln/ It’s great reading and great to know that people like Steve and Janine are doing such wonderful work just down the road from the Greeny Flat.

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