Geelong Sustainability President Vicki Perrett, City of Greater Geelong councillor Jim Ma-son and homeowner Lina Murphy. Photo: MICHAEL CHAMBERS

Smarter homes and gardens open to the public this weekend

October 10, 2019 BY

A LATE 1980’s brick house undergoing renovations in Portarlington is among properties across the region open to the public this weekend for Sustainable House Day (SHD2019).
Held on Sunday October 13, SHD2019 is shaping up to be the most successful open days in its 11-year history, with 15 quality homes and gardens opening across the Bellarine, Surf Coast and Geelong, showcasing something for everyone.
The program includes new homes, renovations, retrofits and works in progress.
It’s a unique opportunity to gather insights and information about the what, why and how to improve the enjoyment and efficiency of your home.
The owners of #9 located in Portarlington – Stephen and Lina Murphy – said when buying a house, they wanted one that was potentially energy efficient with enough room for a large garden.
“We feel very lucky because we found a house with ‘good bones’ as Lana our architect described it,” the couple said.
“Good bones meant it’s well orientated, having living areas with large windows to the north.
“The bedrooms are on the cool south and east sides… its interior brick walls provide good thermal mass.
“We are two retirees in our 60’s, so being ‘owner builders’ in a new town was pretty frustrating at first.
“We didn’t know any good tradies and we didn’t have a network of friends who could point us in the right direction.”
But the couple said after one year in, they had learnt a lot and were close to finishing the important areas.
“We’ve added a bathroom and renovated another, remodelled the master bedroom, remodelled and updated the kitchen and dining areas.
“We’ve replaced the original dodgy deck and veranda with a new deck built of sustainably grown Spotted Gum.
“The house is now very comfortable and cheap to run due to new ceiling insulation, double glazing and solar panels with batteries.
To help plan your day and pre-register, head to
Entry is by $2 donation at each of the participating properties.
For regular updates follow the SHD Facebook page (@SHDgeelong) or pick up postcards with information about SHD2019 from various council customer service centres, local libraries and neighbourhood houses.

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