Seeing inside local homes that have incorporated features to use less energy has become a popular attraction.
Sustainable Living Armidale (SLA) will be holding the fifth of its popular Sustainable House Tours in May, when local couple Julie McCarthy and Arjan Wilkie will open their doors to the public.
They have been renovating their house for several years and it now includes two home offices, a separate-access small apartment, as well as the usual spaces for a family of four.
"Renovating has been like getting an elephant - you start with the tail and keep going," Arjan said.
"We've been trying for as small a footprint as possible with an existing largish house," Julie added.
On previous tours people have visited about 10 local houses, including some newly built, that displayed sustainable features, where they chatted with the owners and residents.
The format will be different this time. The focus will be on renovations, so no newly-built houses, and only five homes are included.
Two are centrally located, one right on the bushland fringe of town, and two a couple of kms out of town. There's a range of house sizes, and each demonstrates a different approach to altering a house.
"In terms of the urgency of the climate crisis, and the fact that only a small number of people are up for building a brand-new house, we wanted to show a variety of changes that people can make to their existing homes, sometimes quite modest, that all add up to lower energy use, and more home comfort," said Mahalath Halperin, one of the house tour organisers.
In each of the eight two-hour sessions at individual houses, the first hour will be a group discussion with the owners, looking at problems and solutions towards increasing the sustainability of older houses. The second hour is simply open house.
Access to all the weekend's sessions is $10 per person, by purchase of a 24 page booklet that sets out the locations, opening times, and features of the houses, and also includes short articles about aspects of sustainability.
The Sustainable House Tour is on Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9.
$10 Booklets, which give access to the Tour, are on sale at Armidale Outdoors, 152 Rusden Street; at The Food Shed, 114 Dangar Street (enter via car park) open Tuesday, Friday and Saturday; and at the SLA Stall at the Farmers' Market on Sunday morning May 2.
After purchasing the booklet and planning your visits, please register for any group conversations you would like to attend.
The maximum number of people allowed is 20 per house and Covid protocols will be followed.
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