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Starting to build and trying to be green

Sorry if I left you hanging in the last post…our backyard is facing north and so we were able to design in to be passively solar heated.

As this great website did not exist when we were doing most of the planning and designing, I will be writing some of the blogs about a lot research and experience we have had over the last 6 – 9 months while writing other blogs about my current buidling experience and my continued research on green or environmentally-sustainable development (ESD).


We just started the demolition work about a week ago and I am happy to say the work is going farely smoothly so far.  We have been able to dismante a lot of the timber frame of the previous structure and save a lot of the studs but they will be difficult to reuse for two reasons: 1) they are about 100 years old and very hard and brittle; 2) they are a different size from standard studs bought today so I would have to either use them for one wall or, if I used them next to current skinnier studs, I would have to plane them down to the smaller current size which is quite a bit of work.

Unfortunately, I have found it more difficult than I expected to recycle material here in Melbourne.  A lot of recycling centers (for things like clean fill and concrete) only accept large development site material (material coming in tip trucks).  After a lot of searching, I found locations for recycling concrete and clean fill but they were father away and cost to drop off the material.  This brings up a very important point: it is imperative for councils and builders to share lists of recycling centers and ways to cut down on construction and demolition (C&D) waste.

Additionally, some of the materials I hope to use – i.e. no-voc particleboard for my subfloor – exist but are hard to locate.  I even called the company who manufactures a no-voc particleboard; however, their field rep has failed to call me back.  Will have to call and leave another message.