Net-zero house is spreading the word

Daniel Wurm recently moved into his net-zero Upwey home with his family. PICTURES: SUPPLIED

By Tyler Wright

One Upwey local is sharing his experience of building a sustainable home on a budget, as the cost of living issues continues to hit headlines throughout Australia.

Daniel Wurm, managing director of the Green Building Institute, moved into his net-zero home only two weeks ago and said he currently has no gas bill.

“Everybody’s talking about how they’re really scared of getting their gas bill this year, we’re not going to have one,” Mr Wurm said.

“So instantly we’ve saved a couple of grand, just because we’ve disconnected from gas.

And a lot of people in the hills are scared of doing that, because they think ‘How am I going to have everything at work? Am I going to be able to still cook the way I do? Will I still have a warm house? Will I still have hot water coming? And the answer to that is ‘yes, you can absolutely have a 100 per cent electric house, you don’t need gas [and] you save yourself a lot of money’.”

Mr Wurm is managing director of the Green Building Institute and teaches builders and traders at TAFE about sustainable building and construction.

On Wednesday 17 August from 7:00pm, he will be presenting a public forum at Selby Community House for residents looking to build or renovate sustainably.

“People that are not in the industry often don’t know what to look for, or how easy it is to make slight changes in the way they want to build to become more sustainable.

So we’re going to be sharing a whole lot of ideas that aren’t going to cost any extra, [and] may even save money.

If people follow them – they’ll end up with a house that’s more sustainable all round, even including materials choices,” Mr Wurm said.

These practices can be applied to the broader housing market and industry.

“We’ve even created a whole bunch of courses and training for real estate agents [on] how to sell energy efficiency to the buyer.

As well as how to make the operations and the building more sustainable.”

Belgrave Tecoma Township Group Treasurer and Tecoma resident Karl Williams is organising the public forum on 17 August and said concerns about the climate and energy prices have brought about a “huge demand for forums such as this”.

“After the presentation we’re serving a supper to enable people to mix and chat and foster friendships,” Mr Williams said.

In many ways, such an opportunity to build a sense of community is more important than the presentation itself.”

All are welcome to the public forum.

There is an option to give a gold coin donation, a light supper is provided and there is no need to book.

There will also be time for a Q&A.

Selby Community House is located at 2/1 Minak Rd, Selby VIC 3159 with access via Charles Street.