The current EcoHouse was relocated to CERES in 1982 to become a showcase for low energy housing principles. It has always been intended to be a living, functioning design that demonstrates what people can do in their own homes to live more sustainably.
Relocation provided the opportunity to retro fit the south side with an iconic ‘reverse brick veneer’ extension. This demonstrates the benefits of north facing clerestory windows, fixed winter sun angled louvers, internal thermal mass brick wall, insulation along with ‘plastic film’ and acrylic double glazing systems.
Initial designs also included examples of passive solar heating with ‘black wall air box heaters’, north facing greenhouse, bottle walls, insulation demonstrations, solar power, home energy efficiency displays along with food production, water systems including: tanks, efficient appliances, grey water harvest and re-use water wise gardens.
The house has hosted many thousands of students, adults, community and site groups as well as workshops training, events and tenants.
The current expression resulted from extensive renovations and remodelling that was completed in 2010. Some of the initial displays were removed to be replaced with a more modern aesthetic appeal and thermal performance improvements. Upgrades to insulation, draught sealing, double glazing, air-lock entry, permaculture based gardens, efficient appliances, open plan, cross-flow ventilation, heat recovery systems, geothermal heat pump heating/ cooling system are among many of the upgrades currently on display.
Energy infrastructure planning is underway to re-invigorate the capacity of the home to include upgraded solar systems, battery storage and grid connectivity. This will include removing the last of the fossil fueled energy consumption by replacing the gas heating, hot water and cooking with the best examples of electrical appliances. Continuous improvements to buildings, gardens and infrastructure are an ongoing endeavour at the CERES EcoHouse.
The Eco House hosts ‘Open Days’ with a staff member every first and third Saturday of the month 9:30 – 14:00.