Tag Archives: DIY

Sold out July Sustainable Home tour

Over 25 people attended a house tour held by Town Transition Guildford’s Sustainable Homes Group on the weekend. Group member Martin Chape opened up his house in Bellevue where he explained to them a number of ways of moving off the electricity grid.

Martin's modern, but Federation style house

Martin’s modern, but Federation style house

The Federation style home has passive solar design features and includes solar and wind charged battery banks to run low voltage lighting and other features throughout the house.

Admiring the solar PV, vacuum tubes and wind turbine on Martin's north facing roof

Admiring the solar PV, vacuum tubes and wind turbine on Martin’s north facing roof

The SMA Sunny Island system which allows disconnection from the electricity grid but continued use of regular 240 volt appliances was explained, as well as the importance of understanding where and how electric power is used in order to design such a system. A demonstration of the Current Cost power monitoring system showed how to track and measure power use for this purpose or to merely help reduce power use by identifying which appliances should be replaced to save energy costs. There was also a discussion on utilizing the Sunny Island system to create micro-grids for small groups of homes that wanted to disconnect from the electricity grid.

The audience watching a video on how a micro grid can work

The audience watching a video on how a micro grid can work

Two solar-powered evaporative air coolers were also on display and an absorption cooling system that utilizes excess heat from a vacuum tube driven solar hot water system during summer. Finally members were shown a soon to be completed solar-powered hydronic home heating system also driven by vacuum tubes.

Some of Martin's set up and projects

Some of Martin’s set up and projects

The systems demonstrated may be viewed on Martin’s Facebook page and several are the subject of his articles published in Renew magazine.

The high demand to attend the house tour (there was a wait list and several people missed out) shows people want to learn more about how to reduce their electricity bills, increase self-sufficiency in energy and live more sustainably.

Full house, unfortunately we have to limit numbers to make things manageable and fit, so please RSVP for future events

Full house, unfortunately we have to limit numbers to make things manageable and fit, so please RSVP for future events

The Transition Town Guildford Sustainable Homes group aims to be a forum for people to ask questions and share knowledge about all things related to building, renovating or renting a sustainable home (especially in the eastern suburbs of Perth, WA).


June movie night – Bringing It Home

Bringing it Home movie poster

Bringing it Home: a multi-award winning and very interesting documentary about hemp. True!

If you enjoy watching Grand Designs and are interested in sustainable building materials and learning about old/new ways to address a raft of current global issues, this movie is for you.

It’s informative: by the end of the movie, you’ll be very clear about the difference between hemp and recreational herbs!

As usual, the second Tuesday of the month – Tuesday 10th June

The Stirling Arms Hotel, 117 James street, Guildford

6 pm onwards for food and drinks, 7 pm Movie, 8:30 pm finish

Entry by donation

You can watch the trailer HERE 

Bike Maintenance workshop 2013

The weather is fining up, so if you want to get on your bike, join us for another hands on, fully coached bicycle maintenance workshop.

Bike Flyers 2013

Learn how to service your own bike, including:

  • Intro – you can do 90% of bike maintenance yourself!
  • “ABCD” bike check – what to look out for to ensure your bike is roadworthy and operates efficiently
  • Basic bike fit adjustments – seat hight, seat fore/ aft etc
  • Cleaning and lubing chain, edge of jockey wheels etc.
  • Dropped chain – how to fix it
  • Taking wheels on and off – correct use of the quick release lever
  • Taking off a tyre and changing a tube easily.
  • Plus many more, even for experienced cyclists….. including break pads, gears etc…

When: Saturday 9th of November

Where: Guildford Primary School courtyard, 125 Helena street, Guildford

Time: 2-5 pm

Cost: $30 per person (bike services usually cost $50 and upwards)

Note, kids under 16 can attend with an adult for free, with their own bike included, as long as they are supervised and work together with the adult.


 What you need to bring: Your bike, plus any bike tools you already use. And to keep clean: old clothes, and if you have them, rubber gloves and a sheet of plastic to work on. 

The workshop will be run by Mike Norman, professional cycle coach from the Secret Cycling Business. He will demonstrate each step and then participants get to work on their own bikes with assistance.

Afternoon tea provided.

Places strictly limited to 30 adults with bikes (kids can accompany adults for free). RSVP and pre-pay essential @ http://ttgbike2013.eventbrite.com/