In this issue of Renew, we take a detailed look at prefab housing, a subject on which we’ve never before printed a buyers guide—so if you’re ever wondered about any or all of the various prefab house construction methods available today, you’re in luck!
Also: South Australia’s big solar switch-off and what it might mean for the rest of us; why Covid provides an opportunity—and an obligation—to get rental properties up to sustainability scratch; a real-life road test for our Sunulator model; a DIY piece on solar water pump; an investigation of Australia’s paper recycling industry; the world’s first in-depth sustainability-focused piece about bidets*; one woman’s quest to build a sustainable prefab home on a sensible budget; a report from the Central Sydney branch’s event on rooftop PV for apartment buildings; a first-hand account of a new EV; and an analysis of how the EV market in general is shaping up for 2020—and beyond. Plus: a crossword!
Inside you’ll find:
The big switch (off)
An examination of the South Australian government’s moves to allow for the remote curtailment (i.e. switching off) of rooftop solar panels: what’s behind these moves, why they’re needed, and what they could mean for the rest of Australia.
A new lease on sustainability
Australia’s rental properties are being left behind in terms of sustainability. We explain why new regulations are required to allow renters to enjoy the same benefits as homeowners—and why Covid provides an opportunity for such changes to be made immediately.
Return in light
Renew returns to an eco-development that was designed in 2016 with the assistance of our Sunulator model to see how our predictions were borne out in reality… and it turns out that the houses have been performing even better than expected!
Modular synthesis: all about prefab
An in-depth examination of the pros and cons of what remains a pretty underutilised method of construction in Australia, including our customary matrix of companies, along with six detailed case studies.
DIY: solar water pumping
How to build a solar water pump that starts reliably in the morning and doesn’t burn out at midday.
Taking in the recycling
The latest in our regular series on recycling. rhis time investigating the paper recycling industry, which—thanks to China’s decision to drastically cut the amount of waste it takes from overseas—suddenly has a big, home-grown problem on its hands.
Behold: the detailed, sustainability-focused feature on bidets you never knew you needed.
The Iris House: affordable by design
One woman’s quest to build an 8-Star prefab house. Involves 1312 bottles of wine and a cat named Trevor.
For the common good
A report from a Central Sydney branch event, where two guest speakers participated in a discussion on solar PV and energy efficiency for apartment buildings.
Ditching the fossil burner
One of our policy team recently put his money where his mouth is and bought himself an electric vehicle. Learn from his experience.
Charging up: EV market update
What does the rest of 2020—and beyond—hold for the EV market?