Monday, May 9, 2011

hard to be green

Why is it so so hard to do a green renovation?

Ages ago I posted on our little extension. More than six months after first meeting with a designer we have finally signed a building contract with a builder who is at least not resistant to any of the sustainable choices we are trying to make. He one of the only people we have come across in our journey who doesn't give us that look that says 'weirdo hippy lesbians'!

Frankly, I quite like being thought of as weird, its much more enticing than my perception of myself as a pretty mainstream suburban mother, but the frustrating thing is we aren't asking for anything that should be considered weird at all. The building industry is where some of the greatest innovations are coming from yet to do a simple extension in a thoughtful way can be a battle of wills and a test of resolve.

We have made it through the design and negotiations with the builder. We are building a plywood box onto the side of our brick house. It's reminiscent of a caravan annex and intended to not be able to be mistaken for anything but a contemporary addition to a 60's house. Our box will capture the best of our northern sun and has been designed around the most beautiful magnolia ever seen. This was the first parameter we set around the design and the start in a long line of choices we have had to justify more than once. Who designs around a plant? Weirdo hippy gardeners that's who!

But now we have a design that we love, the box will be light and spacious and connect us to our garden and it will probably be painted green!

Building starts next week and we are up to working out the details of the kitchen planning, which can be a whole other post!


Jodie said...

That has been a long time in the process - hope it is smooth sailing from here on in !

Michelle said...

As a fan of your lovely magnolia tree (easily one of the nicest in the inner north) I fully support the decision you crazy hippy lesbians have made. Your plans sound ideal! Can't wait to see it finished (as I bet you can't wait either)

Leonie said...

I'm hoping the rest of your planning and the actual building goes very well. It's amazing how the industry is all about sustainable housing but only in the new houses where it's easy to do it, rather than bringing older ones up to spec. Shame about the attitude but if you've found one who will try to work with you and within your ideals and budget then that is fantastic! Good luck :-)

Sarah said...

Well done for persisting it should be easier!

Carolyn said...

Your plans sound ideal! I'm hoping the rest of your planning and the actual building goes very well.

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