Start of the journey

29Jun08

I went to a “leadership essentials” workshop a couple of weeks ago, and like a lot of those things, once you start thinking about something, you see applications everywhere!

Let me explain. One of the things we talked about with leadership and delegation and getting things done is the fact that the journey is important, often more so than the destination. And that’s how it has been with our humungeous project of demolishing and rebuilding our home.

Our existing house… well it is our home and it’s full, chocka with so many memories, but the house itself is concrete asbestos clad, asbestos roof, too small, no wardrobes, rotting windows, no energy rating (to speak of), orientation of house, did I mention too small?

But it’s a great place and we have been here for 15 years. Why change?
We spent about 6 months deciding that this was the best option – going through stages of complete denial and quite aghast that people would suggest demolishing. I would wake up some mornings thinking loving thoughts about this home, other mornings were spent getting cranky at no room, no storage. Couldn’t we just fix bits up? Building designers said that they would do anything we wanted- we could rebuild, renovate, add bits, change bits.

Then we started seeing more- we discussed making it better and looked at the ActewAGL eco-living exhibition houses and went along to the ACT sustainable house day last year – and had a look at the house just up the road from us. We started thinking about what we wanted in a house – we wanted it to be oriented the right way on the block (north facing for us southern hemisphere dwellers), more room, double glazing, water tanks, use solar energy etc etc.

The journey has been long and slow and frustrating. We designed and planned a house and then realised we didn’t want to spend the huge amounts of money that it would cost, and I love the mud-brick, straw-bale ideas- but it just doesn’t suit us and where we are at the moment (in another life I’d work this all out quicker and be on some land in Tasmania…).

We are now almost at our stage of building. We have chosen a project home and are making *green* changes – incorporating double glazing, solar hot water, water tanks, and a greywater system (we investigated solar power- but that’s another journey and not for this post). In fact when it is all completed we plan to suggest to our building company that they could offer a *green* option in their house packages. We have been talking with the guys at Enviro-Friendly Products and they also don’t know why project home builders are not offering a green alternative. We are not doing anything that really shouldn’t be mandatory anyway?

Front and back of our current home (15yr old sleeps in *studio* out the back).

Kx

Raymond StRaymond St- from back

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