Ben opens his doors

BEN Luffman is so passionate about building sustainable homes he is opening his Toormina residence every weekend for six months, starting tomorrow.

Coinciding with Sustainable House Day, Mr Luffman’s Nangara Eco House will open to the public tomorrow in the hope of inspiring other home builders.

“Building sustainably can cost no extra if you’re just getting the design right,” he said. “A lot of homes don’t take into account the aspect and angle of the sun. The majority are built to face the street or the view.”

While clever design can cost nothing, other strategies to create a more sustainable home can cost an extra five to 10 per cent, according to Mr Luffman.

“Over the long term, you can more than get that back through savings and that’s not considering the health and comfort benefits.

“This house has been designed and built to a budget with the intention of showing how you can incorporate sustainable features that save energy, water and waste.”

Nangara Eco House features include solar passive design, such as minimising west-facing windows, maximising cross ventilation and using eaves to shade windows. Outside, external walls are constructed from concrete-rendered expanded polystyrene panels, which have an insulation R2 value.

The latest in solar power generation, solar hot water, rainwater tanks, grey water re-use, energy efficient lighting, water and energy efficient appliances and organic compound paints, also reduce the ecological footprint of this home.

“It’s important to get the message out there on sustainable houses, that there’s not just an environmental benefit, but also a comfort benefit, because the house performs so well. It’s warm in winter and cool in summer, rather than a house that does all the wrong things that you have to heat or cool,” he said.

“We hope visitors are inspired to incorporate one or more features in their own homes. Conventional homes consume a significant proportion of our energy and water resources, so every little bit we can do helps.”

The Nangara Eco House is expected to save about 80 per cent of the energy and water used in conventional homes. Anyone about to travel on the home building journey or interested in sustainable living is invited to the Nangara Eco House at 14 Noomba Street, Toormina, from 10am to 4pm tomorrow or every Saturday and Sunday until March 2011 between 10am and 3pm.

Fisher who exploited Indonesian fishing crew fined $48,000

An Indonesian fishing crew has been underpaid almost $50,000.

Tuna fishing company fined almost $50,000 for underpaying crew

North Coast residents most likely to develop cancer

Figures attributed to an ingrained culture of risky behaviour

Local Partners

Family's new arrival in face of tragedy

MEL Small had already gone into labour when she learned of the tragic fate of her sister Jodie Spears.

Survive and support this Pink Ribbon Day

Denise Bass, Kathy Clough and cancer survivor Dorothy Lockart at Pink Ribbon Day stall in the mall.

Cancer survivors often say the diagnosis is the toughest part.

Blooming Woolgoolga

Handmade flowers have brought colour to mental health in Woolgoolga.

HANDMADE flowers have brought colour to mental health in Woolgoolga.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

What's on the big screen this week

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S latest superhero Doctor Strange makes his debut.

Trump 'worked like hell' to pick up John Travolta's wife

John Travolta and Kelly Preston

Trump wrote comments in tribute to Travolta's son Jett

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E11 - top three battle it out

The Bachelorette finalists, from left, Matty Johnson, Lee Elliott and Jake Ellis.

It's Matty, Lee or Jake. Who will Georgia choose?

Jake left broken-hearted by Bachelorette break-up

Jake Ellis is one of the final three bachelors on The Bachelorette.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and Matty J as her final two suitors.

MOVIE REVIEW: Doctor Strange is out there in a good way

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S new superhero takes viewers along on his mind trip.

MOVIE REVIEW: Jack Reacher sequel falls flat

Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.

THE film's title Never Go Back should serve as a warning to fans.

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Politicians promise homebuyers a helping hand

PROMISE: Canberra has plans to address housing affordability.

How Coffs can help fix housing affordability

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June