No carbon footprint for this eco-friendly house
AN ECO-friendly property, which boasts "no carbon footprint", is generating attention in the Granite Belt region.
This is particularly impressive when the region is well known for being environmentally conscious.
Graham King is the owner of Sippers at Ballandean.
The property is an accommodation concept that has just won national recognition for an innovative approach to energy.
Everything, from the building itself - it was a former kindergarten at Boonah on the eastern side of the range - to the design, has a focus on being ecologically friendly.
And the attention to detail has paid off.
Mr King has successfully combined the once-alien concepts of luxury and environmental awareness, to earn a 4.5 star AAA tourism rating, with a much sought-after green star for being eco-friendly.
"The house used to be the old kindy from Boonah," Mr King said.
"We moved it here in September 2009," Mr King said.
"We worked on building Sippers until the end of 2010 and starting operating in March-April of 2011."
Mr King said one thing that was certain from the outset was that the house would be eco friendly.
Mr King also said they blitzed the eco friendly assessment.
The property racked up 295 points in the assessment.
"The house is very well insulated," he said.
"There is a 1.5 air span under the roof, 3.0 batts in the ceiling, 1.5 batts in the external walls and 3.0 batts under the floor.
"We have two separate hot water systems - one Solahart and one Quantum Heat.
"The fridge, washer and dryer are all top rated water and energy efficient."
Mr King said he was proud of the 32 6.4kw solar panels on the property.
"The house uses less power than what it produces, so bas
ically has no carbon footprint," he said.
"Some 75% of the power produced goes back into the power grid."
Mr King said it was not just inside the house that they went eco friendly.
"The garden is fully irrigated from rain water tanks and sewage," he said.
"We can hold up to 11,000 gallons of water for use in the house and 2000 gallons for use in the garden."
For every one 1mm on 1sqm of the roof, 1L of water is collected - the roof is 300sqm.
Native plants were also used to maximise the garden's water efficiency.
Mr King said that while the architecturally designed house included many things that made it echo friendly, it also had all the luxuries required to make it 4.5 stars.
"For us to get a 4.5 star rating, we actually did really well," he said.
"In the new AAA Tourism rating that we were marked under, and which will come into effect in October, you have to have extras, like butlers, to be rated 5 stars.
"We are trying to lift the bar a bit.
"Everyone who has stayed here has said positive things."
Mr King said having disabled facilities in the house was something close to his heart.
"My aunt has cerebral palsy," he said.
"My cousin has muscular dystrophy.
"So having a room with facilities for them was important," he said.
Mr King said while maintaining their current accommodation and eco friendly standards was key, he said they were looking to the future.
"The next thing we are looking at is wireless internet," he said.
"We are hoping to be able to tap into the conference market."
For more information about this eco friendly business contact 4683 4121 or 0409 788 772.
"We have 32 6.4kw solar panels.
75% of the power produced by the property goes back into the grid.
The house uses less power than it produces so effectively it has no carbon footprint.