Sustainability at Dreamers
DREAMERS DESIGNS (Mal and Wendy Lee)
Dreamers apartments and chalets have been designed and built by Mal and Wendy Lee.
We have had a professional interest in design and environmental buildings for over 20 years. Mal has a building/design background and has taught low energy building design at Swinburne University since completing his Msc in Renewable Energy In Architecture in the UK in 2000.
Wendy has a background in fashion and over the past 15 years steered her colour and design flare into the building industry. She has also designed and created the interiors for all of Dreamers apartments and chalets.
We hope we are able to get you motivated to do your part in helping save our delicate environment whilst still enjoying the best our natural environment has to offer us.
WHAT IS AN ECO FRIENDLY BUILDING?
In simple terms, it is using materials that are grown or manufactured with minimal damage to the natural environment and minimizing the amount of energy and water required, to run the building.
As energy consumption creates Co2 emissions through the burning of fossil fuels, a low energy use building will reduce global warming effects.
The building design is an important part of this process. By combining orientation, insulation, double-glazing and thermal mass we can achieve a highly efficient building.
The result is a 7 star energy efficient building.
DOES IT COST MORE TO BUILD A SUSTAINABLE BUILDING?
In the short-term yes, however with reduced energy bills and with the use of long lasting materials within the building. (I.e. it will last much longer and will not require renovation and repair.) There is a great cost saving over the life of the building.
WHY CHOOSE A RAMMED EARTH CONSTRUCTION?
Aesthetics, thermal mass properties (i.e. holds the heat and cool within the building), low embodied energy material, good sound isolative properties, great texture and high entertainment value of contractors during construction! We used Earthstone Constructions (Rob Brown)
THE BASIC RUNNING OF THIS BUILDING
Heating and cooling….
We have endeavoured to utilize materials and the sun to help heat and cool the building but this requires your help to run the building to its peak efficiency.
We ask that for your own comfort you read the following information.
Air conditioning is not a self-sustaining way of cooling as it used a great amount of energy to operate it. There are alternate methods of cooling which we have used in the design of the apartments.
The upstairs bedroom will naturally be warmer than downstairs in both summer and winter due to the lighter construction of the building and the hot air rising from below.
In the design of the building the bedroom was the only room located upstairs so that during summer in the heat of the day the cool living area is used and in the evening when the bedroom gets its use, the flow thru ventilation of all the windows and doors can be opened and naturally cooled by the evening air.
The hot air is also sucked out of the top bedroom by a wind driven roof top whirly jig, which in the winter is turned off to keep the heat within the room. The storage tank for the hot water is also located in the ceiling of this top bedroom, which helps heat the room in winter.
You may have noticed an air vent located in the passage floor. This is actually a natural cooling system, which brings air from the surface of the waterfall stream, underground through terra cotta pipes into the apartment. It operates by the cool air from the top of the stream being drawn thru the underground pipes by a small fan. It is further cooled to an even lower temperature by the use of the terra cotta pipes laid in the ground. In winter the vent is closed.
Ceiling fans are provided for air circulation.
To keep the cool air trapped within the building, all external doors should be kept closed and internal doors to bedrooms remain open.
In the evening once the outside temperature has dropped the external doors and windows should be opened to let in the cool mountain air.
In winter external doors should be kept closed as well as the glass doors at base of staircase to retain the warm air to the lower part of the building.
HOT WATER AND CENTRAL HEATING
An evacuated tube solar collector hot water system has been used to heat hot water and run hydronic central heating within the building. A gas back up system is used when the sun is not shining.
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY BUILDING MATERIALS
With the increase in allergies and sick building syndrome found in so many buildings these days we have felt it extremely important to provide accommodation which is environmentally safe for all who stay.
These initiatives include the use of non-toxic, low emissions paint, non use of plywood, chipboard, M D F board and laminate as these contain formaldehyde glues. Instead we have used natural timbers for kitchens and recycled timbers for external doors and bathroom benches which come from sustainable forests.(and the local hospital that was demolished some years ago)
Cupboards and shelving such as kitchen internals and built in wardrobes are made of board produced from recycled plastic bags.
Carpet underlay used is made from recycled cotton rags.
Bathroom vanity is hand made by Mal from recycled terra cotta earthenware as is also the glass panels.
Concrete polished floor is lacquered with low emissions water based sealer.
Low energy globes are used in most fittings.
Stainless steel and concrete bench tops have been used for their long lasting, durability and recyclable aspects.
The use of natural products continues thru out the entire building including the interior decoration and decor.
Natural fiber fabrics such as cotton, linen, wool and leather are used for curtains, bed linen, done covers, couches, carpets, mats and chairs. We have even sourced products such as bamboo light shades, blinds and chandeliers made from real coconuts!
A small amount of rainwater is captured from the roof for garden use, these will be installed shortly.
Minimal water use gardens surround the apartments.
Recycling bins are provided in kitchen drawer.
We hope you enjoy the experience at Dreamers and we look forward to your feedback on your stay.
For more information about Dreamers eco design concepts found throughout Dreamers eco apartments please go to www.dreamersdesigns.com.au