Are you just starting out on your green home journey? Do you want a sustainably designed home but are not sure where to go, who to ask, or even how to find them in the first place? If so, you are not alone. The building process can be very daunting, especially at the very beginning.
I met many people last weekend who were at this initial stage. They all had dreams of what they wanted, but none were sure where to start. They had all come along on Sunday 23rd February 2014, to the “Ballarat Smart Living and Building Expo” (just one of the Victoria-wide “Sustainable Living Festival” events), where I had a stall/display. Friends of Royal Park in Buninyong ran this inaugural event, and there were over 40 stalls dedicated to sustainable lifestyles, including four local architectural practices that specialise in sustainable design. The organisers estimated over 1000 people attended the event, and I certainly found that there was a constant stream of lovely people to chat with over the day.
I loved hearing about the unique sites people had (inner-city Ballarat, Ballarat-outskirts, Skipton, Beaufort, Buninyong, Lal Lal, Daylesford, Otways, Yea, Melbourne, South Australia, and more!), and loved listening to people tell me about their dreams for their future sustainable homes…
I chatted with many, many folk throughout the day, and the comments I kept hearing were: “We’re just starting out…”, “We’re not sure where to start…”, “We have a site [here] and we think we want to do [x] but we need help…”
This is why the very first question should be “Do I need an Architect?” I’ve answered this for you in my FREE guide and checklist. Just sign up to my mailing list to get your copy. It makes sense to talk to an expert who has been through this very same process countess times, and can help answer your questions, and guide you through the designing/planning/building journey so that you enjoy it without undue stress. Sometimes it can be hard to see the proverbial forest for the trees! You can have so many ideas, but it can be hard to visualize how they will all come together. The right architect will listen to you and get to know you (and your site) thoroughly, and will help you piece together the bits of the puzzle so your dream-home design will unfold before your eyes…
The expo was a great opportunity for people to come and ‘shop-around’ by meeting with different designers to get a feel for the individual philosophies and unique services provided by each practice, and to get a sense if they were on the same wavelength.
I also loved the immediate feedback I received about my ‘stand/display’…with a number of people saying it was a green ‘oasis’ with the bamboo blinds and pot-plants! It was important to me, as a designer, to create a comfortable, welcoming, living space with roof, walls, and a floor. (Not just a laptop, or a folio to flip through on a table). I had quite a few comments on my attention to detail, and that is great compliment – as that is the same way I approach each Architectural project I do.
Our little free gift – a bookmark made from hand-made paper with native Swan-River-Daisy seeds inside, with the quote “From little things, big things grow” (Thanks Paul Kelly!)I’ll definitely do more of these expos in the future, as it is a great opportunity to meet more people in the community who are also passionate about green buildings and sustainable design, and that is just so inspiring to see! This is one of the reasons I wanted to create a little take home gift for everyone who stopped by to say hello to me at the Expo…a bookmark with native wildflower seeds. Just a way of me being able to say ‘thank you, it is lovely to meet you’.