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Aussie Team Wins 2013 International Solar Decathlon

Posted: August 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: GREEN, INSULATION, Renovate or Die, Renovation News, STANDOUT, Technology | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Aussie Team Wins 2013 International Solar Decathlon

Aussie Team Wins International Solar Declathon

A team from the University of Wollongong UOW and TAFE Illawarra Institute have won a coveted international competition to design a zero-emissions solar home, the teams entry – a retro-fitted Aussie fibro shack – beat-off 24 other entrants to place first in the solar, engineering and architecture categories, with a team from China coming in a sound second.

It’s the first time an Australian team has entered the Solar Decathlon – held in Datong, China since 2002 – the 51-strong team built the Flame House to inspire the Australian community, housing and building industries to embrace sustainable retrofitting technologies.

The retrofitted fibro cottage was also designed to appeal to older builders nearing retirement. The team aimed at building a sustainable home that would sit comfortably in it’s suburban environment :: Read the full article »»»»


New Home? ….Copper Beech Farm $US190 Million

Posted: May 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Favorite New Thought, STANDOUT, Wealth Creation | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on New Home? ….Copper Beech Farm $US190 Million

Copper Beech Farm: Image via ChristiesEarlier this month Sydney’s house prices topped out at $AU50 million – Altona, a Point Piper harbour front mansion – In the US however, a house has just gone on the market with an asking price of $AU195 Million.

Copper Beech Farm – named for the Copper Beech trees, not a US misspell – is set on 20 hectares/50 acres of manicured (subdividable) lushness, it boasts 12 bedrooms – excluding separate staff quarters – 9 bathrooms, standout views across Long Island Sound, two islands, private beach, grassed tennis court, 25-metre swimming pool, a proper geenhouse, gatehouse and stone carriage house.

The style, a Neo-French Renaissance manor house, isn’t why the asking price is so high, nor is it’s history, Copper Beech Farm is a breezy 45 minute drive – as if you’d drive – to New York City. What’s that sound real-estate agents keep making? “Location, location, location.” Check the full rundown of Copper Beech Farm at it’s international agents website: christiesrealestate.com :: Read the full article »»»»


New Zealand, Land of the Bad-taste Baby Name?

Posted: May 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: REBLOG, STANDOUT | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Zealand, Land of the Bad-taste Baby Name?

New Zealand Badtaste Baby NamesThey’re an odd lot the Kiwis, overtly polite, a little too enthusiastic and well, very brown-slacked. The accent is – to say the least – an unfortunate cross between Australian, South African and Scottish, making almost any conversation less than intelligible. And while the country has a rich – native and white – history, they have very little good taste.

New Zealand government officials have released a list of baby names put forward by parents that have been rejected by the registrar of births, deaths and marriages because they were too out-there or just down-right offensive, including “V8” and “Mafia No Fear”. The list of 77 names reveals one child was set to be called “Anal” before the Department of Internal Affairs vetoed the proposal, while another child narrowly avoided being dubbed “.” or full stop.

Other names on the list included “4Real”, “Lucifer”, and “/”. In some cases, parents appeared to have lost any inspiration for coming up with a moniker for their offspring, wanting to call the latest addition to the family simply “2nd”, “3rd” or “5th”.

The inhabitants of the small southern nation are apparently a proud bunch, the registrar’s rules forbid a name that might imply a child holds an official rank or title, so “King”, “Duke” and “Princess” were among those that had been turned down, we love a good over-reach!

“Justice” was the most popular, having been rejected 62 times, although “Justus” and “Juztice” also failed to gain official approval. Surprisingly there where very few applications for offensive – possibly an oxymoron – hobbit names submitted :: Read the full article »»»»


Don’t Do Anything You Can’t Undo

Posted: May 17th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Renovation Planning, Renovation Tips, STANDOUT | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Don’t Do Anything You Can’t Undo

There are two certainties in this world: the first is that people have bad taste, the second is that bad taste takes time to diagnose.

Don't Do Anything You Can't Undo - Shabby Chic KitchenLet’s take shabby chic. I’m betting that in five years, shabby chic will just look plain old shabby and be as embarrassing as the sunshine yellow and sky blue colour combination of the early 1990s.

Good renovation requires choosing new fixtures and fittings that will outlast trends. Things such as light fittings, doors and windows, flooring and kitchens and bathrooms can easily become the fashion equivalent of the tulip skirt and footless tights – a must-have right now, but something to hide in two years.

So how do you prevent fatal renovation crimes you may regret? What is a renovation crime?

More than just a misjudgement of taste – a renovation crime is something that permanently destroys the fabric of a house. Crimes include ripping out cast iron fireplaces and boarding them up. Or knocking out walls to create a brick archway support more suited to a pizza shop. It’s pebblecrete on the front veranda. It’s aluminium windows in a gorgeous old Federation house. In short, a renovation crime is something a property owner thinks is a great idea at the time, but ends up costing the house lost amenity in the future :: Read the full article »»»»


Five Things to Know About Home Insulation

Posted: May 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: STANDOUT | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Five Things to Know About Home Insulation

All Insulation is NOT Created Equal - Five Things to Know About Home Insulation

All Insulation is Not Created Equal!

Batts are the easiest form of insulation to retrofit into any home, with older-style Federation, bungalows and Victorian homes benefitting the most from ceiling insulation. It’s easy enough to carry the batts into a ceiling cavity and fit them neatly between the timbers. What’s not so easy is to work out which insulation material to choose – there are fibreglass batts, rockwool batts, wool batts, concertina batts and polyester batts. My preference would be for a natural material because fibreglass batts can cause problems in the future as the material breaks down and requires careful handling. You can also install loose insulation, such as paper, which can be pumped in to difficult-to-access roof areas. There are also air-cell materials which are easier to handle and extremely cost-effective and are great under timber floors :: Read the full article »»»»