Natural building Earthship

Candy’s Earthship

admin Sustainability

Candy’s earthship at Narara Ecovillage (the first approved on the Central Coast) was designed by Australian earthship guru, Martin Freney of www.earthshipecohomes.com.au It’s a two-bedroom design for a small suburban block of land only 15m in the north south direction, and addresses principles of human needs: Thermo-solar heating and cooling Solar electricity Composting toilet Building with natural and recycled materials …

9 Star Energy Efficient House

Jazz’s ‘Mushroom’ House

admin Sustainability

Who would have thought that in my 60’s I would be building a house and using words like ‘waffle pods’ and ‘thermal mass’ and attempting to understand how solar panels and normal/ grey/reticulated water all ties together. I’m an admin person who loves food, reading and music, and now the brain is being stretched to new levels! We’ve nicknamed my …

Why we love hemp!

admin Sustainability

Hempcrete is relatively new to Australia with less than 50 houses using this sustainable building material in the whole country. Not only does it come from a renewable resource, using the stem of the hemp plant, but it provides a much healthier home due to it’s high breathability. good thermal and acoustic insulation breathable walls avoiding moisture build-up which prevents …

Natural Building Standards - Earthship

Narara Ecovillage Building Standards

admin Sustainability

Our standards seek an outcome based on inclusive decision making, good design, good health and the well being of all community members.  They encourage small and inexpensive houses knowingly designed to provide thermal comfort, low water use and low energy consumption.  The standards also seek innovation from community members in the design of their homes and the use of recycled …

Bush Regeneration

Bush Regeneration

admin Community, Sustainability

One of the pleasant tasks of life at the ecovillage is maintaining and regenerating the native bushland on the property.  The village is situated next to the renowned Strickland State Forest, and forms with it an unbroken corridor of forest on ridge-land and slopes down into the Narara Valley.  A volunteer team meets weekly to go into the forest and …

What is an ecovillage?

What is an Ecovillage?

admin Community, Sustainability

 According to the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) website: An ecovillage is an intentional, traditional or urban community that is consciously designed through locally owned, participatory processes in all 4 dimensions of sustainability (social, culture, ecology, economy)into a whole systems design to regenerate its social and natural environment. Ecovillages are living laboratories pioneering beautiful alternatives and innovative solutions. They are rural or urban settlements …

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

admin Community, Sustainability

We get asked a lot of questions about the way things work at Narara Ecovillage. Here’s a list of out top FAQs and the answers, in case they’re helpful for you too. Please note that you should not rely on these informal answers for any legal or financial matters. The formal legal documents of the Co-operative are the Disclosure Statement, …

Ecovillage Power and Smart Grid

admin Sustainability

Narara Ecovillage aims to be self-sufficient for energy needs. The Ecovillage will continue to be connected to the wider energy grid, providing the opportunity to earn revenue by exporting unused surplus energy from PV panels. Another ongoing project is considering how the Ecovillage can continue to energise the Smart Grid during power outages in the wider energy grid. This will …

Growing Food

Reviving the Triplespan Greenhouse

admin Community, Sustainability

For the last 6 months, a troop of enthusiastic volunteers have been working away at improving the soil in our Triplespan Greenhouse to get the ground prepared for growing food. We chose the greenhouse because of its location down on the floodplain and because the old structure meant we could grow in an area protected from pests. We started by …

Geoff's hemp house

Building News (in their own words)

admin Community, Sustainability

Geoff’s Hempcrete House My owner-build hemp house is ticking along slowly but steadily.  After a 5 month wait my double-glazed Murray River red gum windows and doors have been delivered and installed.  I think they look brilliant and well worth the wait.  My roof is on and we are now all ready for the hempcrete workshop starting on 13 April …

Hemp Natural Building

Natural and Sustainable Building at Narara Ecovillage

admin Sustainability

‘Natural building’ is an umbrella term describing buildings constructed primarily from natural sources rather than man-made materials. It can include buildings made from mud, straw, clay, stones and wood, relying almost exclusively on raw or minimally-processed materials. Builders of ‘natural’ homes generally build use techniques which do not further pollute the environment, consume more fossil fuel, or unnecessarily extract more of the …

Are pets allowed at the Ecovillage?

admin Sustainability

Narara Ecovillage is not a pet-free community but our Community Management Statement includes the aim to minimise the number. We are concerned about the risk to wildlife as we have many lizard, frog and rare bird species on the land we have custodianship for. We take the protection of this diverse ecology very seriously. We are also aware of the …

Triplespan Garden

Growing Food

admin Sustainability

The Ecovillage aims to grow as much food as possible for the local community on site. We are committed to growing regeneratively, incorporating permaculture principles and hope to demonstrate a number of different techniques for growing food. The plan is to construct 5 comparison beds in the first span of our greenhouse, then build on our learnings and soil testing …

Scribbly Gum Permaculture Patch

What is Permaculture and how is it integrated into what we do at Narara Ecovillage?

admin Sustainability

Permaculture is primarily a design system for a holistic approach to sustainable living and practice. Working with nature, it is the harmonious integration of design with ecology for creating sustainable human settlement by simulating or modelling the patterns and features of natural ecosystems. Permaculture was developed as a response to the dangers of industrial agricultural methods which are not sustainable …

Alternative water supply - dam

Water Supply at the Ecovillage

admin Sustainability

Narara Ecovillage aims to be self sufficient for its complete water needs. Narara Ecovillage Water (NEV) Water provides all potable water, sewer and recycled water services to the Narara Ecovillage site.  NEV Water holds Network Operator and Retail licenses under the NSW Water Industry Competition Act (WICA). Narara Ecovillage was granted the first community-owned water licence in NSW by NSW …

Steam Weeding

Margo Parris Sustainability, Village Life

As a community, we’ve agreed to protect and maintain the health of our members and ecosystems, and manage the land using organic and Permaculture principles. We aim to minimise, and ideally eliminate, the use of poisonous substances and nominate alternatives to the use of poisonous substances on the Community Parcel where possible. So today, we welcomed Ben Larson of Weedtechnics …

21st Century Homes for the Future Society and Climate: The Eco Dreamers seminar

Margo Parris Sustainability, Village Life

Yesterday (Saturday 12 May) 75 people came to Narara Ecovillage to hear Brendan Condon, Project Director, talk about the inspiring Cape Paterson Ecovillage in Victoria and their new 9 and 10 star sustainable homes. This was followed by a panel discussion with Narara Ecovillage. They key topic was the challenge of creating climate-proof, zero energy cost, sustainable homes and subdivisions, in …