Build­ing for a bet­ter fu­ture



PERTH res­i­dent Tanya McKenna is chal­leng­ing the norm when it comes to sus­tain­able liv­ing and de­sign.

The 28-year-old re­cently re­ceived the Scott Print En­vi­ron­ment and Sus­tain­abil­ity ti­tle at the WA Young Achiev­ers Awards for her unique and in­flu­en­tial vi­sion to trans­form in­ner-city liv­ing in Perth.

Ms McKenna, who ap­peared on tele­vi­sion with part­ner Peter Chad­wick for their Na­ture In­spired Eco House, said the home was on an in­ner city in­fill block and demon­strated live­abil­ity on a smaller scale which chal­lenged the norm.

“Over­all the home demon­strates that sus­tain­able de­sign in hous­ing can be achieved with a re­ally beau­ti­ful, stylish and in­di­vid­ual home – it isn’t just a ‘hippy’ cul­ture,” she said.

“The green roof is def­i­nitely a unique fea­ture rarely seen on res­i­den­tial homes, par­tic­u­larly with so­lar pan­els and a so­lar hot wa­ter sys­tem sit­ting on top of the green­ery.

“The use of re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als is in­flu­en­tial, demon­strat­ing that beau­ti­ful homes can be con­structed and styled with build­ing ma­te­ri­als that have less em­bod­ied en­ergy, which is key to sus­tain­abil­ity.”

Ms McKenna and Mr Chad­wick pre­vi­ously ren­o­vated three other homes that fol­lowed a sim­i­lar de­sign ethos, with their last project the Ply­wood Box, a small 38 sq m apart­ment in Mt Law­ley they turned into a min­i­mal­ist stu­dio space they now man­age as an AirBnB.

For the for­mer Wood­vale res­i­dent, cre­at­ing sus­tain­able liv­ing op­tions was com­mon sense and the only vi­able way for­ward for Perth.

“It’s ev­i­dent that the world can’t sus­tain mass con­sump­tion and fos­sil fuel emis­sions at the rate that we are de­vel­op­ing and there­fore re­duc­tion, min­i­mal­ism, clean en­ergy and eco-de­sign pave the way for­ward,” Ms McKenna said.

“Perth is one of the (un­for­tu­nately) worst planned cities in the world due to its ur­ban sprawl.

“Sus­tain­abil­ity is es­sen­tially about ef­fi­ciency – large houses, long jour­neys in cars and the re­moval of na­tive veg­e­ta­tion for con­tin­ued ur­ban devel­op­ment is an in­ef­fi­cient use of en­ergy, re­sources and our time.”

Ms McKenna said the most sus­tain­able homes were the smaller and more com­pact ones.

“If we de­sign more sus­tain­ably, we use less, and ev­i­dence shows that with less ‘stuff’, peo­ple thrive. Over­all the world needs to con­sume less and hous­ing is a ma­jor form of con­sump­tion,” she said.

“I think every­one gets it, we just need peo­ple who can demon­strate how it can be done.”

Scott Print En­vi­ron­ment and Sus­tain­abil­ity Award win­ner Tanya McKenna.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.