CHILLING OUT: Mandy Hole with the heat sink fish pond in her house that is one of those featured in Nimbin’s Open House and Garden weekend.
CHILLING OUT: Mandy Hole with the heat sink fish pond in her house that is one of those featured in Nimbin’s Open House and Garden weekend. Andy Parks

Home can keep its cool in heat

MANDY HOLE'S semi-circular Nimbin brick house has a passive solar design so it is warm in winter and cool in summer.

It also has a "heat sink" fish pond in the middle of the house that cools the summer breeze as it flows into the bedroom.

The house is one of 11 in the area that are open today or tomorrow.

"We've tried to choose houses that are attractive and have environmentally sustainable features as well," Mandy said.

The open house and garden weekend is a fundraiser for Nimbin Neighbourhood Centre's 7 Sibley St Sustainable Living Hub that will convert a run-down house into a model of affordable and sustainable housing promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy and local food security.

"It's the most exciting program in Nimbin at the moment that will really shift the focus to sustainability," Mandy said.

She said the open weekend will be a chance for anyone interested in architecture, gardening or sustainability to get inspiration from people who have spent decades creating their piece of paradise.

"It's a chance to learn from other people's successes and failures and gain the value of their experience. It will allow people to see another side of Nimbin they don't see in the main street. People are doing some beautiful things in the countryside here."

Mandy's 1.2ha garden of ornamentals, fruit trees and rainforests was converted over 25 years from a lantana-infested paddock.

"What I wish I had when we started building this place was to see how big trees really grow and what looks really beautiful when mature," she said.

The cost of entry for two days in $40, or $20 for one day. Bookings can be made on 6689 1529.



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