The Housing Industry of Australia (HIA) opened its new Home Ideas center in Canberra on Saturday. This has quite a few good examples of sustainable housing products and books in its bookstore.
The bathroom section had Caroma's Smartflush toilet on display with Integrated Hand Basin. This has a handbasin built into the top of water cistern. When you push the button water flows through the spout allowing you to wash your hands. That water is then collected in the tank to flush the toilet. Caroma claim this meets plumbing standards. The unit is water efficient even without the handbasin, using 4.5/3 litre on their dual flush (typical dual flush toilets use 6l for a full flush).
The bookstore had a limited but good selection of sustainable building books, as well as more general ones and technical standards for builders.
There was also an interesting use of polystyrene and corrugated steel sandwich panels to build a roof. This consisted of stow sheeted of curved corrugated steel with about 200 mm of polystyrene between. The polystyrene had been molded to have a corrugated surface to match the steel. The result when finished would look like a traditional Australian steel roof, but have very good insulating properties. There are numerous such systems using structural insulated panels, but these are usually used for industrial buildings.
See also: Energy and Water Saving.
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