In 2005 I swapped a perfectly good town house on 198sq m of land for 5400 sqm of land of úvalley Grassey ForestĚ vegetation. This block some 22 km from the centre of Melbourne Australia (Australia's 2nd largest city) was going to be perfect for my growing family.

Using Smart Technology to create a RealGreenHome

Marc Niemes | RealgreenHome

1In designing the home; technology was always on my mind. Some simple and some complex. In interviewing some 20 builders it was clear they weren’t going to build it my way and extensive research led me to understand more of what I could do then they knew about.... and more importantly I knew what I couldn’t do..

So RealgreenHome was born. A guy, some research, some ideas, and a passion for people technology and the environment. So lets talk about the technology.
  • The internet was not to control the house.
  • The house shouldn’t have to be “booted up”
  • A computer can interface with the house but no central computer should control it.
The house is post and beam construction 100% steel, some 5 meters off the ground at the back. Some 5km’s of cable makeup the primary lelectrics. It uses a Clipsal C-bus, smart wired home. All lights and switches are wired back to a central data cabinet and can be configured independently. Ie the front door switch can turn on one light or all of them. Cat % and wireless also runs to all rooms.

We have 2 Digital screen buttons with some 10 switch options, as well as a color touch screen in the primary living. The advantages of this technology are simple. Every room every switch every devices can be turned on remotely if needed..

Every room has its own thermostat to control the infloor but above slab floor heating. I have three wireless LCD sensors that measure electricity usage in real time. Why. Because if you know what you are using you can use a lot less..

All the windows are double glazed to keep the warm air in…So capturing the sun in winter is important, but blocking it out in winter is vital. To achieve these we have large eves on west facing windows for afternoon glass, but where sunlight is vital we have added roller shutters controlled by solar sensors. In winter if sunny they roll up to let the light in to heat the tiles in summer when they detect excessive light they shut to block out the radiant heat….

The simplest technology often provides the widest benefit. No waste water leaves the property as it all broken down by an industrial tank worm farm. All paper, foodscaps, garden clippings are processed by the farm with the output being fertilizer (in the form of warm castings) and water. The technology a tank, a pump and a connection to all the toilets.

The decking around the house is recycled car tyres and wood pulp. No painting, no splintering, no algae and it doesn’t slip when it gets wet.

Connectivity with the outside world is via wireless, VOIP, and 3G. no ongoing rental fees.

True to my earlier mantra the house does have a computer interface but it doesn’t run it…..well almost…

The pool is almost completely computerised, and has a remote control and remote monitoring, recycles all its own water, and is topped up by rain from the 38,000 litres of water tanks connected to the extensive roofing…..

All other water is heated by the sun and also tanked below for constant use….

In real terms the property uses real technology, from real companies available now… you can see more at




The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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