Free Community Workshops

Completed Workshops 2015/2016

This project has concluded. Thanks to all who were involved in these successful workshops.

Any further workshops will run through the Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council. Please check the Council’s website for details.


Airtightness Workshop

Saturday 19th November 10am – 12:30pm



How much warm air is your house really losing in winter? Do you have gaps in your insulation? Is your home well sealed? Now we can find out! This hands-on workshop will guide participants through airtightness testing with an experienced consultant using a blower door and thermal imaging camera on a new Googong home.

Learn about the average amount of airchanges per hour in a draughty Canberra home, airtightness standards around the world and what that means for your energy bills, join in the ‘Leak Hunt’ as the test is in progress and see and feel the difference that leaks make to comfort.  A complimentary morning tea is provided to all participants, and you will have opportunities to ask any questions.

This is a free workshop run by the Googong Sustainable Housing Project.  Registration is essential as numbers are capped. Please register using the event booking form.


Queanbeyan River Festival

Saturday 29th October 2016

Top 10 Tips for Sustainable Housing” presentation – 1pm

The River Festival and Enviro Expo return once more to Queanbeyan – your chance to talk sustainable housing one on one with Myf and Matt, pick up your factsheets, and bring along your house plans for free personalised advice.

WORKSHOP: What is sustainable housing? What is passive deTASGMainRoomsign?

 How to improve comfort, energy efficiency and the environmental impact of your home in Googong
21st May 2015

Sustainable housing is based on the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development and seeks to create homes that are:

  • More healthy and comfortable to live in
  • More efficient in the use of precious energy, water and resources
  • More in harmony with the natural environment

This workshop will focus on the elements that make up passive solar design, including:

  • Site selection, orientation and building layout
  • Glazing and shading
  • Thermal mass
  • Insulation
  • Draught sealing Ventilation

The benefits of sustainable houses are maximised by clever building design which incorporate sustainable features at the planning stage. Participants will learn about passive solar design principles and gain insight into the benefits of using the sun and other passive building features to improve the comfort, energy efficiency and environmental footprint of the new home they are planning at Googong.

WORKSHOP: Green and Healthy Materials

25th June 2015
5:30pm RB Smith Community Centre, 262 Crawford St Queanbeyan

Your choice of building materials will have a big impact on the overall sustainability of your home. At this workshop you will learn about the problems with ‘non-green’ materials, what green materials are, their attributes and benefits and how to make some materials ‘greener’ by substituting or using alternatives. Green materials are characterised by a range of important attributes:

  • Low embodied energy
  • Recyclable and/or high recycled content
  • Renewable and abundant
  • Non-polluting – minimal impact on air and water quality
  • Non-hazardous formulation
  • Equitable, local production
  • 3rd party accreditation

Some materials, like concrete for example, can be made ‘greener’ by substituting alternatives to the cement content without affecting structural properties. Green materials in the following categories will be explained:

  • Green concrete, SIPs, etc.
  • Acceptable sources of timber
  • Adhesives and tile grout
  • Paints, oils and stains
  • Joinery
  • Ceramics
  • Plastics used in plumbing

Participants will leave this workshop with an understanding of materials and be capable of working with their builder to ensure their houses benefit from green materials.


WORKSHOP: Indoor environment quality and the outdoor environment

How to improve the comfort, health and environmental quality both inside and outside your home
23rd July 2015
5:30pm RB Smith Community Centre, 262 Crawford St Queanbeyan

We spend a lot of time indoors these days, both at home and at work, and the quality of our indoor environment can have a direct impact on our health and wellbeing. The following factors influence the quality of both indoor and outdoor environments:

  • Air quality
  • Thermal comfort
  • Natural light
  • Landscaping

As buildings become better sealed to reduce heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter they become less healthy as a result of reduced ventilation, exacerbated by the release of VOCs (volatile organic compounds which cause ‘off-gassing’) into the atmosphere from products used in the construction of the building. Thermal comfort in homes can be improved by the application of Passive Solar Design principles including through the use of direct solar gain, insulation and shade. This is addressed in more detail in the workshop on Sustainable Housing, where it is explained how sustainable buildings can achieve thermal comfort levels with little reliance on mechanical heating and cooling systems. Natural light provides the best illumination for indoor tasks, modulated by shade and glare reducing techniques, whilst comfortable artificial lighting with low energy fittings provides light at all other times. Landscaping can contribute to maintaining thermal comfort by providing shade to buildings and ground surfaces as well as improving the aesthetics and amenity of the outdoor environment. Participants at this workshop will gain an understanding of the importance of indoor and outdoor environment quality to their family’s health and the health of the environment and will have an increased capacity to improve the quality of their Googong home.

WORKSHOP: Home energy and water efficiency

SMattHomeEnergyEfficiencyave energy, water and money – Changes you can make when designing and building your new home
20th August 2015
5:30pm The Anglican School at Googong, 136 Gorman Drive, Googong

Reducing energy and water consumption through the installation and effective use of efficient appliances has a significant effect on comfort, utility bills and environmental footprint. This workshop will focus on:

  • Efficient heating, cooling and hot water heating (the largest energy users!)
  • Efficient lighting, appliances and fittings – other energy and water consumers
  • Renewable energy
  • Energy management and emerging technologies and how these can be incorporated into your home being built at Googong

Heating, cooling and hot water heating make up 75% or more of the total annual household energy consumption in this region, so making informed choices about these technologies is crucial. Lighting, appliances and fittings can also have a significant effect on energy and water consumption. It is vital to plan these aspects of your home carefully from the start to lock in the benefits of efficiency at least cost. Participants will learn how the selection of efficient appliances and the active management of energy and water use in their Googong home can contribute to significant monetary and environmental savings



Please fill out this quick survey to provide feedback on the workshops you attended.


The Googong Sustainable Housing community workshops are open to anyone in the Queanbeyan community wishing to learn more about sustainable home building. If you are considering building in the future, making renovations to your existing house, or learning more about sustainable housing, this workshop is for you.

The workshops will be facilitated by architect Tony Edye of Tony Edye and Associates Pty Ltd and energy efficiency expert Matthew Ruffin of Progressive Sustainability, and aim to give you practical ideas to increase the comfort, health and environmental quality of your home and decrease home running costs.



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    September 23rd, 2015

    The Googong Sustainable Building Advisory Service has been up and running for 1 year now, with over a year to go and consultations still available at no cost to you!

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    October 29th, 2014

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