Sustainable House Day Report

Jonathan WrightNews

On Sunday 13th October, Geelong Sustainability (GS) coordinated its eleventh Sustainable House Day (SHD) with support from the City of Greater Geelong. Our biggest community engagement event, SHD has become an authentic and effective learning experience.  By visiting exemplar homes in our region, people are inspired to implement sustainable practices and energy efficiency technologies in their own homes.

2019 was our largest program with 15 properties opening for 4 hours across the Barwon region. Homes within suburban Geelong and Golden Plains Shire opened from 10am to 2pm and those on the Bellarine and Surf Coast opened from 1pm to 5pm.  SHD2019 was another record breaking year with over 2750 house visits being recorded - an average of 185 visitors per house. The busiest home in Pt Lonsdale had over 350 visitors that's 15 every 10 minutes! 

Geelong Sustainability would like to acknowledge our generous homeowners, sponsors, community partners and volunteers who helped to make SHD such a wonderful knowledge-sharing community event.  In total there were 125 volunteers and 55 subject matter experts (SME) who contributed to making SHD2019 so successful. The onsite experts included: designers, architects, energy raters, builders, solar experts, window/glazing suppliers, retrofitters, landscape architects, permaculture/garden gurus and other product suppliers.


The event was promoted via social media and the videos produced by Geelong Media were very popular. The 11 videos received over 25,000 views and remain on the SHD Facebook page for people to watch.


For a snapshot of fun and knowledge sharing on the day, watch this short video.

SHD2019 Survey Results

A post event visitor survey was sent to registered visitors and volunteers and 97 responses were received. Below are some interesting statistics and insights from the survey: 

  • 59% of people were attending for first time
  • 75% of people visited 1-3 homes, possibly due to the wide geographic spread.
  • 69% said they were interested in productive edible gardens, 61% in new passive solar homes, 57% in DIY retrofits, 47% in tiny homes and 41% in renovated older homes.
  • 98% liked seeing homes firsthand
  • 93% liked talking to homeowners
  • 92% were more likely to include sustainable design, materials or products in their own home after visiting the open homes.
  • 57% said they were more confident to seek advice after SHD.
  • 56% said SHD encouraged them to include more sustainable features and 36% are already taken action.
  • 81% said SHD2019 fully met or exceeded their expectations
  • Unsurprisingly, 58% said cost was the key reason holding them back from improving their home.
  • 28% said they weren’t sure where to start and 18% couldn't find reputable local businesses.
  • People of all ages attended SHD: 29% were in 55-64 age range and 26% in the 45-54 range.
  • As expected, homeowners (88%) was the largest category of people attending SHD.

    In the new year, the committee and event teams will study the survey data and the requested seminars and workshop topics. Be assured, our 2020 program of activities will be designed to assist your sustainable living journey.

    A more detailed SHD2019 report can be downloaded here

    The date for SHD2020 in Geelong is set for Sunday 11 October. We’re always on the lookout for exemplar houses and we’re already compiling a list of potential homes for 2020.  For more information contact our SHD Coordinator by email,