Small Publisher of the Year 2011, 2010, 2008, 2006 

‘As an esteemed architect and pioneer of solar house design in Australia, Wrigley not only has his heart in the right place but the knowledge and practical experience to back it up … This book is detailed, practical and thorough.’

Steve Payne, Organic Gardener

In 1991, architect and solar consultant Derek Wrigley moved into a townhouse in Canberra and faced a new design challenge how to retrofit an existing suburban house to use renewable energies rather than fossil fuels. Convinced that building design could do more to achieve sustainability, he developed a series of innovative devices to improve the energy efficiency of the house, and modified the existing design to work harmoniously with the local climate.

The house now generates its own solar electricity, ventilates and cools itself without cost or pollution, and treats its own grey water for irrigating the garden. It quickly attracted visitors who were keen to learn how to apply these sustainable designs to their own homes and wanted to know where to begin.

Making Your Home Sustainable is a practical and easy-to-follow guide for homeowners, builders and architects who are concerned about the effects of climate change and environmental degradation and want to do something about reversing the trend. Derek Wrigley shows how simple modifications to existing homes can help to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and utilise natural rather than imported energies and resources. He clearly explains how to:

Identify retrofitting potential when buying a home; Rationalise energy and water consumption; Provide sunshine in southern rooms, warmth in winter, and cool air in summer; Use ventilation and insulation to reduce the need for artificial heating or cooling; Install a solar hot-water system; Utilise wasted sunlight to heat and illuminate your home; Create a beautiful landscape which also contributes to your household energy efficiency; and *Install reflectors, sunshades, water recycling, heliostats, double-glazing, photovoltaics, water tanks, and other energy-saving and water-saving devices.

With detailed descriptions, 46 photographs, and over 100 diagrams, Making Your Home Sustainable is the retrofitter’s bible an ideal, practical guide for anyone who wants to make their home more comfortable and save money on energy bills while increasing the value of their house and addressing the causes of global warming.


‘Derek Wrigley is a very down-to-earth DIY person who is also an architect. He is strongly committed to environmental sustainability and in this book describes in very practical terms, but with well-reasoned backing, what we can all do to reduce the demands of our homes and lifestyle on the natural environment … There are well-laid-out diagrams and tables illustrating his clearly written text … It would make a good Christmas present to yourself.’

John Coulter, Sustainable Population Australia

‘well-researched and innovative ideas for improving home sustainability… detailed instructions, along with the many accompanying photographs, designs and graphs, help to illustrate Wrigley’s designs and ideas and make it possible for the average homeowner to apply the majority of the designs to their own home at relatively low costs.’

Australian Rationalist

‘This is a timely and practical book for all who wonder how they can make their community more energy-efficient and sustainable. Lots of personal satisfaction to be had as well! There are do-able, often novel, things in here for every house, old and new.'

Tony McMichael, Epidemiologist and climate change researcher, Australian National University

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The Conundrum

The Conundrum: how scientific innovation, increased efficiency, and good intentions can make our energy and climate problems worse

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Category: Current Affairs/Environment

Moby-Duck: the true story of 28,800 bath toys lost at sea and of the beachcombers, oceanographers, environmentalists, and fools, including the author, who went in search of them

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ISBN: 9781921844348
RRP: $35.00
Pub date: August 2011
Category: Popular Science