Rebuilding green – that was Mark Thomson’s vision for a Brisbane house devastated by the floods.

The architect helped complete an eco retrofit of a two-storey brick veneer home at inner-suburban Chelmer that had been flooded up to the second storey.

Mr Thomson, who runs Eco Effective Solutions, is one of 16 leading Queensland sustainable architects and designers who will be available to the public at the free Speed Date a Sustainable Designer event in Brisbane on May 26.

“I sat down with the homeowners and we came up with a range
of practical improvements,” he said.

“For instance, upstairs and downstairs wiring was separated to allow part of the house to be operational should a flood threaten again. The kitchen was designed to be deconstructed and removed with that in mind as well.”

Resilient materials and finishes were used in the rebuilt house to withstand future floods. Other improvements included low-toxic paints, a solar hot water system to replace the old electric heater and plumbing to allow rainwater to flush toilets.

“The home is now much more resilient – able to cope better with what nature can throw at it. Any way you look at it, building back green just makes a lot of sense,” Mr Thomson said.

“You can make your home more environmentally sound, healthy and comfortable with advice from a sustainable architect.”

Speed Date a Sustainable Designer will allow people to discuss their ideas with sustainable design experts and explore the best environmental options for their home. It is organised by the Alternative Technology Association (ATA), a not-for-profit organisation promoting green building, renewable energy and water saving, and supported by bankmecu.

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