REstore is a cafe and sustainability hub
all in one.
So what is REstore?
It is the partnership of BBSN & Fozigobble cafe that are two separate entities who work together on the same goal - to promote sustainable living.
An example of our partnership is, the cafe contributes edible food seedlings to the garden which is tended by BBSN volunteers. Customers to REstore then get to enjoy the end produce in their meals!
We also work together to provide events & workshops with the same purpose - to educate visitors on sustainable living practices while enjoying the company & atmosphere. Every Wednesday morning a group of us meet to garden or to build the latest project (greenhouse, biogas digester, pizza oven etc).
So... REstore is the place that is the home of sustainable partnerships.
REstore building details
Early 2013 - present day...
The 1930’s weatherboard house was purchased in late June 2012. Major renovations to the house have been carried out which turned the building into a sustainable eco centre ‘ REstore’. REstore will accommodate the Baw Baw Sustainability Network as well as a sustainable fresh food café and retail shop specialising in sustainable giftware and home products.
Renovations include sustainable features such as energy efficient hot water system, rainwater tanks for the toilets and garden, solar tube, wall and ceiling insulation and a 4.56kW solar grid system.
Every third weather board was removed to insulate all external walls. Insulation used is a recycled wool blend R2. Recycled woollen carpets mixed with a blend of polyester form the insulation. This is an environmentally friendly product which doesn’t require any safety gear to install. Old rotten weatherboards have been replaced with second hand weatherboard at the same time. The existing ceiling insulation was maintained but an additional layer of R2 wool /polyester blend has been added to improve performance.
Rain water tank ($1,350 plus installation)
A 10,000 litre rainwater tank was placed on a small tank stand on the south side of the house close to all three toilets. Tank stand consists of hand crushed recycled concrete from old pathways from the property together with recycled local railway sleepers. The tank has been placed high enough to flush the toilets and allow watering the garden using gravity only (no pump needed).
Solar PV system ($13,500 plus $850 for the steel to construct the bicycle shelter frame)
A 4.59kW solar grid system was installed. 8 of the 18 panels were turned into a ground mounted feature acting as a bicycle shelter. The panels forming the bicycle shelter were donated by the solar panel manufacturer Q.Cells. The 5kW SMA inverter which displays the output of the bike shelter independently for the house panels was donated by SMA Australia. The output of the solar system will be monitored and it is expected to see slightly different production figures from the bicycle shelter and the roof installation per kW peak installed due to different tilt angles. The bicycle shelter has a shallower pitch and it is expected to generate approx. 3% per kW peak installed less. The solar panels on the roof are ideal for our latitude.
Solar Tube ($165)
A solar tube was installed in an area poorly lit by day light. The unit used is available of the shelf / do it yourself package and can be installed by everyone. (Some skills required)
Energy efficient hot water system ($900 plus installation)
Energy efficient gas hot water system was made available by removing the existing the gas storage unit and replacing it with a Rinnai 16 litre ‘smart instantaneous’. A ‘smart instantaneous’ gas unit was selected so solar hot water could be added in the future. A ‘smart instantaneous’ unit can sense the incoming water temperature of a solar hot water system and only uses the minimal amount of gas to boost the hot water to its required temperature if needed.
BBSN room furniture
Furniture consists of recycled timber pallets, cable drums, old coffee table and an old desk.
Community groups working together – The Trafalgar Men-Shed modified the desk to suite the 2nd hand solar panel which is used as a desk top.
Outside sitting area
Donated, recycled bricks are forming an extended outdoor sitting area. Hand crushed concrete for the house sites has been used to build the foundation. The frame work for the bricks is made out of timber found on site.
Donated, 2nd hand pavers are leading the way into the property to/under the bicycle shelter.
(cost: $100 for sand and cement for the sitting area and $150 for sand and cement for the paved area)
Trees and bushes have been heavily pruned to allow better light access to the building on the west side and the front garden. The garden on the east side and the backyard has been levelled using a tractor. The garden is now ready for future veggie gardens, fruit trees, composting etc. Permaculture design plans were drawn up by the local permaculture group & are well on the way to being established by a regular group of volunteers.
Paint (approx. $1,000)
Haynes paint has been selected for all the inside and outside paint work. Haynes is the only Australian made and owned product available.
The big east facing window is demonstration different glazing options. The different glazing units including labour were donated by Fast Glass Warragul. Apart from the demonstration window all other windows are currently single glazed.
(The windows have got labels)
- Double glazing 4mm glass – 12 mm gap – 4mm glass
- Clear laminated glazing - 6.38mm glass
- Tinted foil on existing 3mm glass
- Clear comfort glazing – 6.38mm glass
- Double glazing 4mm toughen glass – 12mm gap – 4mm toughen glass
- ‘Old / Existing single glazing – 3mm glass
5 different light fittings have 5 different light bulbs fitted to demonstrate different technologies. The rest of the house is using low energy B22 light bulbs and strip fluros in the kitchen.
Not a single trip of hard waste to the tip has occurred.
Winter Heating & Summer Cooling
Gas Heating – A gas heater is installed in one room only. It is expected that the waste heat of the coffee machine and people in the building will generate enough heat through winter. Split systems have been installed to enhance the heating/cooling to make a comfortable environment. These heat pumps are more efficient than other gas or electric heaters. High ceiling, good insulation and ceiling fans were an improvement on the building however were not quite sufficient for customer comfort.
Under floor insulation
Still to do
Draught proofing - though the new door on the east side of the cafe has compression style seals which are effective and long lasting. You can see them if you use the toilet on one of our information evenings!