“Good architecture is essential, but green houses are also dependent on good urban planning,” she said.
“Housing estates need to be carved up to accommodate environmentally friendly architecture, allowing for as many north facing blocks as possible.
“Also, it is important that the house doesn’t take up the whole of the block. Keeping the house to 50 per cent or less of the block size allows for breezes, shady trees and gardens that help to keep the house cool in summer.”
Ms Miller followed a number of Ecovillage families over three years through the process of design, construction and occupation. The houses had monitoring equipment installed to track the use of lighting, power, solar energy, hot water, rainwater and recycled water.