Are you trying to keep up with the Joneses? Never mind them - The New Joneses are in town and they are living it up. Tamara DiMattina started this reality living campaign so anyone curious about the everyday mechanics of being "green" can experience it firsthand. In collaboration with EcoLiv and other partners, she's putting a solar-powered smart home smack-dab in the middle of Melbourne's City Square for nearly a month - starting February 9. And it's got everything. A vertical garden. An all-electric BMW i3. Smart technology, and a swanky new solar storage system for complete off-grid capability.
The New Joneses is edutainment that celebrates every tiny step taken towards lighter living. Guests who stay over – which will include a wide range of people this year – will use the ultra efficient appliances, eat fresh food from the market, handle smart technology, tend to the worm farm – basically they get to sample a fairly luxurious version of sustainability combined with a lot of really useful and low-tech skills like composting.
“While traditionally, the phrase, ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ compares us to others, using ‘stuff’ to measure our ‘value’, The New Joneses are the poster children for the growing, global, lifestyle-movement choosing to ‘live it up, with less’, making small lifestyle changes for big environmental and social impacts,” Tamara wrote in a press statement.
During the day, the public is welcome to stop by. School groups will do the same, and there’s going to be a roster of workshops and other learning opportunities. It’s a super program run by a savvy public relations campaigner with a longstanding eco habit. And she wants you to know, even if you have the tightest budget, you can still make a difference.
As for the home itself – it’s got everything you want to know about. Tamara told Inhabitat the Enphase soalr storage system is one of the home’s highlights, adding that it’s better than Tesla’s Powerwall because it can be adapted to old solar systems as well. She said solar storage is “totally new to Australia,” so this will be the first time many people will get to see how it works.
The smart home, which has a total built area of about 900 square feet, features zero chemicals or waste, LED lighting, a vertical garden, recycled glass insulation, double glazing and so much more. Some of its components are recycled, the water is solar-heated, and the design open but compact. Full of light, the demo house also has an outdoor deck that expands the interior living space. Now in its fourth iteration, The New Joneses features a different theme each year, and will soon be expanding to other cities as well. Look for them if you’re in Melbourne between Feb 9-27 and check out the video above to learn more.