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SEASON 2

Episode 40

A BUILDHER BUILDING TALE WITH SUZANNE MCCONCHIE

SHE BUILT A HOUSE IN 4 DAYS!

S2 E40_Banner_Suzanne McConchie

Our guest today discovered her passion for sustainability during the process of designing and building a passive house in Melbourne. Not only is Suzanne one of our talented and industrious BuildHers, but she is the Engineering Strategy Manager at Ford Motor Company, wife, and mother of two young boys. To say she’s amazing is an understatement.

With the help of a retired architect friend (everyone needs one of those) and Melbourne-based company, Carbonlite, Suzanne and her husband undertook the construction of a thoughtfully designed passive house with sustainability at the heart of everything. In this episode, we take a dive into some of the details of the build, how the house has been performing over the hot and cold months and why Suzanne and her husband are now huge advocates for sustainable homes.

Suzanne and Kribashini also discuss the juggle of mum life and work life and how they’ve seen a mindset shift occurring in society, enabling families to do things the way that suits them. Suzanne also opens up about her struggle with anxiety and how acknowledging the hard times and having a great support network is so important.

You don’t have to be protesting for climate change or a loud voice in the environmental impact conversation to take part in helping the planet. Suzanne shares how her sustainability journey is still unfolding and how each project brings more joy and passion for the next. Tune in for some inspiration. Our guess is you’ll want to build a vertical aquaponics farm after this episode.

If you have a topic or question you’d like us to cover, contact us here.

SOME TOPICS THAT WE COVER:

  • [2:37]: Suzanne talks about living in a passive home and her passion for sustainability and the environment

  • [5:00]: The feeling of being in both camps of sustainability and conventional building

  • [6:17]: The importance of knowing your values and how Suzanne and Patrick incorporated numerous non-negotiables into their build

  • [9:30]: Suzanne talks through her experience with Carbonlite

  • [11:30]: How Suzanne’s house design ensured that each space was used every day

  • [12:38]: The worthwhile investment of the triple glazed windows on her west-facing home

  • [14:15]: How the home has been performing during the hot winter months and how they built with the provision of adding air conditioners if needed

  • [16:22]: The details of the home’s overall performance and how Suzanne has been tracking the internal temperature through a baby monitor

  • [18:30]: How the cost benefits of the home have been an added bonus

  • [21:00]: Suzanne describes how they partnered with Carbonlite to complete the build and how quickly it went up

  • [23:00]: The sustainable systems incorporated into Suzanne’s home including a vertical aquaponics farm

  • [25:39]: How sustainability is something that they stumbled across and are now advocates for

  • [27:27]: Suzanne’s experience becoming a mum and her journey back into the workforce

  • [30:40]: How Suzanne was offered an amazing role at Ford when she returned from maternity leave

  • [32:38]: The dynamic between Suzanne and Patrick and how they are true equals

  • [35:00]: Women returning to the workforce are the powerhouse workers

  • [36:30]: How Ford is a progressive and open-minded organisation and how they have adapted to the changing world

  • [39:30]: How Suzanne was diagnosed with PTSD after her son was sick with meningitis as a baby

  • [41:18]: The importance of acknowledging the hard times

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

We have several Facebook Groups at BuildHer Collective.

MEMBER ONLY FACEBOOK GROUPS

BHC DevelopHers Circle and BuildHer Collective Members Only - these are closed groups for women who are doing our Build Like a BuildHer course or who have joined our DevelopHers Inner Circle.

FREE FACEBOOK GROUP - Join Us!

Anyone is more than welcome to join our Women who Design, Decorate, Renovate & Build group. You will note that it's a closed group but ask to join and if you're into building and renovating, this is such an amazing and supportive FREE community, so come on and join in the building goodness!