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Uralla Community Garden

The small town of Uralla can be found at the junction of the New England Highway and Thunderbolt’s Way in the Northern Tablelands of NSW, 465km north of Sydney. In 2014 Uralla was named the first Zero-Net Energy town in Australia. The purpose of Zero Net Energy Town (Z-NET) is to support towns and villages throughout Australia to satisfy their own energy needs from renewable energy sources in a way which is competitive with its current system of energy.

With this in mind, local market gardener David Ryan, partnered with the Uralla Neighbourhood Centre to work on developing a way to educate locals on sustainable and regenerative food production and low-cost, low-energy, sustainable and alternative building practises.  Funding from the RAS Foundation enabled David to design and develop a Compressed Earth Brick (CEB) Machine for the Uralla Community Garden.  The purpose of the machine is to make compressed earth bricks to build a three-bay shed with a temperature regulated, seed storage room and attached greenhouse with a living roof.

Capable of producing 2000 certified bricks a day, by owning the machine themselves, Uralla Community Garden will be able to use the machine to make their own bricks as well as rent it out to other community organisations in the area to build low-cost and energy efficient buildings.

Further to this, David hopes the machine will be used to help promote the principles of social inclusion and community cohesion by involving members of the community in collaborative community building projects and skills training for Uralla youth.