ONE of the students who learnt to use straw bales to insulate a community centre in a recent workshop at Doonside is now planning to use them for his family home in Fiji.
Cosmo Whippy-Crowden, 16, of Lalor Park, who attends Colyton High School Trade School, said he would incorporate what he had acquired in the workshop.
He was one of 25 students who participated in Blacktown Regional Economic & Employment Development program supervised by straw bale expert Frank Thomas at the end of last month.
They were doing the required 35 hours work placement in Certificate II in Construction for their HSC.
Cosmo said the experience gave him the chance to learn how to construct walls using straw bale as well as spray mud.
"I learnt so much and enjoyed the opportunity to work as a team with fellow students and people from the community," he said.
"I'm going to use my newly acquired skills in my Fiji house as well as teach other family members how to use straw bale to insulate their homes to save on energy costs.
"I come from a large family and saving money on living costs is important to us."
UrbanGrowth NSW (formerly Landcom) helped organise the workshop to use the straw bale component in the Bungarribee Community Resources Hub in Bunya estate.
General manager development Stuart McCowan said the bales have a better thermal mass and high insulation properties.
■ THE year 11 and 12 students were also from Wyndham High School, The Hills Sports High School, Tyndale Christian School and TAFE Nirimba College in Quakers Hill.
■ This is the first time UrbanGrowth NSW has run a program that involved the community and local students in the construction of a resources hub.