Employee Profiles

Make an Impact Hero - Merv Beacham, Wagerup Refinery
Merv Beacham, Emergency Services Officer at Alcoa's Wagerup Refinery, has become a ‘going-green’ leader in the Alcoa community. 
Through exposure to Make an Impact, Merv and his wife Brenda have adapted their lifestyle to live in a self-sufficient green house.
Former property owner and Alcoa employee Mick Haynes started the initial transformation, however Merv has become an inspiration for locals and other environmentalists.  He has been dedicated to saving energy since living on the property in the foothills of North Dandalup, located approximately 25km east of Mandurah, Western Australia.
“We believe that every little bit makes a difference to a much larger problem.  We have used a range of different equipment to sustain all sources of energy within our property. For instance with water, we have a 10,000 gallon concrete water tank which collects rain water from the roof - which is then pumped uphill to a 20,000 gallon concrete tank by petrol pump and then fed back, through gravity, to the house.
"I had a low pressure, all copper Solar Hot Water system installed, reducing the usage of our slow combustion stove in the summer time.
“We use LPG for the gas stove; a wood-fired slow combustion stove with a water jacket to supply heating and hot water; and a generator that doubles as a mobile power source when not being used at the house, which we regularly use for operating the washing machine, ironing and cutting wood with the electric saw,” said Merv.
The self-sufficient property was designed with passive heating and cooling, constructed with shortened eaves on the North side to allow sun to penetrate the home in winter. There are also three sets of hand operated roller shutters to insulate the house in Western Australia’s extreme weather conditions.
“It’s surprisingly easy to live the way we do.  We ultimately hope that by leading by example we can encourage other Australians to do the same,” said Merv.

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