Category Archives: Sustainability

#ElementalDesign Advice 01 DEFINING SUSTAINABILITY

Talina Edwards Architecture Elemental Design Advice 1 Sustainable Design

#ElementalDesign Advice 01 DEFINING SUSTAINABILITY

What does “sustainability” actually means when it comes to design?

Buckminster Fuller (Architect and Theorist) defined sustainability as:

 “the conscious design of our total environment, in order to help make the Earth’s finite resources meet the needs of all of humanity without disrupting the ecological processes of the planet”.

In recent times, sustainability has been thought of more holistically in terms of the “triple-bottom-line”:

PLANET: environmental sustainability

PEOPLE: social sustainability

PROFIT: economic sustainability

However, these days, there is a fourth consideration, or “quadruple-bottom-line”:

PURPOSE: meaningful or spiritual sustainability (WHY you are doing what you’re doing)

Thankfully the idea of  having a strong sense of “Purpose” is gaining momentum in businesses all over the world (such as the B-Corp movement and Big Hearted Businesses), which means these companies are more ethical and authentic, and really want to make a positive difference in the world.

So when it comes to designing our homes, all of this should be considered. You really want your whole design and construction team on board with your values of purpose, people, planet, then profit.

“Sustainable design is about comfort, healthier homes, saving money and saving earth’s resources.” – Talina Edwards

When we talk about sustainable, green, eco, environmentally-friendly or energy-efficient homes, well of course they are better for the planet  – and they will save you money on running costs if designed right – but really it comes down to YOU feeling comfortable and healthy and enjoying a meaningful life in your home….(that’s the 4 P’s right there!) and who doesn’t want that?!

Have you heard of the ‘quadruple-bottom-line’ before? Have you come across other businesses who are thinking in this way? Let me know in the comments below!

Ballarat Sustainable Architect Green Builder


Talina Edwards Architecture: elemental design is a Ballarat-based studio, with a passion for sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes.Click here to ensure you won’t miss out on our news!

 

 

 

Sustainable House Day 2016 in Ballarat

 

Renovations New Building Home Green Eco Energy-Efficient Passive Solar Design Daylesford Trentham Woodend Buninyong Clunes Creswick Kyneton Castlemaine Solar Power Rammed Earth Strawbale Recycled Timber Pre Fab SIPSSustainable House Day 2016 comes to Ballarat! (And it’s just a few weeks away!)

This year it is on Sunday 11th September, with a large list of houses all over the country available for you to visit and be inspired. The full list of houses is still being updated, so keep an eye on the Sustainable House Day website, and register there to attend. It is admiral that so many people are willing to open their doors to their private homes, share their insights and proudly display how they’ve embraced sustainability.

In previous years, there has been a wide variety of homes, each of which vary with their approach to what ‘sustainability’ means to them. I’ve written before about what a truly sustainable house is, and how there are always areas of compromise and prioritising what are the most important aspects for you. You might see a traditional period home in town that have been retro-fitted with insulation, double-glazing and solar hot water to improve energy-efficiency. Or a very ‘normal’ looking family home on a block out of town that is completely off-grid with their energy and water. Or perhaps a home that focuses more on natural materials such as mud brick or straw bale construction. Some homes have completely embraced passive solar design principles…while others haven’t. It is a broad spectrum and I think you can find something new to learn with each example, and hopefully be inspired by different approaches!

There are a number of homes in the Ballarat region which you can also find on the local BREAZE (Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions) website. BREAZE and the ‘Smart Living Ballarat’ crew have also arranged to start the day with some Sustainable House Presentations by local professionals (Dale Boucher, Mick Moloney and me!) – kicking off at 9am at the Ballarat Library.

I’ll be there to present a ‘virtual tour’ of some of my current projects, so you can gain an insight into the architectural design process, and how sustainability is approached holistically. Sustainable homes are a lot more than just adding solar panels, and this presentation will provide some helpful professional advice about the key areas to focus on to get maximum benefits and savings (for you, your wallet, and the planet!).

If you know anyone who might be interested in learning more about sustainable homes, please let them know about this free event – thanks – I’d love to see a some friendly faces there! See you on Sunday 11th September 9am – 10:30am at the Ballarat Library. Don’t forget to register here to attend.

 

Are you planning on attending Sustainable House Day this year? Or have you been in the past? Don’t be shy – let me know in the comments below!

Ballarat Sustainable Architect Green Builder


Talina Edwards Architecture: elemental design is a Ballarat-based studio, with a passion for sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes. Click here to ensure you won’t miss out on our news!

 

So what is ‘Passive House’?

Passivhaus Sustainable Eco Green Architect Building Renovation Ballarat Buninyong Daylesford Castlemaine Woodend Blackwood GeelongIf you are at all interested in sustainable building, it is highly likely you have heard of ‘Passive House’.

Passive House (also known as Passivhaus where it originated in Germany) is an international method or technical standard of designing and construction a building to achieve a very high level of energy-efficiency, with little or no heating or cooling required. It is not to be confused with Solar Passive Design Principles (which includes orientation/natural ventilation/insulation/shading/thermal mass etc.) although most of these principles can still play a part in the overall design.

It is not an architectural style, but more concerned with the building science of how the building is put together and how it performs.

Here’s a super simple 90 second explanation for you:  Continue reading

Know the way, go the way, show the way

Ripple Effect, Leadership, LBWR, Ballarat

Hello there! How’s the new year treating you so far? Hope you’ve got off to a good start, and had a chance to have a break and some time for reflection about what your dreams are for 2016! I’m really excited about the year ahead, and this is for a number of reasons, and today I want to share one of them with you! I love improving myself and my business, and this year I’ll have an opportunity for some big personal and professional development with the Leadership Forum (Leadership Ballarat & Western Region) by Committee for Ballarat. Here’s how they explain the program:

Leaders Forum is LBWR’s leadership program for emerging community leaders. Participants explore the possibilities for the future of our regional communities. They:

  • Connect with a diverse range of people and established leaders to explore ideas.
  • Listen to others, learn from them and reflect on their own understandings.
  • Experience practical situations to help understand major issues affecting our regional communities.
  • Think laterally, examine issues systematically and find creative solutions.
  • Question what leadership means and develop their leadership style.
  • Broaden their understanding of how they can lead in their community to achieve positive change.
Samantha Davies and Talina Edwards Small Business Entrepreneur

Samantha Davies awarding me the ‘Peter Davies Scholarship’ for the Leadership Forum for 2016

Continue reading

reduce reuse recycle [and rethink]: buildings

sustainable green eco homes building renovation extension Ballarat Daylesford Melbourne Victoria

reduce reuse recycle [and rethink]: buildings

When it comes to caring for the environment, we’re all pretty used to the concept of “The Three R’s”, in terms of sorting our household waste, upcycling furniture, or embracing vintage fashion… but what about when it comes to buildings?

As an architect with a passion for sustainable design, I dream of the day where we can ALL live in affordable, comfortable, healthy, beautiful and sustainable homes that have a strong connection with (and care for) our natural environment.

At the rate we are consuming the earth’s resources, Australians live like we had FOUR planets to provide for us1. Our current ecological footprint is not sustainable, and in order for our childrens’ children to be able to live in a world that provides enough for their needs, we need to make some more responsible decisions now.

Buildings consume around 40% of our planet’s materials, and 30% of energy resources2. It really is time to rethink our homes. It is not just about “adding” on solar panels and water tanks (although that all helps), there’s much more we can do to improve our mindset an create a more sustainable future. Continue reading