Out of office but not out of hope

Out of office but not out of hope.

This is not business as usual.

We’ll be joining students, workers and responsible leaders on the streets for the global climate strike. It’s time to make a stand. 

Join us on Friday Sept 20 at 12noon Trades Hall, Camp St., BallaratAll invited and welcome. 

We also recently pledged as part of the worldwide #architectsdeclare movement. Here’s what we believe in and how we’re pledging to act:

Australian Architects Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency

The twin crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss are the most serious issue of our time. Globally, buildings and construction play a major part, accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural habitats.For everyone working in the construction industry, meeting the needs of our society without breaching the earth’s ecological boundaries will demand a paradigm shift in our behaviour. Together with our clients, we will need to commission and design buildings, cities and infrastructures as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system.
The research and technology exist for us to begin that transformation now, but what has been lacking is collective will. Recognising this, we are committing to strengthen our working practices to create architecture and urbanism that has a more positive impact on the world around us.
We will seek to:– Raise awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the urgent need for action amongst our clients and supply chains.– Advocate for faster change in our industry towards regenerative design practices and a higher Governmental funding priority to support this.– Establish climate and biodiversity mitigation principles as the key measure of our industry’s success: demonstrated through awards, prizes and listings.– Share knowledge and research to that end on an open source basis.– Evaluate all new projects against the aspiration to contribute positively to mitigating climate breakdown, and encourage our clients to adopt this approach.– Upgrade existing buildings for extended use as a more carbon efficient alternative to demolition and new build whenever there is a viable choice.– Include life cycle costing, whole life carbon modelling and post occupancy evaluation as part of our basic scope of work, to reduce both embodied and operational resource use.– Adopt more regenerative design principles in our studios, with the aim of designing architecture and urbanism that goes beyond the standard of net zero carbon in use.– Collaborate with engineers, contractors and clients to further reduce construction waste.
– Accelerate the shift to low embodied carbon materials in all our work.
– Minimise wasteful use of resources in architecture and urban planning, both in quantum and in detail.
In Australia, we as architects are aware that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have long espoused the cultural, social, economic and environmental benefits embedded in the holistic relationship of Caring for Country.
To see the full list of signatories see https://au.architectsdeclare.com/

International Passive House Open Day 2019

  • Our Owl Woods Passive House project will be open for International Passive House Open Day on Saturday 29th June 2019 – Talk & Tour at 11am. Bookings essential, and places limited. Book your spot here. NOW SOLD OUT!
  • Second (& final) session announced at 2pm. Book here.
  • Download our free PDF info sheet about the sustainable specifications of the OWL WOODS PASSIVE HOUSE: Owl Woods Passive House Notes
  • You can also find this home and all its specs listed on the International Passivhaus Database.
  • New to Passivhaus? We explain the basic principles here.

International Passive House Day is just around the corner!

We are excited to share that our Owl Woods Passive House project will be open – a rare opportunity to see a certified* Passivhaus that has recently been completed.

Our certified Passivhaus builder, Stuart Lee, from Craftsmen Quality Builders will be there with his Blower Door Testing kit to explain more about air-tightness. We’re very grateful to the wonderful owners for generously opening their doors to share their knowledge about their home – with the aim to inspire others!

*We are currently going through the Passivhaus certification process. We have reached the air-tightness target of less than 0.6ACH@50Pascals. Now its paperwork time to complete the certification process.

You can find all the details about visiting our Owl Woods Passive House in Trentham here: (Please note bookings essential and tickets are limited) https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/international-passivhaus-open-day-owlwoodspassivehouse-tickets-62703890023

If you would like to download our free PDF info sheet about the sustainable specifications of this project, please click here: Owl Woods Passive House Notes 

Currently under construction
Air-tight layer and triple-glazed windows installed
Sub-floor insulation
“Owl Woods” – look at them perched up on the birdhouse!
Recycling construction waste on site
Raised heel roof trusses for extra ceiling insulation
Oriented for Passive Solar Gain to north
Ducting for MVHR installed
Triple-glazed windows installed and taped to air-tight membrane
Ballarat Passive House Designer
We are members of the Australian Passive House Association

Do you want to know more about the Owl Woods Passive House? Click here to subscribe to our seasonal e-news and be kept up to date!

Do you have a question or want help designing your sustainable home? Please get in touch! 

Sustainable House Day 2018 – Sunday Sept 16th

 


 

It’s that time of year again – Sustainable House Day is just around the corner!

You can find all the details here of inspiring houses open near you.

We are excited to share that one of our projects will be open this year – a rare opportunity to see a certified* Passivhaus under construction. This is the perfect time to see the air-tight layer, how the triple-glazed windows are installed, the MVHR ducting in place and the location of insulation to walls/roof/floor, prior to everything being clad and lined and hidden away! (This is all the good stuff that turns the average building envelope into a super low-energy construction, and will be a very comfortable house.)

Our certified Passivhaus builder, Stuart Lee, from Craftsmen Quality Builders will be there with his Blower Door Testing kit to explain more about air-tightness. We’re very grateful to our wonderful clients for generously opening their doors to share their passion and knowledge about their home – with the aim to inspire others!

*We are aiming for Passivhaus certification but this can only be confirmed once the construction is complete, the blower door test proves the air-tightness, and our certified Passive House consultant has had their data and calculations cross-checked… fingers crossed!

You can find all the details about visiting our Owl Woods Passive House in Trentham here.

If you would like to download our free PDF info sheet about the sustainable specifications of this project, please click here: SHD2018 Owl Woods Passive House Notes 

Thanks also to the Australian Passive House association for also sharing this home on their website. They’ve also mentioned a few others that are open if you fancy a checking out a few different Passive Houses that are complete, when planning your day.

 

Currently under construction

Air-tight layer and triple-glazed windows installed

Sub-floor insulation

“Owl Woods” – look at them perched up on the birdhouse!

Recycling construction waste on site

Raised heel roof trusses for extra ceiling insulation

Oriented for Passive Solar Gain to north

Ducting for MVHR installed

Triple-glazed windows installed and taped to air-tight membrane


Do you want to know more about the Owl Woods Passive House? Click here to subscribe to our seasonal e-news and be kept up to date!

Do you have a question or want help designing your sustainable home? Please get in touch! 

 

What on earth is an “Earthship”?

Melbourne Earthship Group Ballarat Autonomous House Self-Sufficient radically sustainable architecture

 

Michael Reynolds – founder of Earthship Biotecture

This guy has been experimenting with bio-climatic, site-specific, passive-solar-design, self-sufficient, cradle-to-cradle approach, off-grid, & eco-homes for over 40 years now! (So he has been into true-sustainability well before any of those terms even existed – a real hero of the environmentally sustainable design movement!)

I was fascinated by the ethos & earthy curves of earthships when I first heard about them decades ago & there’s no doubt they’ve impacted the direction I took with my architecture career as a young student. It was inspiring to hear Mike speak when he was in Melbourne last year – with passion & some good old common sense about his inspiring approach. When I saw on the Earthship Australia Group that he was touring, I thought it would be a great opportunity to hear from a true pioneer, but I was also interested to see how the philosophy, theory and practice has evolved since his first experimental buildings back in the 70s…

master-veolia_1024x598-mikereynolds

What is a earthship-biotecture?

Earthships are radically sustainable buildings, that aim to be autonomous, self-sufficient, and co-exist in harmony with the earth – just “like a tree” (I’ve talked about this before). Continue reading

5 reasons YOU should come to the Smart Building and Living Expo!

Planning on renovating or building? Want an energy-efficient home?Want to live a more a sustainable life? Want to talk with some passionate experts? Then come to the Smart Building and Living Expo!

Alternative building sustainable living festival

The 2018 Buninyong Smart Building and Living Expo

Well it’s that time of year again! The nation wide Sustainable Living Festival is on once again – including our very own local Ballarat (Buninyong) version – The Smart Building and Living Expo! This is the fourth year this event has run (and the fourth time I’ll be here – but this time with my new team!) – and it gets bigger and better every year. A great range of local stallholders, exhibitors and services – all with a focus on sustainable living. (Here’s some pics of the first time I attended). It is on Sunday 25 February 2018 from 10am to 3:30pm at Royal Park in Buninyong (corner of Hedrick and Warrenheip Streets). We’ll be located under the verandah of the hall, so whatever the weather brings, we’ll be sheltered. Hope to see you there, and please do come and say Hello!!

Not sure if it is your thing? Here’s 5 reasons (yep, FIVE!) why you might want to come along (you won’t want to miss these!): Continue reading