Archive for May, 2012

Scott Kinnear (organic & sustainable food activist / business owner) at Melbourne Sustainability Drinks

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on May 31st, 2012

6 June , 2012
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

Director of the recently established Safe Food Foundation & Institute, Scott Kinnear is passionate about nurturing sustainable change through reducing the impacts of food production on social systems, economies, health and the environment.

Scott was the former and founding Chair of the Organic Federation of Australia, former director of Biological Farmers of Australia, former Chair of the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES) and was a founding director of Hepburn Wind.

Scott originally trained in Agricultural Science and for the last twenty years has been heavily active in the organic food movement. Scott founded and runs Organic Wholefoods, which has two stores in Melbourne.

June 6, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Slate Bar & Restaurant
Mezzanine, 9 Goldsbrough Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000

>>Go to the website to RSVP

Repowering Port Augusta: BZE Discussion Group

Posted in Events by Mark Ogge on May 30th, 2012

4 June , 2012
6:30 pmto8:00 pm

Energy is the master resource which drives our civilisation and underpins the operation of the buildings we live and work in. But how well do we really understand energy?   Richard Keech will explore some of the threshold technical issues and concepts of energy, particularly as they apply to buildings. Join us for this technical introduction to BZE’s Zero Carbon Australia (ZCA) 2020 Buildings Plan which will be released later this year.

Time: 6:30- 8pm Monday 4 June 2012

Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
McCoy Building
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

Some areas explored are:

  • the distinction between heat and temperature
  • star rating systems
  • measuring the benefits of insulation and double glazing
  • the basics of AC power
  • measuring the contribution of solar PV
  • latent heat and the physics of heat pumps

Richard Keech has a Masters Degree in Engineering (Electronics/Digital), and a Masters Degree in Environment (Energy Efficiency).  He has contributed to the BZE ZCA 2020 Stationary Energy Plan and the up-coming BZE Buildings Plan.

Thank you to the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Energy Institute and Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, our Zero Carbon Australia project partners, for joining us in bringing you this event.

Entry: Gold coin donation

Further reading:

Geelong-built wind turbine flying high

Posted in Models by Jessica Bird on May 30th, 2012

Source: The Geelong Advertiser, via Dan Cass

Image from Renewable Energy Solutions Australia

From “A new spin on wind turbines” by Shane Fowles

A Geelong-built wind turbine which is spruiked as the quietest in the world has been placed at Tullamarine. It is the second commercial installation of the Eco Whisper Turbine, following a pilot demonstration at Geelong manufacturer Austeng’s North Geelong plant last October. The turbines are being made by Austeng for Renewable Energy Solutions Australia, with aims to produce up to six more for Victorian customers this year. They are not aimed at the wind farm market but for mid-sized businesses or organisations, with the turbine to produce about a third of the power requirements for the Austeng plant.

RESA chief executive officer Tony Le Messurier said the 20kW turbine was placed just outside Tullamarine’s airport precinct. “This is our second commercial installation in Victoria, which marks a crucial milestone in our evolution and the adoption of renewable energy,” he said. After two years of development and testing, RESA believes its quiet turbine has the ability to capture up to 30 per cent more energy than traditional three-bladed designs.

Western Victoria MP David O’Brien is advocating for the technology to be given greater government support, finding it falls in between subsidies offered to households and larger wind farms. “If we can cut red tape or provide targeted assistance to small manufacturers, it will hopefully help companies such as Austeng employ more Geelong workers,” he said.

You can find out more about the Eco Whisper Turbine on the Renewable Energy Solutions Australia website.

Inclusive Growth, Welfare and Development Policy: International Forum

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on May 29th, 2012

29 June , 2012

This one-day Forum will be hosted by the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences in partnership with the Brotherhood of St Laurence. The Forum aims to bridge the divide between welfare and social policy, and development practice through the prism of ‘inclusive growth’.

Drawing upon the expertise of leading international policymakers and academics in the field, the Forum will explore the following salient themes:

  1. Critiquing the theoretical underpinning of growth and development
  2. Examining welfare state perspectives on inclusive growth and social/economic development
  3. Presenting lessons learned and best practices from developing and developed economies

These themes will be explored at four sessions during the one-day Forum titled:

  • The Inclusive Growth Paradigm
  • Inclusive Growth and Development
  • Inclusive Growth and Welfare
  • Development, Welfare and Policy Practice
Friday 29 June 2012

Public Lecture Theatre Old Arts Building, University of Melbourne

$60 per person including morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.

Register at

For enquiries contact Tamsin Courtney

Streetscape Raingarden Design Principles: Guide

Posted in Models, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on May 28th, 2012

From the reference guide.

Sourced from Clearwater :

This A3 Quick Reference Guide will introduce the reader to the basics of streetscape raingarden design. The guide indentifies the critical elements for a good design as well as some tips for what to watch out for. Links are provided for more technical guidance and to video clips on how to build a raingarden.

Goulburn Valley Food Co-Operative: Open for membership

Posted in Movements, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on May 25th, 2012

Photo by angelanoel via flickr CC

In late May 2011, Heinz Australia announced what it termed “productivity initiatives to accelerate future growth”. Translated, that meant it was shifting production from plants in Girgarre, Brisbane and Wagga Wagga to New Zealand – 344 jobs would disappear, including all 146 positions at Girgarre which would affect 600 in the Goulburn Valley.

This film captures the effort by farmers, workers and the community to establish a Cooperative Food Hub in the Valley.

In the 12 months since the Heinz announcement, the GV Food Cooperative project has:

  • Brought together expertise across the whole ‘paddock to plate’ food chain
  • Developed new food products based on consumer demand for local produce
  • Found a site for a new factory in Kyabram (20 km from Girgarre)
  • Organised the finances to get this started and is now seeking additional support so that it can be producing Australian Grown food products within the next 12 months.

If you are interested in supporting the GV Food Cooperative please click here.


What is a Water-Sensitive City? Workshop

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on May 24th, 2012

5 June , 2012
4:00 pmto6:00 pm

Clearwater, in partnership with Warrnambool City Council and Horizon 21, will be delivering a free workshop to learn about the benefits of applying Water Sensitive Urban Design, a range of sustainable water management techniques, and relevant policy and legislation.

Tuesday June 5th, 4-6pm

This workshop is appropriate for those who plan and manage the urban built environment (streetscape, carpark and parkland elements) and are looking for ways to utilise stormwater and improve the quality of run off stormwater and create a water sensitive City.  This session is ideal for planners, engineers, drafts people, architects, horticulturalists, builders and site supervisors. At the end of this session you will:

  • become familiar with the concepts required to design an effective stormwater harvesting project
  • learn about the latest research in stormwater pollutants
  • gain an understanding of how to plan for and apply stormwater technologies
  • learn about an innovative water harvesting project underway in the South West.
RSVP by Friday 1 June 2012 via the Clearwater website.

Growing Green Guide for Melbourne

Posted in Movements, Policies by Kate Archdeacon on May 23rd, 2012

Photoshop image from Do It On The Roof, a campaign for (public) green roofs in Melbourne

From an InDesignLive article by Annie Reid:

Picture this – Melbourne’s city rooftops covered in lush greenery. It may sound fanciful, but a new project launched last week by the City of Melbourne is hoping to green our buildings and houses for good.

The Growing Green Guide for Melbourne was fittingly presented on the rooftop garden of the council’s CH2 building, and will be produced by the Inner Melbourne Action Plan (IMAP) comprising the 4 inner city councils – Melbourne, Yarra, Stonnington and Port Phillip – as well as the University of Melbourne.

The project will comprise a ‘how to’ handbook guide on constructing a green roof or wall, and help people consider all the aspects they need to cover before transforming these spaces into vegetated, leafy habitats. It will also identify prime sites for the future development of green roofs, walls and façades in inner Melbourne, says The University of Melbourne’s senior lecturer, John Rayner.


Read the full article by Annie Reid or visit the City of Melbourne Growing Green Guide site.

Wintering: A dance work inspired by the Arctic

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on May 17th, 2012

27 May , 2012
9:00 pm

The expedition was part of The Arctic Circle Project, run by The Farm Foundation for the Arts and Sciences, based in New York.

Passive Design for Ventilation in Apartments

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on May 16th, 2012

Photo by John Gollings

From Maitiú Ward’s “Lilli Apartments” on Australian Design Review:


Despite the challenges of working mainly within the tight constraints of high-rise residential development, it is Elenberg Fraser’s stated ambition to introduce one new environmental feature into every building it designs.

As Fraser describes it, to date Lilli is the most successful exploration of the wind-model driven, passive systems approach it has been developing. While aesthetically striking, the distinctive scalloped striations of Lilli’s balconies have actually been carefully designed to draw air into the apartment interiors.

Working with engineering company VIPAC from data on site-specific solar and wind patterns, the facade elements have been modelled to not only provide sunshading, but also emphasise pressure differentials between the balconies off the living rooms and windows in the bedrooms.

In effect, rather than cross ventilation, what this creates is ‘through’ ventilation, as wind is trained across the facade and then sucked laterally through the apartment interior, in one opening and out the other.

Leaving the window to the surprisingly deep balcony open a crack, Fraser pops the casement window in the main bedroom, and sure enough, from my spot in the centre of the living room I feel a distinct breeze begin to play across my skin. It seems like such a small thing – a gentle eddy so subtle that many occupants may not even notice it; enough, perhaps, to keep them just those few degrees shy of reaching for the air conditioner remote – but it has wide implications.


Read the full article by Maitiú Ward.