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Posts Tagged ‘apartment’

Energy & Water Consumption Displays (and other good things) in a Melbourne Apartment Building

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on August 22nd, 2012

4 September , 2012
9:30 amto12:30 pm

As the first Green Star Multi-Unit Residential certified project in Victoria, Convesso’s 4 Star Green Star rating represents ‘best practice’ in sustainable construction, with green features including:

  • In-home energy and water consumption displays that give occupants access to real time or historic usage data;
  • Energy efficient lighting and appliances;
  • Water efficient fixtures and fittings;
  • High performance glaze;
  • Superior acoustic treatment; and
  • Ample natural light.

Join a GBCA (Green Building Council Australia) tour for to see these ESD features and more in action prior to full occupation of the development.

Date: Tuesday 4 September 2012

  • Tour 1: 9.30 – 10.30am
  • Tour 2: 10.30 – 1.30am
  • Tour 3: 11.30 – 12.30pm

Location: 1 Waterside Place VICTORIA HARBOUR VIC 3000
Tickets: Member Individual $55
Non-Member Individual $95

>>Book a place on the tour

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.

Sustainable Apartment Living: SOCs & Blocks Round 3

Posted in Movements, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on November 8th, 2011

Source: Port Philip EcoCentre

SOCs & Blocks (short for Sustainable Owners Corporations and Apartment Blocks) is a program to encourage the uptake of sustainable technology and practices in the operation of apartment buildings in the City of Port Phillip.

Through this program, Council works with owner’s corporations (formerly called body corporates) to increase the energy and water efficiency of common areas and common services, as well as improving the level of diversion of waste from landfill and the uptake of sustainable transport through improvement of facilities improvement and education. The central plank of the program involves council engaging a consultant to undertake a sustainability assessment of the participating buildings. The ultimate aim is to reduce the environmental footprint of participating apartment blocks. Council’s Toward Zero Sustainable Environment Strategy indicates that council will work with the community to reduce energy and water consumption, and this program works toward the goals in that strategy.

The third round of SOCs and Blocks is now OPEN so please register your interest by Friday 9 December 2011.

This program is FREE to join and the sustainability assessment of your block is also FREE.

Read more about the program, including participant experiences and registration details.

From Car Park to Food Garden

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on July 20th, 2011

From “Winner: 2011 Yarra Sustainability Award in the Home and Garden category” by Sally MacAdams:

Frank Fisher lives in a flat in Clifton Hill. Like all the other flat owners he has a single parking place for a car, a valuable asset in the inner city – but not in Frank’s case. Because of his passion for sustainable transport and his commitment to public transport and cycling, Frank’s parking lot has stood empty for decades. Until recently, that is.

With the help of friends, Frank has transformed his parking space into a productive and attractive vegetable garden. The team installed several recycled timber apple crates that, once lined with weed matting and filled with potting mix, make excellent raised beds. Because of the height of the crates, people in wheel chairs or with limited mobility can still happily potter. Creating a wicking bed system reduced the amount of water required in the garden. The wicking system relies on a reservoir at the bottom of the crate fi lled with loose pieces of scoria (a type of rock). This allows water to seep up by capillary action to the roots of the vegetables through a weedmat to the compost and topsoil containing the vegetables. When it was time to unveil Frank’s car park garden, the team invited all of the neighbours to a barbeque. Everyone was interested to learn about the construction of the beds and the benefits of the wicking system.

Frank’s project shows that it is possible – in fact not hard at all – to transform our dead concrete parking lots into environmental enhancing, life giving, community vegetable gardens.

The latest edition of Earth Garden Magazine has an article on the transformation – with much better pictures! KA


Living Closer Together in Australian Cities

Posted in Movements, Opinion by Kate Archdeacon on June 14th, 2011

Source: The Age

Image: xenization via flickr CC

From “Love thy neighbour. Gen Y embraces closeness of urban living” by Tarsha Finney:

Research released last week entitled ”Why We Buy”, published by RAMS Home Loans and the market research firm, IPSOS, has shown that despite the increase in the value of residential property, young Australians still want to own their own home. But now, they are just as happy living in and buying apartments as they are houses.  This is exciting news for a couple of reasons. The first is that it is the beginning of the de-coupling of our domestic fantasies from an economic pragmatism that sees wealth generation in the ownership of property. This is good for the city; it’s good for the production of housing, for the creation of density and for the making of public space.

With the loosening of the grip of this fantasy over our capacity to imagine a future, we can now as a community and as planning and design professionals start on the real work we need to do in our cities — to plan for two inevitables: population growth and climate change.  Whacking a couple of solar panels on the roof doesn’t cut it (although I agree it makes some of us feel good). We need to fundamentally rethink our cities in terms of transport infrastructure and density. And to do that, we need to begin to rethink the issue of housing and what that means: how we organise our private space.

But, probably more importantly, this news of the beginnings of a shift from houses to apartments is indicative of what might seem like an astounding fact. Actually, most of the time, we really like each other and we like living together. We like being known by our neighbours, but also I would argue, we like the anonymity of the civilised urban crowd. Apartment living, despite the myth of isolation, is actually about less private space coupled with more collective urban living space. This is sociable space. Space where we get together in groups and hang out.

Gen X and Gen Y Australians know this. They know it from their experience as backpackers, not consumers of organised tour groups, who in their early 20s and 30s, have spent weeks if not months gloriously bumming around cities in Asia and Europe. There’s an exciting creative dynamism to this shared space and being together, where we get to look at each other and engage in civic life — even if it’s just for 20 minutes of lazy gossip while we get some sun on our backs and grab a coffee. But in a more profound sense, it’s this collective public space and environment in which we get together and look at each other; where we work out who ”we” are as a collective: as a neighbourhood, as communities of interest, as city dwellers and as citizens of a nation.

In small, but important moments, these informal meetings are known as the ”bump” factor. Interestingly bio-medical research institutions all over the country have examined these creative ”bump” scenarios. What these institutions have noticed is that some of the most important exchanges we make with each other happen in informal settings — over coffee, walking together up the stairs, over lunch, at the gym — they don’t happen at conferences or when we sit in our own private offices. These ideas have been harnessed by organisations such as the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland when building new research and work spaces.

Read the full article by Tarsha Finney in The Age.


Greener Apartment Living: EcoCity Forum

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on March 10th, 2010

Image: see-ming lee via flickr CC

The EcoCity Forums provide the community with an opportunity to learn about Melbourne City Council’s sustainability programs and find out what you can do at home to reduce your ecological footprint.

More than 70 per cent of residents in the City of Melbourne municipality live in apartments. Overall, residents account for 22 per cent of the municipality’s water consumption, 7 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, and more than 14,000 tonnes of waste sent to landfill each year.  The session will provide information to residents, especially apartment-dwellers, about how they can reduce their everyday environmental impact.  The community will learn how sustainability programs from the City of Melbourne and other organisations can be applied to apartments. Residents are also encouraged to share stories of ‘green’ features they have created within their homes.

Presenters include:

* Glenn Howard, Director, h2ouse environmental plumbing consultants
* Matt Williams, Sustainable Design consultant
* Esther Bailey, Enact Energy
* Dorothy LeClaire, Melbourne Inner City Management (MICM)
* Alex Fearnside, Sustainability, City of Melbourne

Thursday 18 March, 7pm – 9pm

Services and providers’ products on display. Sustainable door prizes. RSVP: by Mon 15 Mar

Councillor Cathy Oke, Future Melbourne (Eco-City) Committee chair will host the session.