Posts Tagged ‘housing’

Future Housing in Melbourne – Discussion paper

Posted in Models, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on July 2nd, 2013

Pages from future_living_discussion_paper

From the City of Melbourne website:

The City of Melbourne is growing quickly. By 2031, it is estimated that an additional 42,000 homes will be built within the municipality to house an additional 80,000 people. Our aspiration is for an inner and central city where housing is affordable, well-designed and meets the diverse needs of our residents. Our housing will play a critical role in realising our urban renewal areas as sustainable, liveable and welcoming places for future living.

Future Living opens a discussion on the role of the City of Melbourne and other key influencers, including the Australian and Victorian Governments, developers, investors and residents in meeting these goals.

>>> You can download the discussion paper from the City of Melbourne website.
>>> You can participate in the discussion and find out about the ‘Future Living’ pop up homes online.

Livable Housing Guidelines: Extending the usefulness of a home

Posted in Movements, Research by Kate Archdeacon on October 2nd, 2012

Source: The Fifth Estate

From Silver standard aim for livable housing:

Livable Housing Australia is hoping industry will take up its silver performance rating – the lowest of three ratings – in a bid to make all new housing suitable for aged and disabled people.

Livable Housing Australia’s program was launched this week.

Executive director Amelia Starr said the program focused on “a mainstream adoption” and was therefore working on the “silver” rating as the most easily achievable.[…] Ms Starr said current building saw houses for “the here and now, the fit and well” but “life wasn’t like that, it’s fluid”.  “We work on sustainability in the home, with lighting and heating, but we don’t look at sustaining ‘us’ in the home. Livability is something we should all be aspiring to.”  Ms Starr said while the program was aimed at making homes suitable for aged and disabled people it would also provide for parents. […]“The reality is that at any one time there could be four generations in the one house.”

LHA chair, Peter Verwer, who is also chief executive officer of the Property Council of Australia, said the organisation’s goal was for the housing industry to step up to a new design standard, the Livable Housing Design Quality Mark, to ensure all new houses were safer, more comfortable and easier to get around by 2020. “Livable Housing Australia champions the adoption of seven critical ‘livable’ design features that help make homes easier to access, navigate and live in, as well more cost-effective to adapt when life’s circumstances change,” Mr Verwer said. “Livable homes work for pregnant mums, young families with kids, as well and those with disability and Australians with sporting or traumatic injuries.

“‘Livability also caters for the needs of an ageing society by promoting homes better suited to seniors. Livable homes will also reduce stress on Australia’s 2.6 million-strong army of unpaid carers.”

Living housing standards will have three performance ratings – silver, gold and platinum. Mr Verwer said the features contained in the guidelines were inexpensive to incorporate into new-build dwellings and would deliver huge dividends as well as peace of mind to future generations of Australians. “It makes sense to commit to livability features when a home is first designed and built rather than wait for an unplanned need to arise,” he said.  “Our goal is to persuade the market to incorporate silver level livability features in all homes by 2020.”


The seven core design features elements in the silver level are:

  1. A safe continuous and step free path of travel from the street entrance and/or parking area to a dwelling entrance that is level
  2. At least one level (step-free) entrance into the dwelling
  3. Internal doors and corridors that facilitate comfortable and unimpeded movement between spaces
  4. A toilet on the ground (or entry) level that provides easy access
  5. A bathroom that contains a hobless (step-free) shower recess6
  6. Reinforced walls around the toilet, shower and bath to support the safe installation of grabrails at a later date
  7. A continuous handrail on one side of any stairway where there is a rise of more than one metre
See the the Living Design Guide here and read the full article from the Fifth Estate here.

Tomorrow’s Suburbs: Seminar

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on October 1st, 2012

9 October , 2012
5:45 pmto7:00 pm

In Australian cities, new ‘greenfield’ suburbs are being built at a remarkable rate. These new suburbs are often well designed to suit the needs of their initial residents. Yet in a generation the demographic profile of local communities can shift radically. As residents change, neighbourhoods need to change with them – or they won’t be good places to live.

The new Grattan Institute report, Tomorrow’s suburbs, argues that we must build in flexibility right from the start, and shows how it can be done. At this free public seminar Jane-Frances Kelly, Director of the Cities Program at Grattan Institute, will discuss the report and its implications with Andrew Whitson, General Manager – Residential Development, Victoria, Stockland, one of Australia’s largest property developers.

For those not able to attend in person, this event will be streamed live. Please note that there is no need to register for the live stream, simply access the link at the scheduled event time to view online.

Date and time:
Tuesday 9 October 2012
Registration at 5:45 pm or online via eventbrite
Seminar 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Melbourne City Conference Centre
333 Swanston Street,
(Opposite the State Library of Victoria)

For more information visit our website at

Earthship Biotecture Seminar Melbourne: “Sustainable Autonomy for Everyone” S.A.F.E.

Posted in Events, Models, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on January 11th, 2012

17 February , 2012 10:00 amto20 February , 2012 3:00 pm

An Earthship is a radically sustainable home made of recycled materials.

This three day Earthship Biotecture Seminar will be led by Earthship creator Michael Reynolds and cover a wide range of Earthship topics both pragmatic and philosophical.
Guest appearance and presentation by Martin Freney, PhD Candidate School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design University of Adelaide. Martin Freney will present scientific data to substantiate Earthship performance. Attendees achieve credit toward the Australian Earthship Biotecture Academy.

February 17th, 18, 19th, – 2012 Village Roadshow Theatrette @ State Library of Victoria

Limited seating available. Advance purchase recommended.
15 Student discount tickets available – $300 each.

Friday February 17th

  • 10:00am – 12:00pm  History of Earthships discussion/presentation of how and why they evolved.
  • 2:00pm – 5:00pm  Solar/Thermal dynamics: discussion/presentation of how the Earthships heat and cool themselves and how this is integrated with the structure and climate.

Saturday February 18th

  • 10:00am – 12:00pm Custom Earthships: discussion/presentation on custom Earthships and how to design them.
  • 2:00pm – 5:00pm  Earthship Systems: discussion/presentation of specific details of the Earthship Systems independent power, water, sewage and food production.

Sunday February 19th

  • 10:00am – 12:30pm  Earthship Disaster Relief projects around the world discussion/presentation of how Earthships are evolved by? these projects.
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm  Types of Earthships – discussion/presentation of the various types of Earthships and how to get started on your own.

Energy, Transport, Housing & Summer Reading for the PM: Grattan Podcasts

Posted in Opinion, Research by Kate Archdeacon on December 22nd, 2011

Source: Grattan Institute

Photo by El Pei via flickr CC

Australia’s energy future was considered in a seminar series that Grattan Institute ran jointly this year with the Melbourne Energy Institute. Webcasts are available for the final two seminars on the future of solar power and transport.

Grattan’s report Getting the housing we want was launched on November 21 by Cities Program Director Jane-Frances Kelly in conversation with former Victorian Premier, John Brumby.  Transcripts and recordings of the launch are available, as is the report.

Every year Grattan Institute produces its Summer Reading List for the Prime Minister. The list contains books and articles that we found stimulating and a pleasure to read, and that we believe the PM, or indeed any Australian, should read over the break.  Watch the launch or download the reading list.

Seven Billion: It’s Getting Crowded in Here!

Posted in Events, Opinion, Research by Kate Archdeacon on October 7th, 2011

12 October , 2011
6:15 pmto7:30 pm

Photo by bricoleurbanism via flickr CC

High density living is great for the environment, right? But what does it do to our heads and hearts? The Australian psyche was moulded by the myth of the ‘wide brown land’, so what might life packed like sardines look and feel like? With the world’s seven billionth person is about to be born, can we learn from the Asian megacity experience? And will we still be sharing a cup of sugar with our neighbours? As the population debate gets mental, we’re going in search of the soul in urban sprawl.

Hosted by Natasha Mitchell and featuring Kim Dovey, Helen Killmier, Bernard Salt and Sein-Way Tan.

Presented in partnership with ABC Radio National.  Free event, bookings highly recommended.

The Wheeler Centre, 6:15PM – 7:30PM, Wednesday 12 October 2011

Carlton Eco-Neighbourhood Launched

Posted in Models, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on September 27th, 2011

Photo: Jackson Architecture

Article by Kate Archdeacon:

Stage One of the redevelopment of part of the Carlton Housing Estate into the Carlton Eco-Neighbourhood was officially launched last Friday.  The result of collaboration between residents, local action groups, architects, developers, the City of Melbourne, the Department of Human Services and Environment Victoria, the buildings incorporate environmentally efficient design. Natural lighting and ventilation, solar access and solar hot water, as well as water-saving systems that recycle water and capture rainwater all combine to reduce the carbon footprint of residents.

A potential demonstration project for many of the Eco-City principles mentioned by Cr Cathy Oke at the launch, the Eco-Neighbourhood is seen as an opportunity to combine technology with community-building to get to grips with a real-world test case for sustainable living in a Melbourne neighbourhood.  The 174 apartments are a combination of public and private housing, and Environment Victoria is recruiting residents to train as Eco Champions, spreading information and practical examples of sustainable behaviour in a variety of languages and cultures.  Charlie Davie from Environment Victoria explained that in the average Victorian household, the biggest energy uses tend to be heating, cooling and hotwater, but the careful design of these apartments means that the true gains in efficiency will be in the way residents choose and use their appliances.  Eco Champions will be given test packs including Future Switches and microfibre cleaning cloths to try out for themselves as part of the training.

Residents have only started moving into the apartments in the last two months, so the community side of the project is still in early stages.  It will be fascinating to see how the Eco Champion program progresses over time, since it’s clear that building design is only part of the equation for reducing occupants’ carbon footprints.  The complex issues of choice, habit and long-term commitment to behaviour change are the reality that decides whether projects like these become reference points in the shift towards sustainable living that is so urgent.

Changing Places: Responsive housing, mobility systems, and networked intelligence for future cities

Posted in Events, Research, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on July 7th, 2011

22 July , 2011
6:15 pmto7:15 pm

CityHome Image,  © Daekwon Park for MIT Media Lab

Changing Places: Responsive housing, mobility systems, and networked intelligence for future cities

Professor Kent Larson, Director of the Changing Places Research Group, MIT Media Lab

To meet the profound sustainability, demographic, and health challenges of the future, new strategies must be found for creating responsive places where people live and work, and the mobility systems that connect them.

Professor Kent Larson will present the work of his MIT Media Lab research group to explore the intersection of high-performance housing with urban mobility-on-demand systems, including persuasive electric bike-lane vehicles to encourage exercise, the transformable live-work “CityHome” that functions as if it were much larger, and autonomous parking/charging technology. He will also review the group’s “Living Lab” experiments to better understand and respond to human activity in natural environments including sensing, algorithms, and interfaces for proactive health and energy conservation.

Friday 22 July 2011

Prince Philip Theatre
Ground Floor, Architecture Building
The University of Melbourne

To RSVP or to find out more about the lecture, go to the Melbourne School of Design site.

The Housing We’d Choose: Grattan Report

Posted in Movements, Research by Kate Archdeacon on July 6th, 2011

The Housing We’d Choose explores the relationship between the housing we want, and the housing we have. The report presents original research on the housing preferences of Australians. A representative sample of over 700 residents in Sydney and Melbourne was asked to make real-world housing choices, limited by their budgets. The housing they chose was a much more varied mix than either city currently provides. In particular, the research suggests significant shortfalls of semi-detached housing and apartments in the middle and outer areas of both cities.

The second part of the report examines recent construction trends and argues that there are barriers to delivering more of the housing people say they want. These disincentives include the cost of materials and labour for buildings over four storeys, land assembly and preparation, and the risk and uncertainty of our planning systems, especially in Victoria.

A subsequent Grattan report will recommend changes to the design of the housing market in order to provide people with more of the homes they say they want. Download a Copy of the Main Report

Sustainability On Show: Building & Home Improvement Expo

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on July 1st, 2011

15 July , 2011
16 July , 2011
17 July , 2011

Sustainability On Show within this year’s Building & Home Improvement Expo, on from 15 – 17 July 2011 at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre will offer visitors not only the broadest array of the latest products and technologies available, it will also provide a forum in which you can learn from experts and gain insight into the best sustainable investments for your home.

At the Building & Home Improvement Expo visitors will have the unique opportunity to discover 100s of manufacturers and suppliers of renewable energy technologies, solar water & solar power technology, grey water systems, heating & cooling systems, energy conservation technologies, insulation, glazing, home energy auditors, water harvesting, carbon reduction technology & more.

Sustainability highlights include:

15-17 July 2011
Melbourne Exhibition Centre