Cooler Lighting, Greener Houses

Melbourne residents are being encouraged to hang up their power hungry traditional light bulbs, for energy-efficient LED lighting.

cherryLED and Sustainable Melbourne Fund have partnered for the ‘Lighting that Pays for Itself’ program.

The initiative will see 400 homes change to LED lighting for a small upfront cost and repay the remainder with a 36-month plan.

cherryLED general manager Ben Wright said the average home would save money back straight away.

“With their involvement in supporting similar community projects, such as solar neighbourhoods, we are proud to have secured Sustainable Melbourne Fund as our supporting partner for the ‘Lighting that Pays for Itself’ program,” Mr Wright said.

Sustainable Melbourne Fund CEO Scott Bocskay said the project would reduce the city’s carbon emissions and was exactly the product they looked for to finance energy efficiency ideas.

By signing up to the ‘Lighting That Pays For Itself’ program people can save up to 89 per cent on their lighting electricity bill.

Compared with halogen down lights, which radiate heat of 200 degrees Celsius, LED lighting operates at 55 degrees, which keeps homes cooler, reduces the load on air conditioning systems and reduces the risk of ceiling fires.

Sustainable Melbourne Fund has already helped reduce the carbon footprint of office towers across Melbourne city by providing building owners with up-front capital to pay for retrofit projects.


Greening The Heart of the Home

Prince Charles has put his designer hat on to promote affordable sustainability

The Daily Mail reported that Prince Charles toured a model home built by Plain English for The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community in 2011 and was so impressed with the craftsmanship that the company set about researching how to bring green designs to the mass market.

Plain English now have a more affordable range of cupboards that they are selling online, with customers having to collect and install the British Standard cabinets themselves.

Prince Charles is known for his passion for eco-friendly living and building, but he understands that it will never get taken up if most people can’t afford it. Hence, the idea for the affordable royal-inspired kitchen.

A whole kitchen of this type costs about £5,000 while an individual single floor cupboard costs £400, which is affordable when compared with the original kitchen that inspired the idea, which would have cost about £35,000 to have installed.

As well as having sustainable materials used in the design of the kitchen, other ways of greening a kitchen, particularly if it’s an existing kitchen, is by choosing appliances that save water and electricity.

Countertops also come in a variety of recycled stone and timber variations and, if designing from scratch, using less space to get more and positioning the kitchen to use as much natural light as possible are other ways to green up the space.

Having ready access from the kitchen space to an outdoor herb and vegetable garden also increases sustainability of the space.


Real- Life Examples of Green Living

Environmentally friendly and low energy usage homes will throw open their doors next month for the annual Sustainable House Day.

September 8 will celebrate the 12th celebration of green thinking in house design and living, with about 250 houses expected to welcome people in so they can show off their environmentally friendly features.

The day is an opportunity for people interested in reducing their negative impacts on the environment to find out how they could embrace renewable energy, recycling and other green practices.

Rather than being a day of displays, these homes are working examples of how you and your family can live real lives and still be kind to the environment. Not only will these homes show people how they be nicer to the environment and save energy and finite resources, reducing their carbon footprint, they also show viewers how they could be saving money doing it.

Organisers said owners of sustainable homes were investing more in water harvesting and solar energy.

greater investment in harvesting water and solar energy as communities realise our resources are finite and likely to become more expensive. By becoming energy efficient today, you’ll be on the front foot to save on energy bills and help the environment now and into the future.

The homes are also real-life examples of how inventive architecture can be used to save energy and make home design greener.

WA Turns Its Waste Into Energy

Wasted energy could be a thing of the past for Western Australia, with the state planning on redirecting waste from some landfill sites to create an alternative energy source.

There has been state government approval for Western Australia’s first large scale waste-to-energy facility in Boodarie near Port Hedland.

WA environment minister Albert Jacob said the New Energy facility was expected to process up to 255,000 tonnes of waste a year and put 15.5 megawatts of power back into the grid. As part of the approval, construction for the facility must start within the next five years.

“This is an exciting step forward for waste management in Western Australia,” he said.

“There are no other waste-to-energy plants of this scale currently operating in Australia. Waste-to-energy technology has the potential to offer an alternative to landfill with the additional benefit of energy generation.”

Other countries already use this technology, however, some green groups are worried there could be issues with emissions and that this doesn’t encourage people to reduce the amount of waste being produced in the state.

Mr Jacob said he was confident the existing regulatory regime under the Environmental Protection Act was well equipped to minimise and manage the environmental impact of waste-to-energy plants.

He said waste management in the Pilbara region of the state had struggled to keep up with the expansion of the resources industries, with a great increase in landfill, so this would improve waste management, increase recycling rates and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Celebrating Sustainable Building

Melbourne and Sydney are celebrating sustainable building practices with Green Building Day 2013.

The day builds on the success of the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star Day 2012.

The day will look at the future of the green building industry in Australia, the trends, predictions and the latest market insights and industry opportunities.

Highlights of the days will include findings from the Green Building Council of Australia’s first quantitative research into the impact of Green Star on the built environment over the past decade including a talk from Green Star Director of Operations Orjan Lundberg about how many thousands of cars Green Star certified buildings have taken off the roads, millions of litres of drinking water they’ve saved and thousands of truckloads of waste they’ve diverted from landfill.

Bruce Precious of the GPT Group will present on the CSIRO’s predictions on the six megatrends that will impact the sustainable building industry over the next 20 years.

Representatives from some of Australia’s most successful green building project teams will take questions on the road to 6 Star Green Star success and share their tips on everything from engaging, to troubleshooting, to managing expectations.

There will also be a networking session, allowing participants to mingle with the Green Star team and share ideas on the future of Australia’s sustainability rating system.

Green Building Day will be in Sydney on Wednesday, May 29  and Melbourne on Friday, June 7.


Register Your Sustainable Project

Australians now have a way of tracking sustainable homes with the Australian Living Sustainable Homes Registry.

The registry will track, list and report the number of new homes being designed and built in Australia that are rated 7+ stars for thermal efficiency, were constructed with sustainable building materials and use energy and water savings.

At the launch earlier this year, Australian Living marketing manager Anthony Lieberman called on architects, building designers, project home builders and developers to complete the form on the website every time they completed a sustainable home project, otherwise the registry would not be successful.

With the aim of tracking and recording the number of new homes being designed and built in Australia that go beyond the current Building Codes of Australia (BCA) energy efficiency requirements of six stars and BASIX requirements in New South Wales. The registry will also track the number of new homes being constructed with sustainable building materials.

Master Builders Association of NSW ‘Green Living’ program manager Grant Daly said he supported the registry in that consumers would be able to identify builders and associated businesses who were involved in sustainable home projects, as they would be tracked on this registry.

He said the registry was also a way of measuring growth in the sustainability industry, which was expected to be rapid as electricity and water prices continued to increase.

To submit a sustainable project, visit .

Australia Shares Green Know-How

Australian companies are taking their sustainable building talents to the Middle East as part of the Australian Green Building Seminars.

The Australian Trade Commission and the Australian Consulate General have organised the series which starts on April 16 in Dubai, followed by seminars in Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Doha and Rabat later this month.

Through these seminars Australian companies will be able to showcase their expertise in green building, energy efficiency and other aspects of environmental design, education and construction and meet potential customers in the Gulf region.

This is important both for Australian business relationships and sharing expertise and the Golf countries as Gulf Cooperation Council countries have high energy prices, water scarcity and are preparing to embrace corporate and social responsibility obligations. These countries are starting the process in building capacity to achieve better environmental standards which creates opportunities to share Australian knowledge and expertise.

Businesses who will travel to the seminars include those dealing in design, urban planning, engineering, architecture and consultancy services to the green building industry as well as those that supply green building and energy efficient products and technologies and general building and construction companies who work in the green building sector.