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.

Less Food, Less Waste and Waist and More Sustainable

The amount of food that is wasted in the hospitality industry is alarming. Food wastage also goes against plenty of principles of sustainability, so a restaurant in Dubai is charging diners for their food by weight. They’re encouraging other countries to adopt their model.

Owners of the restaurant, Gramo, want to raise awareness of sustainability issues and promote eating in moderation in the UAE.

This is not a new concept, with the Halfsies project, and others like it, getting foodies to think about how much they are eating and take into account how much food they are wasting.

At Gramo, created by Lootah Hotel Management, patrons choose from either a la carte service or the pay-by-weight buffet. This sets it apart from all other ‘all you can eat’ restaurants as diners have to be more selective about what they choose and how much they select so they don’t pay for food they don’t eat. Therefore, they waste less and possibly eat less. This idea is being encouraged in other countries as the issue of food waste and obesity increases.

Lootah CEO Nasser Saeed Lootah said they wanted Gramo to offer a real taste of Arabic cuisine, but be mindful of the waste the hospitality can create, and manage it in a sustainable manner.


Green Answers in the Past

US architect, professor and researcher on urban waterfronts and water supply Kevin Bone claims architecture and the future of the planet are inextricably linked and we may find our answers in what has gone before us.

Speaking to ArtInfo’s Kelly Chan, he said the past had more to offer the future than we may think.

His current exhibition of modern architecture in the US, looks at modern architecture and said he wanted to break the stereotype that it was an environmentally disruptive style of building.

Professor Bone said, through his exhibition, he wanted to show that great architects were very attuned to the cycles of nature and green architecture was something that had to be at the very beginning of an architectural idea.

He also warned architectural students and architects that they needed to be in tune with nature, with a building’s site and its relationship to the sun most important to the success of the building as a sustainable product that reduced the need for energy and fuel use.

He uses the Frank Lloyd Wright Solar Hemicycle in Wisconsin as an example of a passive solar heating building.

Professor Bone said that builders using locally-sourced materials and local craftsmen were also thinking of the environment during the construction of their projects, using the example of Antonin Raymond who worked on the Imperial Hotel in Japan with Frank Lloyd Wright, and Professor Bone said these structures showed “a sense of the local”.

Mass Creation Goes Sustainable

The most creative sustainable and environmentally-friendly works by builders and architects will be presented at the Green Cities Sundown event next month.

Members of the Green Building Council of Australia and Property Council of Australia were  eligible to enter the Weapons of Mass Creation competition, with the competition celebrating creativity and innovation in sustainable ideas, techniques, technologies and design.

The inaugural showcase and competition is part of the Green Cities Conference and Exhibition in Sydney, with the theme this year being Accept the Challenge.

Entries could include sustainable materials, technologies, design techniques or products with selected entries on exhibition at the Green Cities Sundown networking event at the Museum of Contemporary Art on March 6.

The winning submission will be named Most Innovative 2013.

Green Cities is in its seventh year and is the annual conference and exhibition co-hosted by the Green Building Council of Australia and Property Council of Australia.

It focusses on sustainability within the built environment and the program features international keynote speakers, networking events, Australia’s top product suppliers on show in a world-class expo, green building site tours and education master classes.

The conference and exhibition runs March 6-7 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Adelaide: Example of Regenerative Development

Adelaide has been used as an example to the world of a city that copies natural ecosystems for sustainability.

World Future Council director of programmes Professor Herbert Girardet this month said he was concerned about the effects of human work today on future generations and the relationship between cities and the world’s ecosystems.

He said the largest impact on the biosphere came from production and consumption systems in cities.

In an interview at COP18 UN Climate Change Conference 2012, Professor Girardet said Adelaide had gone from linear processes of resource consumption to a more circular functioning where waste food and water was being returned to surrounding farmland to increase soil fertility.

He said the traditional linear consumption model needed to be addressed with new technologies and innovative ideas on urban development.

More than being sustainable, Professor Girardet said cities needed to develop ways of being regenerative in their developments.

Adelaide is being regenerative in its development by copying the circular functioning of natural ecosystems.

He said this was also being discussed by other cities that were under construction as well as those already built.

Professor Girardet said sustainable development had not achieved enough and many organisations had realised that they needed to restore the natural world through human technologies and development, rather than just sustain the relationship between humans and the natural environs.

Adelaide Converts to Loft Style Living

Adelaide’s urban evolution is continuing to take shape with the launch of an innovative new residential development which takes its cue from New York style loft living. 

Flinders Loft, developed by Guava Lime Property Solutions, is a $16 million project to convert a nineties former office block on Flinders Street into one of the city’s most fashionable and forward-thinking new residences.

Featuring double height ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious open plan living areas, Flinders Loft is the first redevelopment of its kind in Adelaide. The building’s 18 boutique apartments echo the design of the Manhattan warehouse conversions which have revolutionised urban living in New York over the past decade.   

Guava Lime director Michael Loucas said that demand amongst Adelaide homebuyers for high quality, design-led residences in the city centre is increasing.

“Adelaide may be Australia’s most liveable city, but modern city dwellers are looking for more than just a central location,” Mr Loucas said. “As our population grows and cultural renaissance continues, we need to deliver innovative and inspiring accommodation options that go far beyond the standard high density, compact apartment living.

“With Flinders Loft, we are offering residents an aspirational lifestyle that combines the convenience of a city centre location with spacious, innovatively-designed and ecoresponsive living spaces not seen before in the CBD.  The emphasis is on work, live and play all within the same precinct. This is what sets Flinders Loft apart from other developments on the market.”

Flinders Loft will place a strong emphasis on green living practices. Residents will also be encouraged to embrace more sustainable lifestyles, with a range of green measures planned including a shared pool car.  

“Once complete, the building’s green credentials will be considerable,” Mr Loucas said. “Ensuring the development is sustainable has been a priority from the start – it’s one of the reasons we chose to convert an existing building which had redevelopment potential rather than sending in a demolition crew or building from scratch.”

Buyers will have the opportunity to mix and match from a range of premium, contemporary finishes that include timber floors as standard fitout and complemented by high quality finishes including Miele appliances and innovative joinery.

Apartments will comprise the upper levels of the building, while the ground floor will feature office space and a ground floor café or organic food store.  Flinders Loft is centrally located on Flinders Street and in close proximity to parklands, popular retail and dining precincts and Adelaide’s business centre.

The sales office at 276 Flinders Street will be open from 30 April. For more information or a private viewing, register your interest at Alternatively, contact Julianne Price at the sales office on 0467 276 276.

Adelaide’s hottest new address is a near sell-out

Proving that the Baju apartment complex in Henley Beach is set to become one of Adelaide’s most sought-after and exclusive addresses, almost all of the 38 luxuriously appointed apartments and 10 exclusive penthouses have been sold prior to public release.

Sales for neighbouring complex H20 are quickly following suit, with just a handful of apartments still available. Agent Julianne Price said she’s not surprised at Henley Square’s popularity:

“Both Baju and H20 offer state-of-the-art living in a stunning beachside location, with all the convenience of the city just a 15 minute drive away.

“Many buyers have commented on the cosmopolitan feel of the development and the fact that it ticks so many boxes – from the high quality of the finishes through to the stunning views.

“We’re expecting the last few apartments at H20 and Baju to be snapped up very soon.”

A stunning addition to the Henley Beach landscape, Baju comprises 40 luxuriously appointed apartments and 8 exclusive penthouses. Living up to its superb location, each home presents the very best in architectural design and premium fixtures and fittings, such as European style kitchens with Miele appliances.

Environmentally sustainable design principles feature throughout, including a remote-controlled louvre system, cross-flow natural ventilation and energy efficient air conditioning. Residences range from one, two and three bedroom apartments with stunning ocean vistas or views to the city and hills beyond. Penthouses offer three or four bedrooms and generous living spaces with sensational views. The address also has its own gourmet supermarket, fine food and boutique shops.

For sales enquiries on Baju or H20, contact Julianne Price on 0408 771 797 or go to /