celebrating the small successes

Hooray!  I went and knocked on 5 whole doors yesterday.  I left my business card with 4 of them.  (Hi! if you’re one of them).

Melbourne Forum was quite good, the speakers talked about projects I’ve heard of before, but that have now adopted the One Planet Living framework to talk about their sustainability credentials.

Mike Hill talked about Westwyck.  I’d love to do what they’ve done – buy an interesting building and make a place that has the stuff I want in a home, and then fill it with interesting people who want similar things.  Even though the project started about 15 years ago, and the townhouses were built 5-10 years ago they have been recognised as fulfilling all the requirements of the One Planet Living assessment framework – that’s pretty cool!

The Commons is another project I wish I could do!  A group of friends bought an old factory/warehouse and then Breathe Architecture did a lot of work to have the site re-zoned for residential development.  Then they designed a highly sustainable building and persuaded a developer (Small Giants) to fund and take the running on the project.  I love that the sales brochure for the apartments included a 30 page booklet on sustainability AND that potential buyers read the booklet cover to cover and came back to Small Giants with lots of questions.  It suggests that buyers will take sustainability seriously and is a beautiful story to use when I’m discussing sustainability measures with a developer or architect for a crappy commercially driven residential development.

The last project is a funny one.  It’s a pre-fabricated, tiny townhouse that has a footprint of only 5m x 4m.  It’s 3 stories high so it’s a total of 60m2. They’re using the OPL framework and the ESD consultant sounds like they’re having a fun time with a very motivated client.  Complete with all the compromises that come with that. Again, I notice that the value of having an external framework for sustainability is in getting clients to consider and take on stuff they may not have though about before.  This client has pledged to reduce his steak intake to once per 1-2 weeks, instead of his current, more frequent, practise.  It’s also pushing the ESD consultant – they have to work out how to include a lift in the energy budget for the building.

The project is to be built only 4 blocks or so from where I live (in the posh area) and I was amused to see that the list of “local food locations” didn’t include the Victoria Street butchers, fishmongers, bakers and vegetable shops, but did include “Richmond Markets” (which I think means the Gleadell St Market) and the Abbotsford Convent, but not the market at Collingwood Children’s Farm.

 

Here are the principles for the One Planet Living, why don’t you go and work out your personal action plan?

I’ll work out mine and report tomorrow, but now I’ll stop procrastinating, and go and write that thing.