Beyond 10 stars: what next for sustainable homes?

Beyond 10 stars: what next for sustainable homes?

Date: 12.02.2013

Luke Middleton is in rare company. He is one of the few building designers in Victoria who has designed a 10-star energy efficient house.

Middleton, of EME Design, was a winner in last year's BDAV 10-Star Challenge, working with Greensphere Consulting on a 16-apartment co-housing community that includes a food forest and orchards, shared rainwater collection and water treatment plant.

He will be one of 20 sustainable designers and architects available to the public at Speed Date a Sustainable Designer on February 17 in Melbourne.

The free event, held by the not-for-profit Alternative Technology Association (ATA) with support from bankmecu, will allow people who are renovating or building to sit down and discuss their plans and ideas with experts in green building design.

Middleton said that while aiming for 10-star energy efficiency in a home was admirable, other considerations were important.

"The 10-star rating is like one colour in the rainbow. You have to look at many considerations like the habits of people living in the home, using local materials and less materials overall.

"In the future, sustainable homes will also be more about building a sense of community and growing food. Food security will be important in the future."

Tim Ellis, of Timothy Ellis Building Design, is currently building a 9.4-star house in Daylesford. He says there is more that can be done to a home beyond the star rating system.

"Use of additional power such as solar power and reduced water use makes the house zero energy, and this is desirable from an environmental aspect."

Speed Date a Sustainable Designer

When: Sunday, February 17, 3pm - 5pm
Where: The Green House, Birrarung Marr, Melbourne
Cost: Free. Booking essential - limited spots available

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