Aug 05 2018

Loving Hearts childcare wins Master Builder’s award

Congratulations to Jorgensens Builders for winning the Master Builders Queensland Excellence in Energy Efficiency and Environmental Management award – Gold Coast.  Ecomplish was proud to be involved as the sustainability manager on the project, which is arguably the most sustainable childcare centre in Australia.

Aug 01 2018

It’s time to dream: planning a new ecovillage in Victoria “Little Springs Village”

Keynote speaker Ben O’Callaghan presented to a full room of 70 residents at Huon Hill on Wednesday night about a visionary grass-roots ecovillage project called Little Springs Village in Wodonga, Victoria. Ben also took the audience through several interesting statistics on Currumbin Ecovillage in Queensland, the most awarded residential estate in Australia. The event was covered by The Border Mail the next day.

A small group of long-time Leneva (Victoria, Australia) friends started taking steps to plan the project after touring Currumbin Ecovillage and falling in love with its vision, community facilities and design. Project Coordinator Kyleigh Andrews opened the event and invited feedback from the attendees and the wider community, so that it could be designed by the community, for the community. The Little Springs Village project is visionary as it aims to deliver several innovations in a peri-urban setting, unique to the area, such as:

  • a place for farmers to retire, where they can still lead agriculture in fertile gardens surrounding their homes
  • a place for families and those interested in sharing resources, to save on time and money
  • infrastructure to support collaboration, health and sharing including a pool, gym, storage spaces and library
  • designs support the synergies between younger and older generations using cohousing and ecovillage principles
  • a variety of high quality shared equipment such as bikes, tools, trailers, baby strollers, machinery and a variety of share cars
  • the highest levels of environmentally sustainable building
  • a demonstration project that the local Council can use to promote best practice urban design and educate others
  • Ecomplish has been engaged to provide professional advice on the planning and sustainable design of the strategic project.

Jul 24 2018

A new sustainable community for Yeppoon Queensland

Local residents and landholders on the coast of Queensland have employed Ben O’Callaghan of Ecomplish to provide professional advice on the planning and design of a new sustainable community. The site is amazing and will provide produce for residents on the fertile soils, near Yeppoon’s coastline, the gateway to the famous Great Keppel Island. Is Yeppoon the Gold Coast of the north?

We cannot say any more right now, but standby for more information as this exciting project evolves!

May 04 2018

New Childcare centre awarded first EnviroDevelopment certification

Loving Hearts Child Care Centre and Kindergarten has been awarded Australia’s first UDIA EnviroDevelopment rating for a child care centre, demonstrating its industry-leading credentials.

Loving Hearts has been designed and constructed to set a new benchmark in sustainable childcare centre design, construction and operation for Australia.

It is arguably Australia’s most sustainable childcare centre, with over eco-friendly 42 features, many never found in a childcare centre before. For a full list of these features in a PDF file, click here.

The Loving Hearts centre sets a new benchmark for childcare centres, in an industry sector which has been left behind over the years and suffers greatly from poor design and little time, knowledge or resource to make improvements. Its features also add to the sustainable education experiences available for the children at the centre.” said Ecomplish Sustainability Consultant, Ben O’Callaghan who was the first professional to join the project team in 2015. Ben is still involved operationally, to ensure the sustainability features are paying for themselves.

Vision

The owner of the centre set a highly commendable and self-imposed sustainability vision before the start of the project:

 “To demonstrate nation-leading Childcare Centre sustainable design and operations for the benefit of the whole community and future generations”

The Vision goes well beyond all minimum levels of compliance required by government legislation and will significantly exceed all energy and water efficiency benchmarks for centres of a similar size according to the Ecomplish who were employed to manage the centre’s sustainable design. Ben from Ecomplish also now conducts sustainable operations monitoring and sustainability training for staff.

 The commendable vision was set to:

  1. Demonstrate the benefits of sustainable childcare centre design to the rest of Australian childcare centre owners and operators i.e. become a case study and example of best practice design and operation for others to repeat and learn from.
  2. Reduce the impact on the environment of the materials, construction and on-going utility requirements of the centre, for the benefit of the centre, the wider community.
  3. Significantly reduce the greenhouse gas impacts and toxicity, compared to standard childcare centre buildings, which typically perform poorly because for their sub-standard design and capital-cost focused designs.
  4. Benefit the children, parents and staff who would use the centre, by ensuring higher air quality through the use of safer materials, enhanced daylight and reduced costs for families.

The centre is a great exemplar and reminder exceptional sustainable design can only result from a holistic approach to design and a careful combination of smart sustainability initiatives.

The building was completed by local builders and childcare centre experts, Jorgensens and the design was undertaken by Cyber Drafting & Design in conjunction with other specialists, including dsquared.

Photo (right to left): UDIA CEO Kirsty Chessher-Brown awards Loving Hearts Managers Jenn and Sandy with the EnviroDevelopment certification.

Photos gratefully provided by Alice Nelson.

 

 

 

May 01 2018

We need more affordable living, instead of affordable housing

“For too long Governments have focused on funding affordable living, meaning many Australian’s have been left in ‘affordable housing’ apartments with high utility costs. This results from poor design, because developers of affordable housing are not incentivised to focus on passive solar design and reduce heating and cooling costs, whilst increasing things like daylight and natural airflow. Instead, many build cheaply to maximise returns which leaves those who can least afford high on-going building costs with years of expensive bills to pay.” said Ben O’Callaghan some 8 years ago and now Government is starting to listen.

By focusing on long-term affordable living solutions, more can be achieved than focusing primarily on mechanisms to decrease housing capital costs, which is the focus of many affordable housing policies. To help move the industry forward, affordable living solutions of various forms (including requirements for better design) should be also be a focus, instead of merely affordable housing.

The affordable living approach is more holistic and ensures that people can access housing that is so well designed that it enables occupants to experience much lower operational costs, in energy, water and health expenses. For example, solar energy, water efficiency measures and more natural daylight, which can combat depression, or using non-toxic materials to avoid illnesses related to off-gassing materials. Currently the future cost burden is passed on to occupants, as sub-par design makes it almost impossible to reduce utility costs, because orientation, insulation levels and window types etc were poorly considered and are fixed once constructed. The other side effect of poor design is that housing stock needs to be replaced substantially more often which will only accelerate with future changes in climate.

Designers like Smart Urban Villages are planning to provide affordable living solutions, not capital-cost focused affordable housing. The ACT Government is also now considering innovative policies to target the missing-middle through their Housing Choices initiative and specifically their demonstration housing project.

Dec 13 2017

Gold Gold Gold… The Science Place achieves momentous LEED certification

After three years of planning, design and construction, the James Cook University Science building called The Science Place has achieved a highly-prized green building rating.

The LEED® Gold Certification is the first LEED rating of any level, for a new building in Queensland. The certification also shows The Science Place has become one of the world’s highest performing and sustainable university science buildings.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world.

The design and construction team applied holistic ecologically sustainable design principles to ensure the building performs well, all year round.

Internationally recognised architects, Hassell Studio, and James Cook University engaged leading sustainability consultants Ecomplish Sustainability and dsquared to provide sustainability services for the whole project. This ensured the sustainability was considered throughout and the building could achieve its high echelons. The very energy and water efficient building will allow the university to minimise costs whilst providing extremely comfortable science and engineering facilities to researchers and students.

Here is a list of its features.

Aug 18 2017

QUT stage 1 demolition completed

Stage 1 of the Education Precinct building in Kelvin Grove in Brisbane has been completed. Builder Hansen Yuncken are about to commence the structural construction works. The design successfully achieved its 5 Star ‘Green Star’ design rating from the GBCA by leveraging the rating tool experience of dsquared and Ecomplish Sustainability, who have also worked on similar projects for JCU and Hassell.

The $75 million building has been designed by a team lead by Wilson Architects and Scandinavian firm Henning Larsen Architects. For more information contact us or visit: www.wilsonarchitects.com.au/qut-education-precinct/

 

Aug 16 2017

Ecomplish congratulates Lend Lease on MBA Builders Project of the Year AWARD

Congratulations to Lend Lease on their MBA Builders Project of the Year MAJOR AWARD – The James Cook University ‘The Science Place.  Completed in March 2017, The Science Place is an $80 million teaching and learning facility which now promotes the sciences and collocates the JCU science community on Townsville Campus to foster interdisciplinary interactions.  Ecomplish has also worked on the project for the last 3 years as the Sustainable Design Consultant with dsquared.

Aug 01 2017

RealEstate.com.au interviews Ben O’Callaghan to create a video

Today, RealEstate.com.au featured Yagoi100, the house with over 100 sustainable design features. In it, Ecomplish Director Ben O’Callaghan explains how the smart combination of key design features can enhance residential quality of life and the local environment, whilst almost eliminating all his utility bills.

To view the short video or photos see: www.realestate.com.au/lifestyle/community-living-is-easy-at-currumbin-ecovillage/

Jun 21 2017

Ken Long and Ben O’Callaghan present in Brisbane

DSquared ESD Consultant Ken Long and Ben O’Callaghan presented on sustainability challenges and successes this afternoon in Brisbane at Green Star rated 480 Queen Street building built by Grocon. The Green Building Day was sponsored by Interface Carpets, Big Ass Fans and the GBCA, and what a great event it was.  Keynote speaker Ian Dunlop gave compelling reasons why we all need to act quickly on climate change and the huge opportunities in the property sector, given its emissions.

 

 

Ben also gave an update on Smart Urban Villages, which is driving a new form of practical and more affordable sustainable community living.

May 30 2017

Ben O’Callaghan invited speaker at GBCA Green Building Day 2017

Ecomplish Director Ben O’Callaghan has been invited by Green Building Council of Australia CEO Romilly Madew, to present at this year’s Green Building Day in Brisbane on 21 June. More

Apr 30 2017

Building commences for Loving Hearts Centre

Construction of the Piggabeen Road childcare centre called Loving Hearts has just commenced.

Ecomplish has been the sustainability advisor on the project since 2015.

Ecomplish conducted a feasibility study and set the sustainability targets for the project. The project is on track to deliver the nation’s most sustainable early learning education facility.

More 

Mar 29 2017

Sustainable development and design ecovillage tour

Today Ecomplish provided a professional sustainability tour to a group of executives from Satterley, Australia’s largest privately owned land developer based in Perth. They found it invaluable and we are finding more people making the trip over from W.A. to find out how Australia’s most awarded estate, The Ecovillage at Currumbin has succeeded and failed over the past 10 years of its young life. Others to have attended professional tours this year include Sustainable Settlements W.A, Silkwood, Villa World, Channel 9 and groups from South Korea, South Africa, New Zealand and Japan. Star Entertainment came as well, as they are looking to use tools like Green Star Performance to reduce their environmental impacts whilst being more efficient to save on costs.

Nov 09 2016

International Design Conference talk by Ben O’Callaghan

Dean Landy kindly presented Ben with a copy of his new book, Creating Vibrant Communities, printed just hours earlier, after hearing Ben’s presentation at the 9th International Urban Design Conference in Canberra last week.

Smart Urban Villages was founded precisely because it wants to see such elements becoming the norm for urban living.” Ben said.

Dean’s book will be available for purchase from 17 November 2016 via: http://creatingvibrantcommunities.com

Oct 17 2016

Childcare Sustainability Assessments Completed

Ecomplibris-childcare225sh have recently completed building sustainability assessments for multiple sites in south east Queensland. Over 60 opportunities were identified, which will improve the buildings and their operations; these are set to save the owners over 20% on their electricity bills alone.

Jun 17 2016

How to save money on utility bills through sustainable design

ripley valley sustainabilityEcomplish Director Ben O’Callaghan provides sustainable design and living advice to Queensland Ripley Valley residents in the latest version of the Sekisui House Ripley Today newspaper.

Apr 20 2016

Sydney Cohousing Speech

At the University of Technology in Sydney oimg_0008_031816sn March 17, Ben O’Callaghan presented to over 150 people about the importance of sustainable housing and the new Smart Urban Villages housing model. At the event, Cohousing guru Charles Durrett also captivated the audience with stories from around the world, about what makes a sustainable community so powerful and an answer to many of the challenges the word is facing.

ben_o'callaghan

Oct 31 2015

Invited speaker at Big Blue Sky visionary event

BigBlueSky2015-323-LOBen has been invited to present at Big Blue Sky, an event designed to set the scene for the ‘future of life and work’ on the Gold Coast and surrounds.

It is the catalyst where the city’s brightest minds collaborate with Global Visionaries and YOU to write our next chapter. Co-Founded by Dr ChLogoristine McDougall and Lou and Iain McGregor, Big Blue Sky is about listening, collaboration and taking inspired action to reframe the ‘story’ of the Gold Coast and position it as a global example in Intelligence, IT and Innovation.

Focus:

  1. Re-writing the Gold Coast Story. How do we position our City as a leading hub of Intelligence, IT and Innovation in Australia?
  2. 100% sustainable: What does this mean for life and work on the Gold Coast? How do we do it?
  3. Provisioning the Impossible: A major blockage to Entrepreneurship and Emerging business all over the world is money. How do we disrupt these blockages and use the resources we have to the best of our ability?

Full details and program:   http://bigblueskyevent.com/speakers/    Anyone can register to attend.

 

Aug 24 2015

Green Star Design and As-Built – now combined


In this video, dsquared Director Paul Davy explains the benefits of the new combined Green Star tool over the superseded legacy versions. dsquared and Ecomplish are working on some projects together and we welcome your interest in our powerful combination of service offerings.

More:  http://www.gbca.org.au/green-star/rating-tools/green-star-design-as-built/user-experience/?src=AugGBV

Aug 24 2015

Sustainability Talks Series – Ben presenting in Canberra

Come and hear more about leading affordable sustainable community development in Canberra, 30 August 2015.SEE-Change_Innovative-Affordable-Housing-Talk-flyer-vF3

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