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.

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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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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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.

 

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

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

Speaking at Making Cities Liveable Conference 2015

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Ben was an invited guest speaker at Making Cities Liveable 2015 in Melbourne CBD. The new Smart Urban Villages model was outlined – and many questions followed about its innovative approach, to deliver affordable living. The lively support received was very encouraging and gave the co-founders some extra energy to achieve the next milestone. Thanks to all those who have since subscribed to the Smart Urban Villages newsletter or recommended a site in their local city or town.

New Queensland University of Technology project role

Ecomplish have been appointed at the Sustainability & Green Star Consultants for the new Education Precinct Building at the Q.U.T. Kelvin Grove campus. For more information on this new role please contact us.

James Cook University appoints Ecomplish to develop Sustainable Building Design Guidelines

JCU general red 20140514_105352James Cook University has appointed Ecomplish to write Sustainable Building Design Guidelines for all future development.

These have been completed with DSquared Consulting, who are nationally recognised sustainable building designers and engineers.

New Documentary Film for JCU

camera1James Cook University have commissioned Chameleon Productions (a division of Ecomplish) to document the construction of the new Science Place project in Townsville, Australia. It might be a long wait for everyone to see the finished product, in 2017 when the building is completed – but well worth it! Stay tuned.

The professional cinematography will be undertaken using a mix of local and regional resources, and use time-lapse footage to maximum effect. What a great way to highlight all the sustainability features in the new $80M facility.

Want to film something similar?   See our Media division.

Smart Urban Villages launches in Melbourne

SUV logo

An innovative company is about to change the way housing is developed in Australia. Smart Urban Villages Pty Ltd (SUV) will leverage local design and community engagement expertise with the best design attributes of existing leading-edge communities to create highly liveable communities. SUV launched on March 12 and is now open for all inquiries.

The SUV approach adapts successful European “lease not buy” models, in conjunction with the latest developments in ecological design and practice, and several in-house innovations, for the Australian market through a cohousing/ecovillage style model.

Several solutions make the company’s Smart Community Model (SCM), developed by Ecomplish, innovative:

  • Apartments can be leased for the long term (10+ years) so there is no need for residents to obtain a mortgage!
  • All the buildings will be sustainably designed, reducing costs to residents.
  • Unlike pure cohousing and body corporates, a central management company and caretaker will ensure all the essential services are provided to residents, so they can focus on living, not working or worrying.
  • The urban villages will be medium density and contain resort-style facilities such as a shared community hall, kitchen and gardens;
  • Meals will be available to residents from the community hall weekly;
  • Whilst rents may be set at premium prices, the benefits enable residents to save much more in the long run, compared to traditional housing;
  • Such estates provide a much more safe, supportive and friendly environment where people and friendships amongst environmentally conscious people can flourish.

Ben O’Callaghan is proud to be a director of Smart Urban Villages with business partner Rolf von Behrens.  For more information about this pioneering new model please contact us at SUV www.smarturbanvillages.com SUV New Cover

 

5 Star for Curtin University – Green Star Communities Rating

Curtin University’s Bentley campus masterplan has achieved a 5 Star rating under the Green Building Council of Australia’s GREEN STAR COMMUNITIES rating system, a first for Australia.

Full story:  http://www.propertyoz.com.au/Article/

 

 

Real Communities by Ecomplish

Ecomplish specialises in planning and delivering Real Communities, that deliver active, vibrant and connected community outcomes.  Unlike large contemporary estates, Ecomplish ensures the size, scale and ben-ownsconnectivity of communities are matched, to ensure a Real Community develops, not one that is hollow and piecemeal. Our communities incorporate facilities to support shared meals and gatherings, guest accommodation, high speed internet and energy efficient housing to reduce operational costs. This creates truly affordable living as opposed to affordable housing which is a myopic way of targeting a challenging property sector issue.

For more on the Real Communities model, please contact Ecomplish.

Appointed as an Assessor – Green Star

Ecomplish Director Ben O’Callaghan, has been re-appointed as an Assessor for the Green Star Communities tool by the Green Building Council of Australia.

Local Government Association Register Appointment

Australian_LGA_Map_2011pngEcomplish has been appointed to the Local Government Association (LGA) ‘Buy Local’ register and Pre-Qualified for the categories of:

  • Architectural Services
  • Urban Design
  • Rural Design
  • Environmental Planning

If you are from an LGA and wish to engage Ecomplish via this panel arrangement please contact us.

Appointed to QYAC Register

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News: Ecomplish has been appointed to the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) consultant register for 2014/15

More:  https://www.facebook.com/QuandamookaYoolooburrabeeAboriginalCorporation

Skoda Octavia Review – Skoda has the smarts

Skoda-Octavia-Elegance2I recently needed to purchase a new car and looked around for the best value wagon/SUV on the market, with 5 star safety and security and of course, excellent fuel efficiency. I researched cars over about two months and at the Skoda Octavia came in at the top of the list, for the size of car I needed. I then got a great deal on one and started driving it in July 2014. Below is a review of the analysis I did and report on its performance to date and my personal comparison, in case it is of interest to others. I am not related to Skoda or the dealer in any way.

I compared several cars including the Hyundai i30 wagon, Mitsubishi PHEV, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mazda 6 Wagon, Mazda CX5 and Honda equivalent.

What I bought:

Skoda Octavia Elegance 132kW, 5.9 l/100km, Petrol, Auto.

Where from: Rob at Skoda – James Frizelle’s Dealership, QLD, Australia.

I considered buying second hand, but the new cars were a much better deal at the time.

Best features (I think):

  • Huge touch screen – best and biggest in its class I think. Makes things very easy to find and turn on or off e.g. the navigator, sound system etc
  • Efficient TSI engine.
  • Power of the engine. It is very powerful. No one would ever need anything more!
  • Fuel to date: 7.4 litres per hundred km. This is as expected and much lower than my old Subaru wagon at about 10 L/100km. (Most figures in the specifications are lower than the actual performance I’ve noticed over the years and I drive inefficiently sometimes so this figure is good I think).
  • Feel on the road – it is very smooth and quite.
  • Very good handling, considering it doesn’t have AWD.
  • Information and options. There are so many in an elegance model – highly recommend it.
  • The way it hold a gear back, when it is going down a hill. It is a smart car – when going down a hill, if I break a bit and let go, it will hold it in that gear (and not let it go faster) which is great as it means I don’t have to break as much (but all the cars in front of me have to!). This saves on brake pads I believe.

Worst features:

  • TSI engine is a bit choppy in first gear and on hills, but if you can get over this, it is an excellent car. Note: This issue doesn’t appear to occur when I put the car in Sports mode, which I sometimes do, if I am going to be parking on a hill and want to avoid the issue.  I’ve noticed Golfs have this issue too and is an known ‘feature’.
  • I would have loved the adaptive cruise control but that costs more.
  • Nothing more as yet.  Maybe an electric version…?    (see BMW i8..)
  • Skoda sent me a glossy book on the car afterwards (I’m not sure why they send this out after you have purchased one..) and then sent a second one a month later. That was a bit of a waste x 2.  I sent it back…

The Skoda cars basically have a fast Golf (VW) engine, but it is cheaper than a Golf so I was attracted to it from the start. VW make great cars!

I didn’t like the auto stop feature in the Mazda’s much, and this has more room than the CX5, which also doesn’t drive like a ‘car’.  it is higher off the ground though which would make it easier to get in and out of. The outlander hasn’t had good reviews from what I’ve seen.  it is also much bigger which I didn’t need. The Honda got average to good reviews from memory.  My Honda Civic was a great car but I’m very happy to have this skoda at the moment. It meets all my needs.   I give it a 8.5 out of 10. Love it.

Related reviews: http://www.themotorreport.com.au/57762/skoda-octavia-australian-road-test-review-ambition-103tsi-elegance-132tsi-and-diesel-110tdi