Expert sustainability advisers will be on hand at the High Life Expo to provide free advice and practical tips for apartment residents seeking to rein in high energy bills and improve the comfort of their buildings.
Aimed at apartment residents, owners and facility managers, the 3rd annual High Life Expo is on in Melbourne on Saturday 20 May 2017, with a bigger expo and a fresh workshop program. Register here.
Until now, apartment buildings have fallen through the cracks with regard to broader controls around environmental performance and thermal comfort. But with over two million people now living in multi-residential settings in Australia (apartments account for 80 per cent of residential dwellings within the City of Melbourne) and many thousands of apartments in the construction pipeline, the concerns of this growing constituency can no longer be ignored.
Presented by the City of Melbourne and Smart Blocks in partnership with City of Port Phillip, City of Stonnington, and Yarra Energy Foundation, and supported by the Alternative Technology Association (ATA), the event will provide information on what apartment renters and owners can do to improve the comfort and efficiency of their apartments, explore sustainability innovation for their buildings, and reduce common area energy bills. It will also feature a vendor expo with 45 stalls offering sustainability products and services for the strata sector.
Recently, a small handful of government announcements have given apartment sustainability advocates reason for optimism. Late last year, COAG agreed to fund the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) to create a 6 Star energy rating tool for apartment building common areas. And in Victoria, the newly minted Better Apartment Design Standards become effective from March 2017 and aims to drive up apartment quality through encouraging natural ventilation, minimum solar access and even maximum cooling loads for apartments.
“We’ve seen how effective mandatory energy efficiency standards have been in the commercial sector,” says Donna Luckman, CEO of the Alternative Technology Association. “It’s great to see that attention is now being turned to the sustainability of apartment buildings.”
High Life Expo aims to bring together those people who have already made changes, and have seen the savings and improvements in the liveability of their buildings, with people eager to start the journey.
Even without government incentives and regulation, however, many owners committees are going it alone and are already reaping the benefits of investing in building improvements. “Although individual apartments are often small in size, the energy used in common property areas can be significant, and the costs are passed onto owners through strata fees,” explains Kulja Coulston, editor of magazine Sanctuary: modern green homes. “Residents can have more power than they think to improve the performance of often inefficient and poor quality buildings.”
High Life Expo is on Saturday 20 May 2017, 12-5pm, at the Melbourne Town Hall, 90-130 Swanston St, Melbourne. It’s free to attend; register here.