Vintage-style lights. Source:
Presentations, Sustainability, Work

IxDA Sydney—June 2016 presentation + notes

Last Thursday night I was privileged to present a short talk at the June IxDA Sydney meetup. (Thanks Joe!)

The slides from my talk are presented below:

Or you can download the slides, along with my speaker notes (PDF 2.8MB), which includes links to a lot of the inspirational projects I highlighted. Continue reading

Blurred city lights. Source:

How much impact might savings “within the walls” have?

In a recent post I commented:

If developers aren’t prioritising sustainability due to a perceived lack of market demand, and owners corporations’ focus is elsewhere, where else can efficiencies be gained? What about what happens “within the walls” of the apartments themselves?

While the individual savings might be small, the cumulative benefits might be significant. Just how significant is unclear, however. So it’s hard to judge just what sort of impact energy efficiency measures across a medium- or high-density residential complex would be. I did a bit of digging but couldn’t find readily available stats. Are savings in this context just going to be a “band-aid” solution? Or can it make a significant contribution?

Let’s assume, for a moment, that the cumulative effect is significant enough to warrant attention.

Ahh, assumptions. We have to make them sometimes to get moving, but it’s always best to close the loop, through research, if we can.

I spent a little bit of time the other day looking into this, seeing if I could source stats or research that examine the difference in energy consumption in a medium- and/or high-density residential environment (e.g. apartments) versus low-density (e.g. houses), and found some interesting tidbits… Continue reading

Lego minifig character holding the 'Ctrl' key from a laptop keyboard
Business 2.0, Design, Sustainability

Finding momentum towards urban energy savings

Implicit in my recent series of posts is that the structural barriers won’t or can’t be addressed. Of course, wins of this manner/magnitude can have huge flow-on effects. So working towards addressing these remains critical and important. For example, if:

  • New building stock had sustainability as a key criteria
  • Buildings had smart meters that provided timely data to residents
  • Open data became the norm for energy usage information (i.e. system interoperability, with due security measures to ensure privacy etc.) that enabled individuals to use a variety of toolsets or “migrate” their data between systems
  • Strata managers and owners’ corporations took active steps to make operations more efficient, save money, and introduce generation capacity where suitable
  • Residents are empowered to have a more active voice in moving strata managers and owners’ corporations to express their values, whether they be owners or renters

Then we would be in a much better place—literally.

However, regardless of if this is possible, it’s going to take time. And in the meantime, what can residents do? Do they just throw their arms in the air and say “I can’t do anything (meaningful)?” Or are their options that the can exercise? Continue reading