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Back in Brisbane
You could be forgiven for thinking that Europe had become my permanent home, but in June, after nearly two years to the day, we arrived back in Brisbane and have to say that we are very happy to be back. Thanks to the wonderful efforts of Eliza in my absence, Ecolateral kept its doors open. Eliza is now the proud mother of Penelope, a beautiful baby girl, who has clearly captured her Mum and Dads’ heart.
Our time in Europe and Ireland fulfilled all our expectations and more. Apart from the personal goals of family and re-engagement with the homeland, I was exposed to a different way of thinking. In particular, I was impressed by the emphasis put on sustainability and how it is a key consideration during all phases of projects. There is a knowledge and interest there in all sectors of industry and the community that engages people in finding the most efficient way to deliver everything from waste disposal to highway construction. Berlin seems to call the shots and Brussels tranforms it into law. Not the perfect system, but very effective in getting things done.
The Europe-wide focus on sustainability meant that there was a significant amount of areas for me to explore and improve my skills and gain some valuable, practical knowledge. As well as doing research, I worked with the fledgling Irish Green Building Council to develop a simple certification process for residential homes. Drawn from the knowledge base developed by the the Swedish Miljöbyggnad and Leed Residential tools, this system provides a well balanced and fair appraisal of a residential precinct or an individual home. It is equally applicable here and I intend to introduce this tool to the Australian market.
I also undertook two weeks of intensive training in Passiv Haus building principles in Biberach in Southern Germany in March 2015. Based in a purpose-built building in one of Germany’s centers for construction excellence, I was taught by some of the best in the business. On my return to Ireland, I successfully completed all of the certified training courses provided by the Passiv Haus Institute and as a result am now a fully qualified Passiv Haus consultant.
Finally, before leaving Ireland, I attended a week long course in the UK in Air Tightness testing for buildings and am now a qualified Level 1 Air Tightness assessor.
So……. Europe was a real eye opener and I had a chance to see how the other half of the globe approaches sustainability and life in general. However, in spite of what it had to offer, we were glad to finally head South. Australia is a wonderful country, full of hope and opportunity. If only we could engender some of the enthusiasm that the Europeans have for addressing the challenges of the future and really doing something about it, we would leave them all behind.
Ecolateral is open for business and although I am already busy, I am looking forward to sharing my new skills and experience with the Australian market to help to improve the overall performance and Environmental footprint of our buildings, new and old.
I would welcome the opportunity to catch up with you over the next few months.
Please note that my phone number has changed.
P: 0452 458 923