about Hunter Sustainability Designers + Consultants
UPDATE: JUNE 2013
It is with a little bit of sadness that we report the end of Hunter Sustainability Designers + Consultants as Renew Project.
The eclectic group of architects, permaculture designers, saw-millers, energy analysts, interior designers and sustainability consultants came together 2 years ago and made their home in Suite 76 on the top floor of the Market Square building, and together ran a few workshops, presented at the 2013 Smart Energy Expo, talked a bit about sustainability and mostly worked on their own fledgling businesses.
Of those that started there, only John de Bruyn (de Bruyn Building Sustainability) and Mark Spence (anthrosite architects) remain actually using the space as the primary location of their work. One lesson there would be that saw-millers and permaculture landscape designers don’t need offices in the CBD, but the reasons individuals came and went over the two years are as unique as those that did the coming and going.
So it was decided that the best use of the space was to open it up to other Renew Projects who would breathe new life into the 7 offices, kitchen, and meeting rooms.
Hunter Sustainability Designers + Consultants are a group of local sustainability professionals working together to provide the best advice on sustainable living and design available.
We are open to membership from businesses in the Hunter region who actively work towards and have a commitment to a more holistically sustainable future. Our mission is to provide a hub which people can use to find out about options and services to increase sustainability in business and lifestyle.
We aim to be able to offer services that range from sustainable building design and architecture, to apply permaculture design principles to your home or business property, to advice about the sustainability and environmental impacts of various products.
Individually we may concentrate on a certain aspect of sustainability but together we are able to offer any number of services ranging from sustainable building design and architecture, to apply climate sensible, energy aware, holistic, permaculture and ethical design principles to your home or business property, or to advise about the sustainability and environmental impacts of various products.
We work with community groups, large and small institutions, businesses and households.
Roshni Sharma – Environmental Integration: Looking at the everyday choices we make, large and small, as individuals and businesses, we can make step-by-step changes to significantly reduce our impact on the environment, living greener, simpler and happier.
[missing asset] John de Bruyn – Building Sustainability Assessor, ESD Consultant and Building Designer As a graduate architect, I come from a design background and now work on both residential and commercial building working with architects and developers to optimise their designs before construction. I also do my own design work, having just completed a passively solar designed house on the banks of the Gloucester River which is also uses a wood-fired hydronic system for additional space and water heating.
[missing asset] Jodie Duddington – Loop Studio offers Interior design and styling with a preferred emphasis on ecologically sustainable solutions. Interior design, by its very nature, is consumerist and wasteful but by looking closely at material and products choices and the psychological and physiological “mechanics” of how we expect our interior spaces to function we are able to create not only healthy and useable spaces but cost effective and beautiful spaces. Loop Studio aims to resolve the gap between perceptions of “Green” design and “luxury” design. It is also working towards becoming an advisory resource for ecologically sustainable interior products and materials.
[missing asset] Lachlan Storrie & Christopher Wallis – Tree Frog Permaculture is a partnership with strong science and gardening backgrounds. We provide a range of services including tailor-making and then taking the steps to implement Permaculture designs to suit your property, awareness and education about holistic sustainability and the range of options and solutions available. We aim to help people to achieve regenerative and sustainable lifestyles, and cover properties of any nature or size, from small suburban backyards to farms and large properties, throughout Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.
Joey Trongchittham – Husk architecture | interiors is a Newcastle based practice with a strong focus on energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. Our philosophy is to deliver sustainable and innovative architecture and interior design solutions to meet our clients brief and budget. Our architectural services range from small alterations and additions to custom residential dwellings, commercial projects and interior fit-outs.
Annabel Kater – Australian Sustainable Timbers is a forest management and timber milling and marketing company based in Dungog in NSW Hunter Valley which aims to turn passion into practice, demonstrating the vital alternative of small-scale, ecologically based sustainable forestry. Annabel is often out of town in the bush but will use the office space in town to work on forest management planning, certification etc and to deliver training courses to farmers on sustainable forestry.
Ian Wilcox – Home Energy Savings Advice (www.home-energy-savings-advice.com) Ian is a building sustainability assessor, energy auditor and property valuer. “These skills enable me to help people make their buildings more thermally and energy efficient. When doing an assessment I explain which renewable energy technologies are appropriate and will add long term value to the building. I also do energy audits on commercial buildings and schools.”
Zane Alcorn – B.Sc. (Arch) – Eco Building Design If you are looking for some preliminary designs for a renovation or retrofit or, indeed, a new eco-friendly house which utilises passive design principles (sun, airflow, thermal mass, insulation), give us a burl. I am particularly interested in simple timber frame renovations using recycled timber and other materials where possible, and cob (earth) building with curved walls and Mediterranean style lime render finish. No job too small. Contact E:email@example.com
Mark Spence and Dana Hutchinson – Anthrosite is a design based architecture practice concerned with the tectonic qualities of architecture and its engagement with ‘place’. We are interested in creative opportunities for architecture in projects of all types, scales and budgets.
What inspired you to get involved in Renew Newcastle?
The opportunity to make use of a space in central Newcastle was too good to ignore! All of us work for ourselves and are trying to make a go of something we believe in ethically rather than trying to make a buck, so being able to leave our homes and come together physically to share resources, collaborate on projects, and even just have someone to say g'day to in the morning was reason enough. By having Renew Newcastle provide a space, we can let our organisation grow and become what it needs to be, while also maintaining and growing our individual endeavours.
With growing awareness in the broader community about the importance of living in harmony with our natural environment and creating a sustainable future, we are all committed to working with Sustainability as a central ethic, but there is still a lot of work educating people on why it’s worthwhile. So by coming together we can engage with the city and work together to educate the public and ourselves on what sustainability is and what that means for homes and workplaces in the Hunter Valley.
Working alongside each other we can share resources, ideas, and enthusiasm for why we’re doing whatever it is we are doing… the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
What are you doing in your new space?
It’s great to have a space where we can all meet and network/work together. Many of us have been working from cramped and crowded home offices, so to have some space to stretch our limbs out, and to be able to work alongside other designers and consultants who share a similar vision for the future – it’s an opportunity that’s got so much potential!
As our organisation aims to be an ‘umbrella group’, a hub where businesses working in and committed to a sustainable future, having a space to work with each other and network is proving to be incredibly valuable. Being located in the middle of Newcastle, we can work with the public and bring sustainable design and holistic living to the local and business communities.
The main thing is to bounce ideas off each other and enjoy everything that co-working has to offer, but long term we may start holding events for the wider public and expand our membership base… watch this space!
Tell us about the space
The space is located nice and centrally at Suite 76, Building 3 (it’s the 2nd floor up) in Market Square, just off the Hunter Street Mall. We have a foyer, a private meeting room, some common spaces as well as separate offices. Most spaces have good south facing windows, and fresh air.
Go to the food court (where Rivers is, across from Sanity) and take the stairs or escalator up to the second floor, and we’re down the hall to the right.