access to full workshop (5 sessions)
Full access to 5 session online workshop, including Q&A and resources supplied by each presenter. Downloads available once you purchase.
Week 1: Thursday 3rd September, 6-7:30pm EST
Dr Rachel Goldlust, Earthship Australia Secretary and Adjunct at La Trobe University
Rachel Goldlust has studied environmental history, town planning and taught and worked across a range of natural building styles and has recently completed her doctorate on the history of going off-grid in Australia. As an experienced educator, presenter and community facilitator, she is passionate about empowering and communicating simple living and building ideas to the widest audience.
Introduction to natural building, site and project planning, and workshop vs owner builder considerations
In this session you will be introduced to the premises and ideology behind natural building methods and styles, given an overview of projects both across Australia and internationally, and run through the basics of what you would need to consider in order to prepare for your own project whether it be a full build, a granny flat or a retrofit. We will be covering all natural building styles, tiny houses and Earthships and looking at the pros and cons of each.
Week 2: Thursday 10th September, 6-7:30pm EST
Guy Ritani & Toad Dell, Permaqueer
Guy & Toad began their Permaculture journey in Naarm (Melbourne) at Delldint Permaculture Learning completing their PDC and are accredited Permaculture designers. Since then Guy has worked as a Permaculture interior designer on Earthships around Victoria and Toad has focused on soil regeneration specifically within mycelium generation and mushroom cultivation. Their focus has been to make Permaculture accessible to a variety of minorities from different backgrounds, notably LGBTQIA+ & BIPOC communities under the name of Permaqueer.
As Covid-19 struck the world the necessity of Permaculture design became paramount as the fragility of food supply, economy, local network communities and ecological support became clear. Out of this need Guy & Toad began teaching introduction courses and design consultation. Since then they now teach internationally campaigning for climate restoration and spreading ecological support resources.
Home Design from a Permaculture Perspective
As the center of activity, our homes oversee all the processes of life. How we design these interactive systems (Food, water, social, economic, welfare) dictate how much physical energy we have for the things we enjoy. Learn to close your household energy loops and sustain from within. In this session you will be introduced to the basic principles of permaculture as they impact the design and thinking around your home. You'll walk away with a list of practical design ideas inspired by the ethics of permaculture.
Week 3: Thursday 17th September, 6-7:30pm EST -- Off-Grid Solar
Sylph Dominic Hawkins, Electro Research and Development,
Sylph Dominic Hawkins is a researcher in the areas of Electro-chemistry (Storage batteries) and Electro-physics (Electrical systems and models) and has worked in the off-grid electrical systems design and storage battery industry for over 10 years.
He has worked as a consultant, designing small to mid scale off-grid electrical systems for residential and commercial clients, as well as heading the research and development area of a Lithium battery assembly company for a number of years. Sylph shifted his focus since 2017 towards educational workshops, papers and alternative storage battery research and continues to work as a consultant for designing off-grid and grid-connected electrical systems specialising in systems that contain battery backup and EV (electric car) charging from Solar / Wind / Hydro input.
Intro to off-grid solar and batteries, a guide for transitioning to self-sufficient power
Join me for a overview summary of what off-grid systems are as I compare the pros and cons of being off-grid and what the reality is like if we want to be fully self sustaining for our modern, daily energy needs.
This presentation will touch on what off-grid systems are, different types of power sources (including Solar, Wind and Hydro), how batteries play a major role in off-grid power systems and some basic introductions to how you can begin to design your own off-grid power system for your new house build or retrofit. I’ll also be available for a Q&A after the presentation if you have specific details or questions that you are needing answers for.
Week 4: Thursday 24th September, 6-7:30pm EST -- PassivHaus Design
Henrik Ender, PassiveHouse Design Consultant
Henrik is an architectural designer specialising in energy efficient PassiveHouse projects. He has worked in the area of sustainable design, including project implementation and artistic events since the mid 2000s and brings a wealth of experience and observation to his teaching. Henrik has worked as a architect, designing small to large projects in both public and private spaces, including his own space in Melbourne, BIGBANG studio, that hosts a range of community events.
PassiveHouse for Australia
PassiveHouse is a rigorous energy efficiency standard, dramatically reducing the energy needs of a building, hence it is perfect for self-sufficient off the grid projects. Think of applied building physics, very accurately calculated. It does not prescribe the building materials or construction system. DIY/ owner build is possible, but a lot of attention to detail design and execution is required. In this session you will learn the fundamentals of building sensibly using passive solar principles including the economics and energy efficient considerations, and how thinking differently about spaces can help not only sustainability outcomes but make healthy, comfortable and resilient indoor spaces for you and your family.
Week 5: Thursday 1st October, 6-7:30pm EST -- Going Off-Grid in the City
Michael Mobbs - Environmental Activist and Author of Sustainable House and Sustainable Food
In 1996 Michael decided to renovate his inner-city Sydney terrace and make it almost entirely self-sufficient in terms of energy, water and waste disposal. He showed it was possible for almost anyone who wanted to turn their urban home into an off-grid oasis. After looking first to the technology, he turned his attention to reducing the pollution and resource use associated with growing, processing, transporting, selling and disposing of food and food waste.
In March 2015, he disconnected his house from the poles and wires still linked to Sydney's main infrastructure system. now all his electricity needs comes from the sun, with solar panels, batteries and an inverter. He then turned his attention to his street and neighbourhood and ways to make it more communal including roadside composting and verge gardens. He's documented his experience, the hurdles and regulations in two books: Sustainable House and Sustainable Food.
Going Off-Grid in the City
In this session, Michael will discuss how to go about gaining approvals from inner-city councils, and give you his tips for dealing with politcies, bylaws, bureacrats and the broader community. He will look at land contracts for purchasing land in the city, and how to find designers, engineers and other professionals that you may need to engage along the way including key clauses and negotiation tips. He will also cover some key data that you would need to consider before, during and after buying and building, including zoning, rates, council policies, weather, access, water, sewage, energy, food, and safety considerations.