Tag Archives: Sustainability

Firing up the blog for a new project

sue old shop purchase

194 Gladstone Road on the day we decided we had to have it Circa June 2002 with Katie Martel (nee Croft) now with her own business @croftpr

It’s been a busy few years since I first commenced my blog 5 years ago. So much so that after the first couple of posts, it languished on the back burner. But now I feel energised to recommence writing it again in order to document a new project that my wife, Sue and I have decided to undertake.

Our saga started October 2018, with our failed intention to quickly sell off this small commercial property, for which we had no further use. But subtle changes to the City Plan over decades, have forced our hand to re-develop the site from a tired, old, small commercial building into a rare form of inner-city accommodation. It is a challenging, dream project that appeals to architects and daring clients, but it doesn’t come without hard work, frustration and potentially financial risk.

The new focus over the next eighteen months for my blog will be on this property that we own at 194 Gladstone Road, Highgate Hill. The blog will plot the property’s connection to us commencing in 2002 when we took it on, through to a redevelopment planned today.

You will learn about the decision making to turn a 1956 classic ‘butcher’s shop’, complete with giant west facing picture window, into a boutique multi-functional residential development.

This blog will form a permanent diary of the process of this project and provide you with an opportunity to learn about design, real estate, finance, town planning codes and processes, architects’ processes, building application processes, construction processes, materials, value management, risk and punting and hopefully the joys of contributing to the built environment of a community in a positive, sustainable and useful way.

And I assure you this project is certainly not about developing the site to make money but rather to give yet another life to a small building which has been dear to both Sue and I now for 17 years. Be sure to follow my blog and join us on our ride – it has already been quite a saga and I am sure there is plenty to come.

initial rough sketch gladstone rd

First preliminary sketches 

Advertisements

What does ‘building sustainably’ mean?

Hamilton

‘Sustainability’ is a contemporary phrase used with the best intentions to engender feelings of care for the limited resources of our tiny planet and to provide a decent life style for our future generations. The earth’s population continues to increase placing demand on food, energy and building supplies.

Experts tell us the earth is already in trouble from global warming – which will lead to rapid changes in extreme weather events, rising sea levels and production of food. Extrapolate out, say a couple of hundred years, and it is difficult to imagine an earth that is habitable without sustainable food production.

We all need to play our part in putting on the brakes. Every little saving in energy production will contribute to making life for our future generations no worse than how it was given to us. That is the essence of the meaning of ‘sustainability’.

It is only in the last fifty years that we have had an idea that unimpeded energy consumption can damage our environment and only in the last twenty that we have had the science to back it up – yet we are still only tinkering at the edges to make real changes and politicians are not yet brave enough to lead the way as we need them to. At the moment it is left to the individual to do what they can to avoid looming global disaster.

In the next blog I will discuss how we can build sustainably to contribute to saving energy in the houses we build and live in.