Sustainable building and renovating online event series

Want to create a comfortable, healthy home that’s good for the planet and your budget? 

This free webinar series will show you how to incorporate environmental sustainability and climate resilience into your new build or renovation.

Sessions will be led by a sustainability and energy expert from Renew, a not-for-profit organisation providing independent advice on sustainable homes. Each webinar includes time for audience questions.

woman with ruler and pencil

Designing for resilience

Thursday 22 February, 7pm–8.30pm 

Learn the fundamentals of how to retrofit, renovate or design your home to be resilient to climate change and fit for future conditions.

Finding a design team

Thursday 29 February, 7pm–8.30pm 

Hear how to make smart choices when it comes to finding designers, architects and builders who share your sustainability goals for your build or renovation.

Sustainable building materials

Tuesday 16 April, 7pm–8.30pm

Increase your knowledge of the various building materials available to make an environmentally sustainable choice for your new build or renovation.

Water and greening

Tuesday 23 April, 7pm–8.30pm

Learn how to integrate sustainable water systems into your home design, and how to create a garden that is climate-ready and water wise.

Winter comfort for rental properties

Thursday 23 May, 7pm–8.30pm

Find out practical ways to make your rental home more comfortable, energy efficient and cheaper to run. This session includes advice on reading energy bills and appliance upgrades and is relevant for both renters and landlords.


Caulfield South Passive House

Motivated by a desire for a healthy comfortable home, Caulfield South resident Jonathan Haling has built a high-performance Passive House with extremely low energy usage and very little need for heating or cooling.

This type of home is considered best practice in sustainable design and construction, and uses as little as six kilowatt hours per day for all essential energy requirements. 

Glen Eira City Council partnered with Jonathan and Sustainable House Day to open the home as a leading example of an energy efficient, low emissions home. It’s part of Council’s response to the climate emergency, working towards the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The four-bedroom family home makes the most of a 280 square metre block, with large downstairs open-plan living areas looking out onto a narrow lap pool and generous deck.  

“After living in many poorly functioning rental properties, including new-builds, we were concerned that building to the minimum standards wouldn’t be a good choice for our family home investment,” Jonathon said.

“I started a self-education process and came across Passive House, a high-performance building standard developed in Germany in the 1990s.” 

Jonathan infront of his Caulfield South sustainable home
Jonathan infront of his Caulfield South sustainable home

Passive House is a design standard that achieves thermal comfort with minimal heating and cooling by using insulation, airtightness, appropriate window and door design, ventilation systems with heat recovery, and elimination of thermal bridges (when heat energy is lost through uninsulated areas such as doors, windows and frames).

Key features of the sustainable home: 

  • highly efficient mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, which provides fresh air while maintaining stable indoor temperatures 
  • avoiding thermal bridges (pathways that enable unwanted loss or gain of heat from the building) 
  • airtightness to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature 
  • tripled glazed windows and high-quality doors 
  • external window blinds and adjustable shading  
  • all-electric appliances, including efficient electric heat pump technologies for hot water and air-conditioning 
  • 12kW rooftop solar PV system  
  • LED lights throughout and use of natural daylight and skylights  
  • electric vehicle charging with integrated solar power storage 
  • recycled bricks and lightweight timber frame construction
  • underground recycled water storage for toilet flushing.
  • Join Jonathan and Cam for a video tour of this Passive Home