Energy Efficient Buildings

Energy Efficient Buildings

11 Oct 2017, 1:10 PM - 2:30 PM

Theatre 2, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
English (Australia)

Chairperson: Simon Brink, Projects Engineer, Manningham City Council 


Efficient Buildings: The Procurement Model is Broken - What are the solutions?

Bob Sharon,Chief Innovation Officer, Blue IoT

New buildings or major refurbishment projects and more are typically procured on the basis of the cheapest price. Even mission critical data centre refurbs are procured on the same basis. Once the specifications have been drawn up, a program/project manager will be appointed to run the project. They will go to tender with the cheapest builder winning, provided all the boxes have been ticked including all the bells and whistles. So what normally transpires is that the typical cheapest builder who wins, will go out to tender to the cheapest electrical, mechanical and other sub-contractors where most bid with zero margin hoping to get some scope creep and/or cut corners. This means that the HVAC systems, lighting, heating, electrical and other systems are all the cheapest possible that meets the theoretical on paper specification. However, because they are cheap, in many cases, the quality of performance, energy consumption, longevity and maintenance cost is quite poor and so often times the reality does not match the design standard. The Program/Project managers typically have two goals in life. They are to deliver the project on or below budget and deliver on time, that's it. After completion, the building/building refurb is handed over to the facilities or properties people. So one silo palms off to the next silo and the twain shall never meet. This model of procurement is prehistoric, yet happens so much of the time. We will look at this and solutions to this age old problem.


The Path Towards Building a Citizen’s Utility in Apartments

Dr Bjorn Sturmberg, Director, Kairos Power and Founder, Sun Tenants 

The installation of solar and storage on apartment buildings that was once complicated by regulatory, legal and technical barriers. However, this has since been challenged with the success of Stucco, one of Australia’s first multi-unit apartment dwellings and a heritage listed building to combine solar, storage and software-based energy management systems.

After two years of negotiations with government agencies and regulatory authorities, Stucco, a student housing co-operative in Sydney is now a proof of concept that a citizen’s utility is possible.

Sturmberg is a former resident of Stucco and one of the project managers who redefined Stucco’s role as a utility instead of being an energy customer. He will share his insights on what installers and project developers of strata apartments need to consider when bringing solar and storage into residential buildings.

This session explores how a citizen’s utility model can evolve with emerging technologies, platform-based trading models, the changing role of the grid and what end-users’ expect from their relationship with utility providers and the government.


Materials and Sustainability: How sustainable are renewables? A review

Kenneth Walker, Project Manager, KBR

The shift to renewables raises a number of questions about future technology and whether or not these present a sustainable solution for future energy. A shift in the energy supply is crucial to combating human induced climate change and requires widespread adoption of new technologies to reduce reliance on the current fossil fuel dominated energy supply. Commonly, when sustainable electricity resources are discussed the dominant forms are solar, wind, hydro and biomass. Each of these can be considered “renewable” but this doesn’t necessarily make them sustainable. The USEPA defines sustainability within environmental policy “to create and maintain conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations”. Whilst a number of energy sources can perhaps be considered “renewable” every solar panel and wind turbine is largely constructed from finite resources and it is therefore not clear that production of wind turbines and solar cells is sustainable when whole of project life is considered, particularly given the limited capability to recycle technologies. They also have a limited lifespan and the power plants we build today are likely to need replacing within the next 30 years.

In this presentation we examine a range of energy sources and energy storage solutions (including batteries) available to meet the future clean energy mix and review the whole lifecycle development of each in the context of sustainability by publicly available information. We review technologies available for climate change mitigation observing current trends and discuss deployment levels envisioned in mitigation scenarios. Adequate consideration must be given to how material flows are assessed throughout the project life and how sustainable emerging industries are rated with regard to aspects other than climate. Within the renewables industry there is potential to develop sustainability ratings similar to other frameworks such as NGERS, NABERS and ISCA ratings. Part of the discussion will look at the need for potential research and development and the need for recycling and developing new and innovative energy systems ensuring the development and creation of a sustainable energy industry.



  • Simon Brink


    Project Engineer

    Manningham City Council

    As a professional environmental engineer, Simon has a strong belief that developing a broad range of technological enablers may be our best realistic...

  • Bob Sharon


    Chief Innovation Officer

    Blue IoT

    An entrepreneur and the innovator behind Blue IoT and Entrepreneur’s Angels, Bob Sharon is a passionate ""Disruptor"" with over 30 years of...

  • Dr Bjorn Sturmberg



    Sun Tenants

    Dr Sturmberg was awarded an ARENA scholarship for his PhD research at University of Sydney, which culminated in a thesis entitled "The optical...

  • Kenneth Walker


    Project Manager


    Kenneth Walker is a project manager with over 15 years’ experience in the energy sector in oil and gas, mining and renewables. He has worked around...

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