Leading Australian architect Peter Maddison has done many laps of the country and seen some of the best – and the worst – in designs for sustainable living.
Many of them have been highlighted through his TV series, Grand Designs Australia, and now Maddison will come to the Sunshine Coast to give a presentation at the second annual Cleantech Effect conference at the Lake Kawana Community Centre on August 23.
This year’s event will focus on the challenges of ‘designing our future’ and creating sustainable communities and includes presentations on the latest technologies as well as success stories from companies that have embraced Cleantech to boost business performance.
Maddison says sustainable living is a broad field and he will focus on the territory he is familiar with during his presentation.
“I am not an environmental scientist, but I am certainly an architect that has recently done a lap of Australia doing some observational work,” he tells My Weekly Preview.
“I will break down this big, nutty problem of how you design sustainable and comfortable cities into four categories; small, medium, large, or extra-large. It’s like trying on a jumper, you need to work out what size you are and find something that fits and suits.”
Maddison says he will look at developments in all size categories that have been stand-outs for him and explain why they would be suitable for the Sunshine Coast climate.
“What we realise now as our cities are getting denser, is the impost of infrastructure begins to impact on our comfort level. It’s like when you get cities growing out of their clothes and getting too big for their jumper, so to speak,” he says.
“This is why putting good design principles in at the start is so important. Of course, it’s never too late to retrofit, and it is harder, but I have great hope that we are an intelligent community and we can still overcome past mistakes.”
Taking advantage of environmental conditions, the direction of the sun, cooling sea breezes and including good public amenity are all features of exemplary designs Maddison has seen, but he says variety is also important to avoid ending up with a “vanilla, one-jacket-fits-all type of community.”
“Architecture has a huge part of play in the way we get joy from our cities and where we live and technology is another thing that is important to understand and harness. But you can’t have one without the other,” he says.
Cleantech Effect 2017 is the only conference, solutions showcase and networking event of its kind in Australia and will run from 11.45am to 7pm on August 23.
For a full program and to buy tickets, visit sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/cleantech.