Archive for March, 2014

Australian Geographic: Innovative Australians

Posted on: March 4th, 2014 by Barley Store

Innovative Australians: Ralph Alphonso

BY Fiona MacDonald

Ralph Alphonso is showing that individuals can reduce their impact in a big way, with some planning and commitment.

On a 4 x 5m Plot down an East Melbourne laneway, Australian Geographic photographer Ralph Alphonso is attempting to build a liveable apartment on a leftover slab of land.

“I was going to build a garage or an extra room but I live here by myself and I thought, ‘Do I really need this space?'” he explains from his current living room, which has twice the floor area of his soon-to-be-built home.

When he looked for examples of carbon-neutral buildings for inspiration, he struggled to find one locally that looked at the whole picture – including where products originated from and -lifestyle.

“I found it frustrating. A lot of architects were talking about what could be done, but I wanted to actually do it. Waiting for someone else to go first isn’t my thing,” he says, with a smile.

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Ecolibrium Article: A window into the 5×4 Project

Posted on: March 1st, 2014 by Barley Store

A hidden back alley in East Melbourne will be home to an intriguing initiative. This project is named after the physical
constraints imposed by the site: a plot measuring 5m by 4m. Nestled between existing buildings, a prefabricated residential dwelling to house two people will rise three stories from the plot.

The design approach minimises the building’s life-cycle energy demand through innovative systems, materials and construction techniques

It will be an example of how to build and live in a small space. It’s an approach that is familiar in urban populations with high densities, such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, and interestingly, Warsaw, where architect Jakub Szczesny claims to have built the world’s narrowest house, which is 122cm at its widest point.

Such an approach will inevitably be embraced in big cities throughout Australia. The space between buildings will become increasingly more valuable as a growing and aging population competes for land, housing and desirable inner-city living

Click on the link below to read the full feature article

Ecolibium link image