Energy_Makeovers_w300Now into its 5th year, The Building and Home Improvement Expo prides itself on delivering independent, quality building and home improvement information to thousands of visitors. Traditionally its focus has been towards the growing interest in sustainability and this year’s Expo plans to ramp up the green theme by offering visitors the chance of a one-on-one discussion and intimate opportunity to ask questions with key experts in the field on a range of topics.

With over 400 appointments available, spread out of the three days and six specific streams, the 2012 Sustainability Feature promises to be a busy one. The six streams include design, green construction, energy efficient building, energy management in the home, using renewable energy and healthy interior design.

The six streams explained

1. Design
Design is always the first step in every construction project. This is the time to decide on what sustainable features should be part of the home. These decisions will include items such as solar orientation, placement of windows, and summer shading. It’s important to remember that a good, passive solar design costs as much as a bad, inefficient design. If you would like to speak to an expert designer, and you have plans, bring them along.

2. Green construction.
Finding a builder that understands the importance of energy efficient homes can be quite daunting. How to go about selecting the right builder with the right skills is often a lengthy and difficult process. The Master Builders Association of Victoria has selected a number of expert builders from their ‘Green Living’ program to assist visitors with their queries. These builders have completed the training and adopted sustainable innovations in their building operations and are willing to work with their clients for the best possible sustainability outcomes.

3. Energy-efficient building
How a house is constructed can make all the difference. Poorly insulated and with holes and gaps, a house can costs over its lifetime thousands of dollars more to heat and cool than a well insulated and sealed building. As they say, the devil is in the detail, and this rule applies to new construction, renovations as well as additions. Learn from experts about the importance of making a building energy efficient, what to look out for and how to take simple steps that ensure desired outcome. Industry experts will be on hand to answer all your questions.

4. Energy management in the home
Understanding the energy consumption in the home and taking steps to reduce the flow of energy is one of the most affordable ways to reduce energy bills. This stream explains how to recognise and deal with energy waste from in-efficient appliances and standby power. Find out about the financial impact of efficient lighting and how to properly run heating and cooling in your home. Make your appointment with leading experts from Melbourne universities.

5. Renewable energy & sustainable living
The most common forms of renewable energy in Australia are the solar (photovoltaic) and solar hot water systems. The range of products and systems available in the market place has seen a phenomenal growth and it’s almost impossible to determine the most suitable one for your home. With over 30 years experience, ATA is helping people live more sustainable lives. With a focus on water conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable living, ATA can assist you if you are considering buying a solar PV system. Our experts can provide information on things to consider before taking the plunge and buying, including size of system, what to buy, warranties, and installation. The ATA can also provide information on the incentives available for solar PV systems such as STCs and feed-in tariffs.

6. Healthy interior design
Interior Design is not just about form and function, it’s also about health and Indoor Air Quality. What are the best materials and what’s better for our indoor environment are some of the issues to consider. If you are renovating or building, a parent of a child, expecting a baby, suffering from allergies, asthma or respiratory complaints, trying to recover from illness, or active in creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself and your family, the experts on ‘healthy’ interior design are at hand to help you with all your questions.

Appointments to consult with an expert of your choice can be made at the Expo on the day of your visit. The appointment desk at the Sustainability Feature will be manned by ‘Green Moves’, With the Expo opening on each day at 10.00 AM, the `Speed date an expert’ sessions will start at 10.30 AM and run during the day until 6.30 PM.

Each consultation is ten minutes in duration. Consultations are limited to a maximum of two for each visitor in the areas of their choice. With close to 30,000 Expo visitors and just over 400 scheduled appointments over the three days it will be important to act fast!

For those visitors missing out on an appointment, The ‘Green Moves’ consultants will be more than happy to field any general questions related to sustainability around the home, with the additional option to have information emailed.

Book your ticket HERE.