Sunday 31st May 2020


1:00pm - 3:00pm



Renew is proud to present a virtual Speed Date a Sustainability Expert event in partnership with City of Casey

Join us for a fun and informative session where you will receive free personalised advice from leading sustainable architects, designers and sustainability and energy efficiency experts.

Bookings are essential for this free virtual event. Registrations are now open. 

This will be our first virtual Speed Date event. For more details about how it will proceed, email for more information.

As this is a virtual event, all participants will need access to good internet and a computer with a camera and audio. 

Click here to find out more about SDSE.


The Sustainability Experts

  • Arvio – Peter Smithdale

    Peter has 20 years of experience in low energy house building in the UK and Australia since migrating here in 2015.

    Much of Peter’s work has involved optimising existing designs for construction as low-energy homes and has a keen eye for what really matters, along with the technical knowledge of construction and analysis.

    Peter is a UK registered Architect and a Certified Passive House Designer.

    Peter currently works as a Passive House Consultant for Arvio where he supports clients to install innovative solar and battery systems. Peter’s past work in the UK can also be viewed here.

  • Dimase Architects – Antony

    Dimase Architects see each project as an opportunity to serve both the client and community interests by looking optimistically at the present and being mindful of our environmental responsibilities. Our approach is to create architecture that connects people to their environment and makes the best possible use of our resources.

    Dimase Architecture believe good architecture is for everyone and their creative work is guided by a rigorous approach to sustainable design, building science and the creative and considered re-use of older buildings and materials. Dimase have a particular interest in developing daylight design and low energy living within great architecture.

  • EcoMad – Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson is a sustainability consultant, energy auditor and managing director of EcoMad. He specializes in energy efficiency for the built environment including energy audits (1000+), building plan reviews, and product supply. In addition to this, he is the co-owner of Draught Busters which specializes in the installation of energy efficiency measures including draught proofing and insulation.

  • Greenly – John Hassall

    John Hassall has plenty of experience designing, planting and maintaining green roofs and walls, but can answer all of your garden design questions. John’s background in waste management sparked his interest in green roofs and walls because they typify modern society’s ability to overlook or waste valuable spaces.

    John has experience in both building and landscape management and the combination provides him with knowledge that is crucial for designing and managing green roofs and walls.

    John enjoys discussing all things environmental sustainability, particularly biodiversity, waste reduction, and urban agriculture. He enjoys sharing his own gardening experiences, both on the ground and on the roof.

  • Gruen Eco Design – Simone Schenkel


    Gruen Eco Design are passionate about sustainable design, believing that it is something that can and must be affordable for everyone. For Gruen Eco Design it’s important that sustainability is integrated naturally throughout the whole design process, rather than designing something and trying to make it sustainable later. 

    Simone Schenkel is a Certified Passive House Designer, and owner at Gruen Eco Design. Thanks to her architectural studies in Germany, an essential part of her education was based on sustainability as well as passive house design.

    Gruen Eco Design are really proud of their 9.4 star self sufficient home in Smith Gully, which was built on a restricted budget yet achieves all the sustainable and energy efficient features the clients were aiming for.

  • Julie & Anthony – Peppermint Ridge Farm

    Julie Weatherhead and Dr. Anthony Hooper have been growing their vision to create a living classroom in Tynong North since purchasing their 8-hectare property in 1983.

    They’ve since worked tirelessly to implement their sustainable, regenerative plan for the property including developing an orchard, vegetable garden, chicken and egg business, holistic grazing, agroforestry plantations and native food nursery. Peppermint Ridge also has a schoolhouse and restaurant serving native and other foods from the farm and offering monthly “Tour & Taste” events. The schoolhouse building is set up with composting toilet system and a 6kW solar array for the building’s power needs.

    Julie has a background in environmental science, ecology, biology, permaculture and education. Anthony a background in social work, community development, leadership and education.

    Anthony and Julie are able to offer advice on sustainable farm and house planning; growing organic vegetables, native foods, fruits and food forests; implementing permaculture principles and other advice to help design your home and lifestyle for sustainability.

    Julie and Anthony live on the property in a house built from reused materials and based on the Passive House principles. They have also published a book ‘Australian Native Foods Harvest’.

  • Renew – Michael O’Connell

    Michael O’Connell is a Renew technical specialist with a long history in public education and presentation around sustainable living topics.

    Michael has over 25 years’ experience in the Telecommunications, IT, Construction and Renewable Energy industries. He is a past president of the Renew and runs a design and energy management consultancy business with a focus on sustainable development.

    Michael designed and built his own house using passive solar design principles together with solar power and integrated permaculture garden.

  • Renew – Tim Forcey

    Tim Forcey has acted as an energy consultant in over 1000 Melbourne homes and curates the 12,000+ member Facebook Group “My Efficient Electric Home” where home energy dilemmas are resolved every day.

    Tim is an accredited Victorian Residential Efficiency Scorecard assessor, has published research into home energy economics with the University of Melbourne and is a valued volunteer at Renew. 

    Prior to taking up a keen interest in home energy, Tim worked in industry with companies such as Esso, BHP, Jemena, and the Australian Energy Market Operator.

    Tim has recently also launched his own consultancy business “Tim Forcey Home Energy Advisor” where he helps people to improve comfort and energy performance in their homes.

  • Solar Savvy – Andrew Armstrong

    Andrew Armstrong specialises in energy efficient building design and energy auditing and is currently a provider of Victorian Government residential Scorecard assessments.

    Andrew is passionate about providing home owners and builders with clever, holistic energy and sustainability advice, helping people to understand how the search for a more thermally efficient place to live begins with an understanding of how the outside environment influences the inside of buildings and homes through all seasons. 

    Whether your wanting to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, or cut the costs of energy purchased – both can be addressed through the understanding of the different heating and cooling options, hot water systems, energy efficient appliances and other renewable energy opportunities.

  • Steffen – Steffen Welsch Architects

    Steffen Welsch Architects offer expertise in residential, commercial and institutional buildings and their designs celebrate light, balance and beauty.

    Adopting an ecological approach to the building and its environment, Steffen Welsch Architects work hard to find the right balance between cost efficiency, environmentally sustainable design and implementing innovative systems and products.

  • Sustainable Plumbing Solutions – Brent Papadopoulos

    Brent Papadopoulos is the Managing Director of Sustainable Plumbing Solutions, who have been providing people with clean, safe and socially responsible plumbing solutions since 2003. 

    Brent has been awarded Green Plumber of the Year 3 times and is very knowledgeable about all things sustainable plumbing including water storage and grey water treatment.