Sunday 13th October 2019




Edendale Farm, 30 Gaston’s Rd, Eltham, Victoria, 3095
Sponsored by Clean Energy Nillumbik and Nillumbik Shire Council

Renew is proud to present Speed Date a Sustainability Expert in partnership with Clean Energy Nillumbik and the Nillumbik Shire Council. Join us for a fun and informative day where you will receive free personalised advice from leading sustainable architects, designers and sustainability and energy efficiency experts.

Bookings are essential for this free event. 
All experts are now BOOKED OUT – if you would like to go on the waiting list, please follow the Register Now link below.  We will contact you if there are cancellations.

Email for more information.

Click here to find out more about SDSE.


The Sustainability Experts

  • 3ARK – Ratko Mrkogaca

    Ratko Mrkogaca – I’ve made many holes in buildings over a career that started as an Electrical Mechanic at an oil refinery, Telecom / Telstra, and HVAC installation work. Seeing many poor construction practices and many poor habits by occupants that resulted in uncomfortable homes, I became interested in overlooked aspects of improving the comfort and energy efficiency of buildings – especially the “Airtightness” of buildings. Now with 3ARK I work at assessing buildings, advising designers, builders and occupants, quantifying and identifying the “unplanned holes,” as fundamental means to improving the performance of buildings.

  • Australian Building & Maintenance – Tony Devlin

    Tony Devlin of Australian Building & Maintenance.

    Tony is a registered Electrical Contractor and A Grade Electrician, Solar Accredited design and installation Grid connected and Stand Alone, he has a Cert 4 in Renewable Energy, Cert 4 in Building Construction, registered DBU with the VBA, Greensmart Registered Builder, Plumbing licensed, Refrigeration (Air Conditioning), Educated in thermal performance assessment

  • Craig Byatt Architecture

    Based in Greensborough, Craig specialises in designing environmentally sensitive and energy efficient homes. He is passionate about working with permaculture principles and natural and reclaimed building materials.

    With 22 years architectural experience on over 200 projects around Australia, Craig has developed transparent and practical methods to help clients manage budgets, navigate planning requirements and find trusted builders and tradespeople.  

    Having also designed and built his own off-grid family home, Craig knows how important the right advice, information and local connections can make in creating a home you love.

  • EcoMad

    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.

  • Ecomaster – Maurice Beinat

    One of the privileges you can give yourself is to live in a comfortable home for many years ahead. Improve your home comfort by investing in thermal efficiency. Cost effectively optimising your insulation, draught-proofing air leaks, and secondary glazing your windows will go a long way in protecting your family from the harmful effects of extreme weather conditions. Go all out in boosting your thermal comfort. Your well-being and bank account will thank you later.  After all… summer is coming!

  • EnviroGroup – Marcus Keam

    EnviroGroup is made up of a team of experts in commercial and residential energy solutions. The team has a broad combined experience working in renewable energy, large battery storage, engineering, electrical services, sustainability consulting and delivery of major projects.

    EnviroGroup has delivered the highest quality renewable energy systems to more than 10,000 residences Australia wide. Our skilled team of consultants will work with you or your architects and builders to successfully integrate sustainability into your home, employing the technology with proven performance and reliability to ensure the best results for you.

  • EnviroGroup – Mick Harris

    EnviroGroup has been in business for 15 years and has installed over seven thousand residential and commercial solar power and battery systems over that time.

    EnviroGroup specialises in the installation of systems such as solar power, heat pump hot water, heating /cooling, LED lighting and cutting edge technologies including the Tesla Powerwall and Reposit.  They run free seminars and events for the public on ‘solar power and batteries for beginners’

  • Fairweather Homes

    Fairweather Homes designs and delivers sustainable modular homes to suit your lifestyle site and budget. This award winning company has over 35 years’ experience delivering innovative off site construction solutions throughout urban & regional Australia and overseas. Director & Architect Paul Adams has a breadth of experience in sustainable, affordable modular housing. Paul maintains a role at CERES as member of the Planning and Infrastructure Committee. Other areas of expertise and as director of multi-disciplinary architecture practice MODUS Architects with a focus on design solutions and methods that make a positive impact on people, place & environment as well as corporate memberships of organisations such as Renew, PrefabAUS and the FSC.

  • Future Focused Buildings

    Elizabeth is a building designer and specifier who focuses on reducing the environmental impact of residential building works. Her designs draw on the praxis of passive heating/cooling, permaculture, future-proofing, universal accessibility and pattern language. She is deeply conscious of the embodied energy in building materials, as well as their impacts on forests, landfill and waterways. Elizabeth holds an AdvDip Building Design and a Bachelor of Arts and draws on three decades of environmental and progressive social justice activism.


  • Going Green Solutions – Lucinda Flynn

    Lucinda is passionate about sustainability in every aspect of her life. As well as co-founding the Eco-lifestyle shop Going Green Solutions more than 10 years ago, she is a fully trained Energy Assessor with a Cert IV in Home Energy Assessing from Swinburne, and an accredited Victorian Residential Energy Scorecard (VRES) Assessor. VRES assessments give homes energy efficiency star ratings. She has presented on a wide range of sustainability topics, from being a Workshop Leader for the Dept of Small Business and Innovation small business program, to teaching children about sustainability at Edendale Environment Farm. Lucinda is particularly interested in educating people about the many simple, low cost ways they can reduce their energy use and bills in the home. Further interests cover green purchasing (for schools or organisations), waste management, permaculture, living a more sustainable lifestyle, and she has a huge amount of knowledge about eco-friendly product alternatives on the market today.

  • Green Design Solutions

    Green Design Solutions focuses on bringing together Sustainable and Livable Design Solutions for clients and for all stages of life. Janine has extensive experience in environmental housing and sustainable building technology and compliments this with a passion for healthy, smaller homes. She holds a Masters in Environment and Planning and a Degree in Environmental Management, teaches Thermally Efficient Housing at RMIT and is a Livable Housing Assessor. Janine is the author of the eBook ‘Creating a Home for Life’

  • Gruen Eco Design

    We at Gruen Eco Design are passionate about sustainable design, because we believe sustainable design can and must be affordable for everyone and as a matter of course should be integrated naturally throughout the whole design process, rather than designing something and trying to make it sustainable later. We are really proud of our 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.

    Simone Schenkel is the 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.

  • MVH Constructions – Mark van Haandel

    MVH Constructions is a residential building company local to Nillumbik Shire.  Company director and builder Mark van Haandel is passionate about building homes that not only look fantastic but also perform equally as well. He feels it is about creating healthy homes that are sustainable, and have a low environmental impact.  Mark has recently become a certified Passive House builder which he is a strong advocate for, and draws from not only in the Passive House realm, but also in more conventional builds.


  • Niree Bingham Landscape Architect, Mantle Studios

    “Niree Bingham, Director of Mantle Studios, is a passionate designer with current projects in private residential, nature based play spaces, public space strategy and technical design for Water Sensitive Urban Design projects. With shrinking property sizes and increasing expectation for outdoor spaces, well considered landscape and garden design can greatly increase the sustainable functioning of developments and should be considered in the beginning of project planning. Mantle Studios aims to develop all projects with underlying sustainability principals, from high impact residential developments, public space or a simple planning application.  Niree’s experience includes time with one of Australia’s most renowned design practices, Environmental and Planning advisory committees’ to council, Management Committee to a developing Community Environmental Center in the Yarra Ranges and her own practice.  She is also a passionate gardener, mother and food producer.”

  • Organica Engineering – Ian Adams

    Ian Adams, director of Organica Engineering, is a Sustainability Engineer with over 20 years’ experience in delivering sustainable buildings and developments.  He can advise developers and householders on how to implement sustainable design into building projects, and on how householders can reduce their energy and water bills. He is a certified assessor and trainer for the Green Building Council of Australia, regularly lectures at RMIT and Melbourne Universities on sustainable design and city infrastructure. Ian has been instrumental in developing industry toolkits such as Green Star, BESS, and InSite Water, and has an in-depth knowledge of how to implement sustainable design in buildings.
    Ian is passionate about both technology and environmental issues, and he loves getting out into national parks and wilderness (while using the latest high tech outdoor gear).

  • Planet Architecture

    Planet Architecture specialises in the design of new green homes, extensions and renovations, with particular attention to high functionality, passive solar design, carbon footprint, conservation and non-toxicity. Standard design rates apply and design consultations are available.

  • Steffen Welsch Architects – Rachel McGlashan

    Steffen Welsch Architects Pty Ltd offers expertise in residential, commercial and institutional buildings. Our designs celebrate light, balance and beauty, adopting an ecological approach to the building and its environment. In our work we find a balance between cost efficient, environmentally sustainable designs and implementing innovative systems and products.

  • Sustainable Homes Melbourne – Michael Burns

    Sustainable Homes Melbourne aspires to be your one stop shop for sustainable residential construction offering design, construction, consultation and more. The concept was inspired from years of overseas travel observing common practice around the world. On hand will be Michael Burns who has been in the construction industry since 2001, is a qualified carpenter and registered builder. Michael is driven to impact the construction industry in Australia while lowering the impact we are having on the environment.

  • Wave Consulting – Rob Catchlove

    Wave Consulting is an innovative consultancy focused on tackling climate change through smarter water and energy systems. Our unique approach is directed toward creating sustainable, liveable cities. Rob Catchlove, Director of Wave Consulting, is an environmental scientist with 18 years’ experience in the water sector.  His unique skill set includes science, engineering, social science and community engagement. Rob has managed complex projects at the cutting edge of liveability and future cities.  Rob works on small scale projects (BESS / sustainable assessment for town planning), community solar, local government water projects, and design of residential / commercial water systems.

    We are able to advise residents and business on :   Water efficiency; Rainwater tanks; Greywater systems; Stormwater; Green roofs; Photovoltaic and battery; Community solar and microgrids; All electric homes.

  • Wildgrove Horticulture

    Sarah is a horticulturalist and landscape designer with experience in ground level gardens, green roofs and walls. Passionate about sustainable gardening, urban agriculture, urban greening and enhancing biodiversity, she loves sharing her knowledge to encourage more people to connect with plants and nature. Sarah works as horticulturalist at Bulleen Art & Garden, and runs her own consulting, design and maintenance business, Wildgrove Horticulture. She conducts regular workshops for councils and in schools on a variety of gardening and environment related topics.