The seven lamps of planning for biodiversity in the city
Kirsten M. Parris, Marco Amati, Sarah A. Bekessy, Danielle Dagenais, Ole Fryd, Amy K. Hahs, Dominique Hes, Samantha J. Imberger, Stephen J. Livesley, Adrian J. Marshall, Jonathan R. Rhodes, Caragh G. Threlfall, Reid Tingley, Rodney van der Ree, Christopher J. Walsh, Marit L. Wilkerson and Nicholas S.G. Williams,
Keywords: Architecture, Geddes, Landscape architecture, Planning, Ruskin, Urban ecology

Cities tend to be built in areas of high biodiversity, and the accelerating pace of urbanization threatens the persistence of many species and ecological communities globally. However, urban environments also offer unique prospects for biological conservation, with multiple benefits for humans and other species. We present seven ecological principles to conserve and increase the biodiversity of cities, using metaphors to bridge the gap between the languages of built-environment and conservation professionals. We draw upon John Ruskin's famous essay on the seven lamps of architecture, but more generally on the thinking of built-environment pioneers such as Patrick Geddes (1854–1932) who proposed a synoptic view of the urban environment that included humans and non-humans alike. To explain each principle or ‘lamp’ of urban biodiversity, we use an understanding from the built-environment disciplines as a base and demonstrate through metaphor that planning for the more-than-human does not require a conceptual leap. We conclude our discussion with ten practical strategies for turning on these lamps in cities. Urban planners, architects, landscape architects, engineers and other built-environmental professionals have a key role to play in a paradigm shift to plan for the more-than-human, because of their direct influence on the evolving urban environment. This essay…
Impact of community engagement on sustainability outcomes
Dominique Hes

Keywords: Engagement, Sustainability, Custodianship, Regenerative Development

For the last 20 years, there has been an increase of emphasis on community engagement to achieve sustainability goals, for example in the recent United Nations’ agenda for sustainable development (of which Australia is a signatory) proposed 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). Within many of these, there is a focus on community participation. Yet much of the research looking at the success of community engagement in achieving sustainability outcomes is inconclusive. Though there are examples of great success, there are more examples of failure to achieve intended outcomes resulting in an even greater disadvantage for the most vulnerable communities. Yet, there is a sense that community participation is essential for a sustainable future. So why is it that the results aren’t what is expected? Again, there is much research on why participation fails and that is not the role of this paper, but if we accept that participation in something that will lead to a more sustainable future, how do we learn from what hasn’t worked? The discussion around this question is the key contribution of this paper. The paper argues that the issue is that we are trying to create sustainable outcomes that improve social and ecological well-being within…
Working Paper – Green Lemons? Energy-efficiency Disclosure and House Prices
Franz Fuerst, and Georgia Warren-Myers
Working Paper - Currently Submitted
Keywords: Energy Efficiency Ratings, Disclosure, House Prices, ACT

This paper seeks to elucidate whether high levels of non-disclosure lead to adverse market outcomes in the form of the well-known lemons problem. It also empirically tests whether energy-efficiency ratings (EERs) are reflected in both housing sales prices and rents in the Australian Capital Territory, the only Australian housing market with mandatory ratings for all dwellings at point of sale or lease. Using a comprehensive dataset of sale and lease transactions during the period 2011–2016, a hedonic framework is applied. The analysis confirms that both the reported energy-efficiency levels and other sustainability-related characteristics that are not part of the formal rating assessment influence the pricing of both sales and rental transactions. Characteristics such as heating and cooling systems and the presence of solar power generators are significantly reflected in rents and sales prices, as tenants and buyers are likely to estimate their expected utility costs based on the EER. It is also shown that the option of leaving the EER of a rental property unreported presents a moral hazard for landlords of sub-standard properties, in that the likelihood of EER disclosure increases in line with the number of energy-efficient features of a property as revealed in the marketing material. The…
9 Step guide to facilitating Regenerative Development
– fostering Living Environments in Natural, Social and Economic Systems
Josette Plaut, Brian Dunbar, Helene Gotthelf and Dominique Hes
Environmental Design Guide
Keywords: LENSES, Regenerative Development, Regional Development, Master plan

The concept of regenerative development is gaining traction. Let’s face it, it is a compelling thought that our projects cannot just alleviate social, ecological, and economic issues but foster potential and innovation to thrive. What is not less known is the process to achieving such a project. While many developments are claiming the title ‘regenerative’, they often support elements of one sphere more than the others. Hence, it is important to go through a flexible and holistic process that ensures you consider every element and challenge your thinking process to identify whether the strategies drafted for them are patching up a problem or creating long-term benefits. For the past year, the Thrive Research Hub has supported the Seacombe West Design Team and Project Managers to achieve a master plan that could result in regenerative outcomes. This was done by applying the Living Environments in Natural, Social and Economic Systems (LENSES) framework. The philosophies embedded in this framework are represented through three overlaid lenses: the foundation lens (in green) highlight guiding principles important for every project, the flow lens (in blue) indicate the fluid elements that impact and are impacted by the project, and the vitality lens (in yellow) which reminds…
Towards Buildings that Thrive
Thrive team
The University of Melbourne
Keywords: Health and Wellbeing, Resource Efficiency, Systems Approach, Economics, Buildings of the Future

This report outlines some of the key problems associated with the way in which we currently design, construct, operate and manage our buildings. The critical areas covered include health and wellbeing, natural resources, fragmented decision-making and economics. It then presents a range of strategies for addressing these problems and creating buildings that are much more efficient in their use of resources, are healthier places for people to live and work in, and ultimately make a positive contribution to the environment, social wellbeing and building performance. A range of case studies are used to reinforce both the extent of the problems and urgent need to address them as well as demonstrate how suggested strategies can be used to produce buildings that help protect our fragile ecosystems, are healthier, and most importantly, help people to thrive.
Cool Roof Retrofits as an Alternative to Green Roofs
Hes, D., Jensen, C. and Aye, L.
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Keywords: Cool roofs, Urban Heat Island, Green roofs, Albedo

Cool Roof Paint (CRP) is a practical, low cost and popular retrofit option for improving the thermal performance of buildings in locations where there are significant cooling loads. This chapter looks at their viability in a more cool-temperate climate where there is a higher heating load. The chapter presents the results of four experiments investigating a CRP roof retrofit of a twenty year old metal roof; the extension of this data through modelling to test the sensitivity of CRP to changes in shading, roof pitch, insulation levels, insulation location and building roof to surface areas ratios; the testing of the CRP against a green roof retrofit and finally the benefit of white roofs on electricity production through Photovoltaics.
Life Cycle Assessment in the Built Environment
Robert H. Crawford
Taylor and Francis
Keywords: Life cycle assessment, buildings, built environment, case studies, sustainable building

After outlining the framework for life cycle assessment, this book uses a range of case studies to demonstrate the innovative input-output-based hybrid approach for compiling a life cycle inventory. This approach enables a comprehensive analysis of a broad range of resource requirements and environmental outputs so that the potential environmental impacts of a building or infrastructure system can be ascertained. These case studies cover a range of elements that are part of the built environment, including a residential building, a commercial office building and a wind turbine, as well as individual building components such as a residential-scale photovoltaic system. Comprehensively introducing and demonstrating the uses and benefits of life cycle assessment for built environment projects, this book will show you how to assess the environmental performance of your clients’ projects, to compare design options across their entire life and to identify opportunities for improving environmental performance.
Designing for Hope: Pathways to Regenerative Sustainability
Dominique Hes and Chrisna du Plessis
Keywords: Regenerative Development, Regenerative Design, Biophilia, Biomimicry, Positive Development, Contributive Practice, LENSES framework, Living Building Challenge; Ecological Worldview

A forward-looking book on sustainable design that describes problems and then, by providing a different way to conceptualize design and development, leads on to examples of regenerative solutions. Its aim is to move the discussion away from doing less, but still detracting from our ecological capital, to positively contributing and adding to this capital. This book offers a hopeful response to the often frightening changes and challenges we face; arguing that we can actively create a positive and abundant future through mindful, contributive engagement that is rooted in a living-systems-based worldview. Concepts and practices such as Regenerative Development, Biophilic Design, Biomimicry, Permaculture and Positive Development are explored through interviews and case studies from the built environment to try and answer questions such as: ‘How can projects focus on creating a positive ecological footprint and contribute to community?’; ‘How can we as practitioners restore and enrich the relationships in our projects?’; and ‘How does design focus hope and create a positive legacy?’ Download 1st chapter here -