Speakers Profile - Michael Mobbs

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Michael Mobbs has held an interest in sustainable design for over 20 years, advising about technology, design, environmental law and policy to government, the private sector and community groups.

Listed in The (Sydney) Magazine in their list of 100 Most Influential People of 2009, this former environmental lawyer has worked with the community to create a 'road garden' in their Chippendale streets and installed community composting bins.

Mobbs also helped Google implement local sourcing of food at its in-house cafeteria in Pyrmont and took on arts centre CarriageWorks over its energy consumption, persuading it to create office gardens and install sustainable water and power systems.

His latest project is to change the colour of our streets from the heat absorbing black to grey to help cool our city.

Michael's book Sustainable House is prescribed in University and Technical College design courses across Australia and is the best selling book for CHOICE (in its 13th reprint), the consumers association. The book describes the design, costs, products, monitoring and approval process for Sydney's Sustainable House. Michael designed and obtained approvals for this house which since 1996 has provided it's own water from rainwater, recycled sewage and run on solar power - the first house to do this in a city. It is not connected to mains water or sewer. When former Premier Carr opened the house in 1996 he called it the 'house of the future'.

The house is a model in the permanent Ecologic exhibition at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum. Over 17,000 people have visited the house with media, design, engineering and other special tours from countries all over the world - China, Korea, India, Denmark, the US, Canada, and more. These days Michael only provides special tours of the house's systems and of the road gardens for students, developers or people with projects in mind.

Michael offers practical design and approvals advice about urban farms, sustainable houses, offices, units and subdivisions which use the suns energy, rain and recycled water. He has obtained innovative approvals for small to large scale projects across Australia and initiated conditions which enable new technology to be accepted by local councils, financiers and purchasers.

For some 15 years Michael has been an Associate Lecturer at the School of Engineering at the University of Technology. Michael writes a column, The Bathurst Burr, in the on line magazine, The Fifth Estate.