The Ecohouse Vision
To transform the house and garden on the corner of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens into a model sustainable building that will provide education and inspiration to the wider community, acting as a seed for further change. In addition to the redesigning and refitting project, audiovisual displays and other educational programs will be developed to assist the general public in putting sustainable living ideas into practice.
Today, the Port Phillip EcoCentre is a place where environmental solutions are hatched and nurtured. The EcoCentre is a not-for-profit, community-managed, environment group, providing a base for affiliate groups involved in activities that promote biodiversity, environmental sustainability and community action.
The EcoCentre is located in the St Kilda Botanic Gardens' old Park-Keeper's house. The original building, a 1966 brick veneer had an energy efficiency rating of less than one star. The concept of a local 'environmental hub' was initiated by the City of Port Phillip (CoPP) in 1998 and has now grown to be the independent, community-managed, environment organization; the Port Phillip EcoCentre Inc. Local environment groups initiated the 'EcoHose project' to transform the house and demonstrate sustainable building and garden design and practices.
The EcoCentre was formally launched in St Kilda Botanical Gardens in December 1999. In 2003, it was retrofitted to a 5 star level - which was state of the art at the time. Since then, public awareness and design efficiency has moved along by leaps and bounds and the EcoHouse continues to be retrofitted to a 6 star standard with improved window insulation options installed across different windows, display of new lighting technologies in various rooms (LED and T5) and new stovetop.
In providing a focus for community groups and individuals to meet and share knowledge and resources, the EcoCentre builds networks, maximizing positive environmental action, with positive flow-on effects into the community. The EcoCentre initiates educational projects and provides meeting space, office facilities, a small environmental reference library and most importantly, an example of environmental action in practice.The Committee of Management meets monthly and sub-committees function and meet on a project by project basis.
The EcoCentre has been structured as a regional 'umbrella' environment organization to meet the Environment Australia criteria which enables tax deductible donations. This enhances the EcoCentre's ability to attract external funding and sponsors and ultimately provide improved services to members and the community. City of Port Phillip has continued its support in the form of building provision and utility expenses and is a key financial sponsor contributing to operational costs. In exchange the EcoCentre is committed to supporting and furthering the goals of the City of Port Phillip.
Original Project Team 2002-2003
EcoHouse Project Coordinator (2000 - 2003)
EcoHouse Strategic Co-ordinator
Fooks Martin Sandow Anson