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What you get


Concise, easy to understand, written format with explanatory images and diagrams plus links to helpful website tools.

About the Course

Environmental Design. It’s simply smarter.

  • It improves comfort by optimising natural light and comfortable temperatures.
  • It reduces costs by reducing energy consumption and maintenance costs.
  • It future-proofs your home, so you can cost-effectively manage change,
  • It helps the natural environment through material choices that are less destructive,
  • It mitigates climate change by reducing energy use through all stages, from choosing local materials, to energy-efficient design and reducing material use and maintenance.

And all this adds up to a more valuable home because houses with this much to offer are always in demand. Now and in the future.



Start with the common sense basics.

How do you know what is worth doing and what will make the most difference? Even among building professionals and trades, there is still a lack of understanding about what makes a home more environmental.  Most people think a sustainable home is designed with expensive or high-tech environmental features, such as green walls, green roofs or solar panels. The common-sense solutions are often overlooked.



The best place to start is right now and I am here to help you.

Environmental design starts from your very first idea: You want to renovate or build a new home.

Building or renovating a home is a substantial environmental decision. The process consumes materials, energy and water and creates much waste. All construction has an impact not only on your lifestyle and your budget, but also on our world. And the future of our kids.

With every decision, you have a choice, and you can make a large or a small impact. A negative or a positive impact. Whether you know it or not, you are making this choice.

All of the objectives you set and your decisions, right now at the very beginning, will make the most difference. It may sound overwhelming but it doesn’t need to be. If we all do what we can it will make a huge difference and a massive improvement on where we are now.

In this course I cut through the mountain of information online and show you how to improve the sustainability of your home design. You will use the information you learn in this course in other Renovation Collaborative courses and I often refer back to it.

I set up Renovation Collaborative to join forces with homeowners and colleagues in the construction industry trying to make real, positive change. I provide practical environmental design solutions to improve house design and construction for everyone, regardless of budget.



The course content is broken down into lessons to guide you through everything you need to know:

  • Lesson 1. Seven Smart Solutions that make a difference, starts with the basics. Practical, actionable sustainable ideas that you didn’t know, for any budget.
  • Lesson 2. Climate Responsive Design: the Quiet Achiever, teaches you how to align your house to your local climate, maximise natural light and comfort and minimise energy consumption. It includes nifty online tools and useful design examples.
  • Lesson 3. Climate Responsive Design vs Passiv Haus takes you to the cutting edge of sustainable house design and introduces you to Certified Passiv Haus. It provides a comparison to climate responsive design to help you work out what’s right for you.
  • Lesson 4. Choose sustainable timber and concrete helps you make better choices. Learn which mainstream timber and concrete products are better for the environment and where to buy them.

You really can change the world if you care enough.

Marian Wright Edelman

So let’s get started!


3 reviews for 1. Environmental Design

  1. Juliet Schaffer

    I so appreciated being able to learn a range of fundamental, useful information in such a straightforward way. The examples were clear and the linked resources also very handy for future reference. The why and how to build sustainably was comprehensively and clearly explained. Thanks Stephanie!

  2. Josh Copeland

    This was such a great introduction to environmental considerations as we start to consider a significant renovation. Stephanie has provided heaps of practical and easily actionable examples of what foundation questions to be asking, sustainable materials and how to access them, passive and responsive options, and self help tools to understand how to research and cater to your own local conditions.

  3. Emily Howard

    So much great environmental & sustainable info that we can implement immediately or help shape future renovations. Thanks Renovation Collaborative!

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