Archive for Environment

Great Initiatives Emerging

Congratulations to Geelong Sustainability with their Community Owned Renewable Energy (CORE) project with the Victorian Government contributing $140,000 towards their community solar investment model.

It aims to be the first replicable community solar investment model in Victoria.  First up more good news for the ageing population with the first projecting being a 149kW solar investment initiative at the Multicultural Aged Care Facility.

Find out more  Register your interest in the CORE project here.

Passive House Design is Coming

The German concept of Passivhaus is a voluntary standard for energy efficiency that can be applied to any building across residential, offices schools and supermarkets.

It is a design process mostly applied to new buildings but can also be applied for refurbishments. The result is a building where internal temperature can be regulated without artificial heating or cooling – comfortable in both midsummer heat and the depths of winter. An added bonus is a building that is quiet, free of draughts, mould and dust, costs very little to run and reduces its carbon footprint.

This is what Passivhaus design can achieve, and it’s something that more and more Australian architects and builders are becoming accredited in. Some experts say this innovative – yet achievable – design and construct methodology represents the future of sustainable housing.

The key components for design and construction include glazing, insulation and an airtight building envelope.

The first official passive house was constructed in Germany in 1990. During its first year of operation, the energy used for heating was just eight percent of a standard home at the time. Continued monitoring over subsequent years saw
this figure fall to less than 5.5 per cent of the energy consumption in comparable homes.

The concept gathered momentum, and 27 years later some 50,000 certified passive houses have been built – mostly in European countries. The technology continues to be developed and improved at the Passivhaus Institute in Germany, which oversees the Passivhaus building performance standard worldwide.

Designing and building your house to the Passive House standard in Australia is a viable option although built numbers are small, interest and industry support is growing.

Passive House is coming to Sydney very soon. There are several projects in the pipeline and one under construction already. In the UK in 2006 there were 0 certified Passive Houses, by 2016 there were over 500. In a carbon
constrained world with increasingly unreliable power supply and a changing climate, a resilient home seems like a very good place to start.

Read an article here about owner and designer Harley Truong, who lives in his certified Passive House home
in Canberra. The article includes lessons learnt as well as considering Passive House design principles relevant to the warmer parts of Australia.

Elrond Burrell is a prolific blogger on this topic, here is his page on books published in English devoted to Passivhaus

In Australia, sustainably minded architects tend to employ passive solar design principles. But is that just because passive solar is better understood here, and which approach – Passive House or passive solar design – is more appropriate to Australian conditions?

“Inner- city sites with limited solar aspect may suit Passive House, while new homes on ample land might suit
passive solar design, but “the two systems aren’t mutually exclusive”. An account of a warehouse refurbished per Passive House principles.

The Australian Passive House association includes considerable information including FAQs and Find a Professional links. We are going to hear much more about Passive House principles in the future.

Want to be a Better Organic Farmer?

A 12-month knowledge sharing package awaits

Ron and his wife, Suzanne, have been on a remarkable journey to develop the traditional farm to become the showpiece it is today. Whilst the Watkins family have owned Payneham Vale since 1908, its journey to the stand out organic farm today began in 1973 when Ron and Suzanne had returned to work the farm.

In a very rare and valuable opportunity, the buyer/s of Payneham Vale have the unique option to draw upon Ron’s vast knowledge and experience as a property design and water consultant.

Ron is offering the new owner/s a guided 12-month learning opportunity, where you will be able to fully learn the organic practices of the farm and assist to transition you quickly and expertly through his knowledge and experience of this land.


Ron made it his quest to understand the water and soil systems and ultimately to work with all the property’s natural features to establish a highly productive mixed farming enterprise. His vision was to contribute to the health and well-being of his family and ultimately, all the consumers of his produce.

The farm itself has also received high accolades by nurturing a healthy environment, with many other producers drawing upon Ron to assist them with planning their own production systems.

Ron’s concept of whole farm planning has seen him win several major
environmental awards including the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
Global 500 Award, UNEP Saving the Drylands Award, Rural Achiever of the Year
Award and the Churchill Fellowship.

Learn more about this rare opportunity at

Stripping Away the Barriers to Organic Farming

The decision to grow and market organic produce takes commitment and vision. The transition/conversion period, committed organic standards and learning the details of organic farm management can be a complex and lengthy process.

However, at Payneham Vale, these barriers to entry are stripped away to give the new owners the greatest possible start to their organic farming future.


1) Transition period

Converting a farm to a certified organic farm can be a long and expensive one, but here all of the work has been done. Payneham Vale been NASAA certified organic since 1997 and has received international awards for environmental excellence.

2) Established enterprises

The option to walk into a productive, integrated and profit-generating farm from day one is rare and valuable opportunity. The Walk in-Walkout option means the new owner can continue with immediate $16,000 cash flow monthly, along with the lump sum inflows from contract sales throughout the year.

3) Education & training

The buyer has the unique option to draw upon Ron’s vast knowledge and experience as a property design and water consultant. Ron is offering the new owner/s a guided 12-month learning opportunity, where you will be able to fully learn the organic practices of the farm and assist to transition you quickly and expertly through his knowledge and experience of this land.

Ron’s concept of whole farm planning has seen him win several major environmental awards including the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Global 500 Award, UNEP Saving the Drylands Award, Rural Achiever of the Year Award and the Churchill Fellowship.

Learn more about this opportunity at

Organic Market Insights #2: The Organic Consumer wants you!

We love our statistics, so let’s start with a couple! 

68% of Australian households said they bought at least one organic product in the past year (Australian Organic, 2017). The high demand for organic product drives up prices received, up to three times that of conventional crops or livestock (Suncorp Bank, 2013).

So, why are consumers buying organic products at a rate so high that demand cannot be fulfilled? Firstly, consumers are wanting to know how their food was produced.

Consumers are increasingly concerned with ethical issues around animal wellbeing and welfare. Scandals and poor production practices have meant that increasingly, consumers want to know where their food came from and
how it was produced throughout its life cycle.

In response, consumers are turning to organic meat products and products with strong traceability and provenance systems in order to feel more comfortable with their buying decision.

Secondly, consumers want to know what is in their food.

As well as a focus on how the animal or plant was produced, nutrition and health concerns are fast becoming one of the most important drivers of consumer decision making. Health and wellbeing concerns are increasing in
trajectory as the relationship between industrial food production and modern illnesses becomes more and more difficult to ignore.

Organic food production doesn’t cut corners or use cheap alternatives to control pests. As a result, consumers are driven to buy organic for what is NOT in their product, wanting chemical, pesticide and additive free products.

All these issues are driving consumers to demand free range, pasture fed and organic products – not just for a small subset of organic devotees, but for broad sections of the general public.

How can I start producing food that consumers are demanding?

Growing ethical and “clean” meat has long been a focus at Payneham Vale and the highest levels of animal welfare have always been central to the farm’s operations.

With 20 years certified organic status, Payneham Vale is a standout property of fully established integrated and holistic farming practices. It has been planned, developed and managed for long term sustainability and has received international awards for environmental excellence.

And this superstar organic property is for sale. Read more about the opportunity here

Organic Market Insights #1 The strength of the organic market and how to get started

The strength of the organic market and how to get started.

Australia now has more organic farms than any other country and we have a strong comparative advantage and brand as a clean, green and safe supplier of quality produce.

The Australian organic industry is growing at an exponential rate, with IBISWorld estimating the market to grow from $919m in 2016 to $1.2b by 2022.

But wait, there’s more!

  1. Consumer demand for organic produce far outstrips supply (but up to 40 per cent), and this trend of growing popularity has no signs of slowing down (see our next post!)
  2. Organic grains, fruit and vegetables, livestock feeds, and red meat are all undersupplied (Australian
    Organic, 2017)
  3. Organic markets have been labelled as “recession-proof”, with global sales of organics experiencing double-digit growth when other sectors suffered declines (Australian Organic, 2014)
  4. In 2016, exports increased to all continents, with tonnes of organic products growing by 17% during the year. (Australian Organic, 2017) 
  5. 56% of US imports of Australian organic produce was organic beef (Australian Organic, 2017)

But, how do get started to serve this growing and vibrant market?

We are delighted to introduced to you Payneham Vale, a 552ha property of early selected undulating gravel loams, which has been NASAA certified organic since 1997 and has received international awards for environmental excellence.

The ability to be a proud environmental and animal steward, whilst being part of one of Australia’s fastest growing industries, is at your reach at “Payneham Vale”. You can grow something you are proud of on a sustainable system and share this with so many that share similar values.

Learn more about this standout property at

What an Opportunity: Introducing Payneham Vale

Payneham Vale, a 552ha property of early selected undulating gravel loams, has been NASAA certified organic since 1997 and has received international awards for environmental excellence.

And, it could be yours!

If you are looking for a farm with the highest environmental stewardship with a bright financial future, you would be hard pressed to find something as special as Payneham Vale.

Australian farmland is a highly-demanded asset, and owning a part of Australia is a sound long-term business decision. In addition, converting a farm to a certified organic farm can be a long and expensive one, but here all of the work has been done. The Walk In, Walk Out option includes purchase of livestock, fodder, machinery and equipment (other options are available for discussion).

The four titles mean that your choice of business structure is flexible and can be fitted to your unique position and financing to suit your own personal circumstances. The property provides the opportunity for a multi-level family enterprise, with the equivalent of four full time jobs currently. With two houses and an additional cottage, the ownership options are ideal for a family business or partnership with a variety of roles available.

EcoRealEstate was established to protect and promote environmental property and to preserve our eco capital
and our goal is to find a buyer with similar values and a passion to continue the work done to date.

Learn more about this standout property at

Help the Great Barrier Reef

Not for the faint hearted. Bring your adventuring spirit to your next ecotourism venture or family getaway in NSW here..

Help the Great Barrier Reef. For timber lovers and protectors, check out this visionary planned block here.

Organic Farms

WA’s highest quality certified organic farm, Payneham Organic Farm on four titles and two homes.


Eco Villages & Co-housing

Land for Sale for Housing – Coming Soon – Register here.

House for sale in eco village in Currumbin, Qld.

Land for sale in eco village in Shepherds Ground, NSW

Land for sale for your housing project in Newstead, Vic.

Social EcoPreneurship

‪One of our heroes Muhammad Younis is in Melbourne, April 6 for all social Ecopreneurs welcome for inspiration and action‬.

Energy for Us

What country would not have a national policy of a gas reservation, stipulating a certain percentage be retained for local consumption?

Most of us cannot believe that would be a standard and sensible standard so that our farmers and businesses have good supplies at competitive costs.

This is how bad it is – one serious consideration to set up floating terminals to import (our) gas back to Australia (at what would be a cheaper price).

Government exists to protect and promote Australia – so come on Malcolm. Time to do some really good stuff on renewables and our finite natural resources.