Melbourne Vernacular projects are designed to create a mainstream demand for sustainable homes by proving that they are unparalleled in every aspect. They can be the highest performing, most comfortable, and have the lowest running costs. At the same time they can be the most beautiful, have the smarts to operate seamlessly whilst also contributing positively to the environmental health of the planet.
Melbourne Vernacular are building a movement through education and architecture that showcases how we can live in abundance without damage to the planet. For years we did our part to live sustainably. There was satisfaction in doing the right thing, but ongoing compromise and guilt. Shop sustainably but have fewer food options and less convenient store locations. Live in a smaller house, turn off the lights, run the heating and AC less, drive less, and buy less clothing. And on the occasions when the sustainable choice was not possible or overlooked, guilt. This type of sustainable living wasn’t particularly inspiring and as a result not easy to sell to friends and family who were accustomed to the ever-increasing options and convenience of contemporary consumption. We saw a similar trend in sustainable housing. Many green homes were focused entirely on efficiency and environmental impact, while ignoring many aspects that had the potential to make a sustainable home desirable to the mainstream.
Inspired by the recent wave of green technology and design, Melbourne Vernacular was formed to highlight a new understanding of sustainability that was uncompromising, exciting and as a result capable of converting people to an environmentally compatible way of life. Install heat pump powered hydronic heating not just because it is the most efficient but because it is the highest quality. Install solar panels not just because they minimize your use of fossil fuel energy but because they allow you to run your spa guilt free. Install recycled bricks not just for their thermal mass but because they will give your home a beautiful and timeless aesthetic. No compromise.
Our ambition is the mass adoption of environmentally friendly housing by proving that a sustainable home is unparalleled in every aspect: style, performance and technology. As we work to make this a reality we believe the discourse around sustainability will change its focus from efficiency, saving, and reduction to one of abundance, beauty and convenience without cost to the planet – what we call “abundance through design.” There is a lot of work to do to achieve a fully sustainable home of abundance. Nonetheless, by committing ourselves to an inspiring and uncompromising approach, there is a real chance that we can build a mainstream movement towards sustainability.