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August 1, 2011

Michael Mobbs

Michael Mobbs is a former environmental lawyer who spent 19 years working on aluminium smelters, coal mines, water and infrastructure programs. During this time his interest in sustainability grew. Today his area of expertise lays in being a sustainability coach and speaker, sustainable urban farm design, residential sustainability consultant and a consultant for major sustainability projects.

In 1996 Michael Mobbs decided to take action on a personal level and renovated his Sydney home to create an off the grid urban sustainable house. His Sustainable House demonstrated that you can sustainably live in an urban environment without sacrificing your lifestyle. You can view our article on Michael’s Sustainable House in Sydney here.

Michael Mobbs

Michale Mobbs with local residents of Chippendale, Sydney Australia.

Michael’s Sustainable House in Sydney has received praise for the home’s off the grid design and he has drawn on his 15 years experience in living in his sustainable home in Sydney to publish the 2nd edition of his book titled Sustainable House. First published in 1998 the 2nd edition of Sustainable House is an essential guide for anyone wanting to build a sustainable home in Australia. His first hand experience is passed on to readers to help them identify pitfalls and choose the best systems to implement in their own sustainable home project. Sustainable House is used in university and technical design courses across Australia.

In between consultation, publishing and tweaking his own sustainable home design Michael Mobbs maintains a website and blog at http://sustainablehouse.com.au/ where he addresses questions related to sustainable building and practices in Australia. Michael also runs weekly tours of his sustainable Sydney home for students, prospective clients and media – if you’re interested get in contact with him through his website.

Michael Mobbs is also a strong advocate of urban farming. He spends time leading a group of enthusiastic urban farmers planting fruit trees and vegetables in and around Sydney’s street verges. In an interview during a story titled “Future of Food” aired on ABC’s Landline on the 26/6/2011 he stated, “We’ve got planes overhead, we’ve got people vomiting on the way home from the pub, we’ve got dogs, we’ve got all that sort of stuff. And the facts are, according to leading soil scientists, if you take this stuff off the road, give it the same treatment you’d give [it you’d got] it from a supermarket – in other words, wash it in cold water, the food is safe.”

michael mobbs sustainable houseMichael’s energy and passion is applied to a variety of projects. He has implemented local sourcing of food for Google’s cafeteria at Pyrmont, sustainable water and power systems for the CarriageWorks art centre and a recent move to change the colour of Sydney’s streets from a heat absorbing black to a lighter grey colour to cool the city. Among his achievements and projects Michael is also an Associate Lecturer at the School of Engineering at the University of Technology.

Michael has received praise for his efforts including being listed in The (Sydney) Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2009. After being featured the American Express Enriched List he said “Because I’m not a real gardener or hydraulic engineer or architect, the things I choose [to do] are really simple,” Michael still sees himself as an accidental activist. “It’s an accident that what turns me on is water and food. It just happens to be something that resonates with a lot of other people.”

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