Building on knowledge gained from assisting disaster-affected communities in New Orleans and Kansas, environmental organisation Green Cross Australia will officially launch a local version of the Build it Back Green website to help Victorians rebuild sustainably after natural disasters.
Developed using a Victorian Government Sustainability Fund grant, the comprehensive Build it Back Green website offers information on sustainable building products, services and rebates to rebuild and retrofit homes and community facilities.
“Green Cross had Build it Back Green up-and-running soon after Hurricane Katrina passed through New Orleans and the tornado ripped through Kansas,” said Green Cross Australia CEO, Mara Bún.
“These areas showed that economic, environmental and community benefits, such as lower energy bills, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and improved adaptability, can be gained through sustainable rebuilding.
“The first local version of Build if Back Green will initially contain resources specifically for bushfire affected communities, but we hope to create a Build it Back Green for help flood impacted communities.”
The Green Building Council of Australia’s Chief Executive, Romilly Madew, noted that “communities across the country are struggling to rebuild following disasters. While rebuilding green does require a long-term view, it can support community resilience, create green jobs, save greenhouse gas emissions, reduce energy bills and help future proof our nation against the forces of nature. We are very supportive of the Build it Back Green program, which will help people to make more sustainable, long-term decisions.”
The Alternative Technology Associations (ATA) Chief Executive, Ian Porter, said the website proved there was a multitude of environmentally friendly ways in which communities could rebuild after natural disasters.
“It’s great to be partners with green Cross Australia. We welcome this initiative—it’s rich with information and is a great tool for people to improve their homes and live sustainably,” said Mr Porter.
More than 2,000 people affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires turned to the online green building resource during the 6-month trial period.
Useful for communities affected by bushfires as well as floods, the website’s green building guide contains information regarding finance, green home loans, rebates for low-income households, building design tips, and building material, power supply and water use advice.
“Victorians are looking for ways to rebuild resilient homes and community facilities that can withstand future natural disasters,” Ms Bún concluded. “There are methods and tools out there – Build it Back Green shows you where to find them.”
For more information please contact:
Mara Bun, Green Cross Australia Chief Executive Officer, 0488 848 860
About Green Cross Australia
Green Cross was established by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993 to help disaster-affected communities to rebuild green. One of more than 30 Green Cross offices around the world, Green Cross Australia helps communites find solutions to environmental problems.
Funded by the Victorian Government Sustainability Fund
Also available at the launch for interviews are:
Darryl Taylor – Kinglake resident
Ian Porter – CEO, Alternative Technology Association
Roger Platt – Vice President, US Green Building Council
Caryn Kakas – Residential Council, Property Council of Australia