Who’s Behind This?

Michael Mobbs


Michael is a sustainability coach, author, gardener and general foodie. He has vast experience on all scales of environmental projects: from working as an environmental lawyer for 19 years on industrial size projects, to working with local councils to develop sustainable design strategies like this one, to teaching street gardening with local volunteers, right down to caring for the chooks in his backyard. Michael has been living in Chippendale, Sydney for over 30 years.

In 1996 Michael began a project to make his home sustainable by taking it off the power and water grids, growing food and improving efficiency. For 15 years Michael has been sharing his experiences of sustainability projects. He hopes that others can save time and money by taking the opportunities and avoiding the challenges that he has worked through. It’s Michael’s philosophy that guides this project to make a suburb sustainable; by sharing and learning together we can all go further, faster. After hundreds of people came from around the world to see Michael’s house, and learn how to approach and live inside sustainable design, Michael developed The Plan to be an example for others to draw inspiration from, improve and localise.

To find out more and contact Michael Mobbs, explore his website and blog Sustainable House, and check out the book he wrote about the project, Sustainable House now in its second edition.

Robert Irish and Luke Bacon


Robert and Luke make websites in Sydney, Australia. When they read Michael’s plan in 2011, they immediately saw that his vision could be of use to people all around the world, now and in the future.

This project was driven by a love for the stock of the web; the open, messy places where ideas accumulate and clash together; the Wikipedias and archive.orgs; places that we go to learn. Robert and Luke believe in the sharing of information and knowledge, in open standards and accessibility, and that the way we design and build spaces online can shape the world we live in.

Contact Robert Irish and Luke Bacon at theplan@sustainablehouse.com.au and Luke on Twitter @equivalentideas or at equivalentideas.com.

We’ll be adding a page in the future about the design principles that guide us as we develop this project so stay tuned for that.


Editing & research by Peter Francis

A huge thanks to Beth Kalin, de Manincor Russell Architecture Workshop [DRAW], Design Delta Architects, Moshe Rosenzvieg, Pamela de Gabrielle, Toby’s Estate, Xavier Mayers and Miska Mandic.

The Sustainable Communities Plan is built on WordPress