COOLmob jobs

Work as part of a small, busy team who are creating positive change.

COOLmob’s Smart Cooling in the Tropics project has four new vacancies including  a Technical Specialist, a Promotions Officer and two Casual Outreach Assessment Officers.

Click here to find about more about the roles and how to apply.

Applications for the positions will close on Monday 5 January 2015.


Sustainable House Day 2014 – our biggest year yet!


Every year COOLmob organises an open house day as part of a national event. It successfully demonstrates sustainable housing practices to members of the general public who want to improve their homes to be more suitable to our tropical climate, reduce their environmental footprint or just get ideas.

This year we chose five very different houses in Darwin and greater Darwin – adapted, new, tiny, transformed and heritage. And what a response! This year’s event saw increased total visitor numbers of 714 – up 150% from last year’s Download a summary of our final report.

Download (PDF, 886KB)

Thanks to NT EPA for funding this excellent event, all our fantastic volunteers, visitors and especially our generous hosts who opened the doors of their homes to the public. If you’re interested in helping out for next year’s event, contact us.

Sustainable Tropical Design

Three billion people live in the tropical regions; twice that number will before the end of this century.  Their needs for housing in an age of climate change, and as pressure grows on resources, is the concern of architects who gathered in Darwin to discuss building healthy tropical cities for the future.

The conference – AUSINDOARCH tropFIX – brought together architects from Australia and Indonesia to share knowledge, ideas and experiences in designing homes and public buildings that are based on sustainability principles and suit the region’s tropical climate.

The merging of innovation and tradition emerged as a major theme of the dialogue, with many participants advocating old approaches to create comfortable living spaces in a region where heat is the main enemy of comfort.

Natural cooling strategies that reduce reliance on energy consumption for air conditioners was a major preoccupation.  Traditional designs, from an era when air conditioning wasn’t universally available, are coming back into architectural vogue.

Eko Prawoto, a prominent Indonesian advocate of maintaining local building traditions, urged fellow architects to recognise and utilise local wisdom, local skills and craftsmanship and local materials in their designs.

The houses and public buildings he designs are based on the principle that they should be integral with their social, cultural and environmental contexts.  New buildings should seek to maintain the local spirit.

eko prawato

Eko Prawato

Argentinian-born architect, Carol Marra agreed that a building design should be a response to the place where the building will exist.  Place, climate, culture are the key factors that should shape this response.

Her designs emphasise natural solutions to cooling and the belief that the only way you can achieve comfort in the tropics is to have constant ventilation.

Darwin Fridge Festival Celebrates Upcycling

What can you do with old fridge? Well, a lot, actually … especially if you’re an artist. Some examples of what can be done with old fridges are currently on display at the Darwin Fridge Festival.

The event is both an art exhibition and also a celebration of “upcycling” … showing how old household appliances can be transformed into new objects and made useful once again.
There’s a double benefit to this … some wonderful, quirky creations like those filling the Fridge Festival exhibition space at the Darwin Waterfront right now; and the fact that these old appliances are kept out of landfill sites.

Part of the Fridge Festival was a public forum – Sustainability, Recycled Arts and Environmental Awareness – and one of the speakers was Nina Bailey, Environment Centre NT’s acting director.
Nina pointed out that Darwinians, on average, generate about 2 tonnes of waste that goes into landfill sites every year (according to 2010 figures); and that 45% of NT households don’t have access to recycling services for their waste. Landfill sites have serious environmental impacts.
But she says a backlash against this is gaining momentum as people learn to apply creative solutions to our mountains of waste.

Making art works from old appliances is one: building homes and other structures from discarded materials is another: such as houses made from old shipping containers.

Also at the forum was Darwin artist Aly de Groot who is known for her humourous, creative use of discarded plastic rubbish including turning fishing line into jellyfish sculptures, and ghost nets into woven objects. Visiting East Timorese artists Etson Caminha and Tony Amaral from Arte Moris collective spoke about differences between the affluence of Darwin where people discard still-functioning BBQs and other household items out in the street, whereas in Timor Leste products are used until they break and then their parts are used for something else. Etson was leading a stomp band and drumming workshops using old plastic containers, part of the Fridge Festival.


Join us for the People’s Climate Mobilisation on 21 Sep

COOLmob and the Environment Centre NT are proud to be joining up with the global People’s Climate movement to organise a mobilisation calling for political action on climate change THIS SUNDAY.

On Sunday 21 September join us as we make a huge human sign reading “NT LOVES SOLAR” on Nightcliff Foreshore, near the Pool. From 10am to 11am, with live music and speeches from 9:15am.  


We need at least 250 people to make a human sign. Bring your friends, families and neighbours. Wear yellow and orange, make your voice heard and have fun!

Help us spread the word. Join and share the Darwin Event Facebook page  and download posters to distribute all over town before Sunday:

Download (PDF, 252KB)


For more info contact Jessica Steinborner on or 8981 2532.

Darwin residents rallying on the national day of Climate Action Nov 2013

Darwin residents rallying on the national day of Climate Action Nov 2013

Sustainable House Day

SHD event banner - all logos

Sustainable House Day 2014 a success!

Download the 2014 project report summary here

Download the Darwin event booklet and maps here

More than 520 people visited our five open properties on Sunday 14 Sep for Sustainable House Day.

Check out some of the photos on COOLmob’s Facebook site.

Sustainable House Day in Darwin is part of a national day of events, held in September, aimed at showing the public the wide variety of sustainably built homes and sustainable living practices.

This year’s fantastic line-up of properties: from Darwin’s oldest heritage tropical home (Burnett House) to an eco shipping container, and several examples of sustainable homes in between.

1. Burnett House – 4 Burnett Place, Larrakeyah (Myilly Point Heritage Precinct)
Heritage display home, designed by Beni Burnett, Australian Government architect to Northern Territory in the 1930s who famously created the first government-built homes suitable for the tropics, based on Malaysian and Singaporean colonial architecture.

2. InsideOut House – 70 May Court, Humpty Doo  
A beautiful, newly built home by Tropix Homes, this house is designed for outdoor living with open breezy design, lightweight materials and louvre windows throughout. The garden features a blackwater treatment system.

3. The Anula home – 4 Democrat Court, Anula
A lovely renovated Grollo home, showing many examples of eco building techniques such as through flow breezes, outdoor living on shaded patio and balcony, cool downstairs rooms, recycled materials and solar panels.

4. EdiblEden, the Roseth home – 9 Gove St, Alawa
EdiblEden joins SHD for the second time, first featuring in the 2010 event. Since then this impressively sustainable family has added solar panels and extended their famous edible garden.

5. SWALE eco shipping container display at Allora Gardens Nursery, corner Lagoon Rd & Stuart Hwy Berrimah 
Come and see the tiniest, and most mobile and versatile property: a re-purposed shipping container designed for tropical living, with shading, louvre windows, and landscaping to provide shelter and cool.

Steven Camilleri with his electric Holden Commodore outside Burnett House, Sustainable House Day 2014

Steven Camilleri with his electric Holden Commodore outside Burnett House, Sustainable House Day 2014

A feature of the day was COOLmob supporter Steven Camilleri, electronics engineer, and his Holden Commodore electric vehicle (EV). The car was produced by Holden and Better Place PLC (see info on the model here and a TED talk about EV’s here) and was intended to be produced in Adelaide until Holden withdrew car production from Australia. Steven is one of few people to own this model of EV and displayed it at Burnett House and Humpty Doo as part of Sustainable House Day.

Continue reading

Smart Cooling in the Tropics

Efficient cooling, effective savings.

Smart Cooling in the Tropics is a FREE program available to eligible households in Darwin. Launched in May 2014 and running until October 2015 this exciting new project will support households living in on a low income to stay comfortable, stay cool and manage their electricity bills.  It is delivered by COOLmob, an initiative of the Environment Centre NT and is funded by the Australian Department of Industry’s Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP).

Eligible households receive a FREE home energy visit from a trained energy assessor, a tailored report with recommendations for you and your home and, in accordance with what the assessor finds, one of a of range of FREE retrofit packages.

Are you eligible? Get signed up today!

If you, your client, or someone you know:

  • Live in the Greater Darwin area
  • Live in private (non-public or non-government) housing
  • Have a low income health care card
  • Live on a low income ($30,000 for singles; $45,000 for couples; $60,000 with dependent children)
  • Receive an approved Centrelink payment (age pension, carers payment, carers allowance, carers supplement, disability support pension)
  • Live in Yilli Housing (Berrimah Estate or Bagot Community).

Contact the Smart Cooling team to find out more: phone 08 8981 3642. Continue reading

Sustainable Neighbourhoods


COOLmob’s popular Sustainable Neighbourhoods program has finished, but we will still keep our great neworks of Darwin residents connected! People from ten different neighbourhoods have come together to learn about sustainable living, share tips from actions they’re already taking and get to know their neighbours.

Continue reading

Sustainability Audits

COOLmob has traditionally offered low cost or free home energy audits for Top End residents, part of a service supported by NT Government and PowerWater Corporation.

This service ceased in 2013, but we’re hopeful we will one day offer discounted audits again. In the meantime, visit Smart Cooling in the Tropics to see if you may qualify for a free home energy audit.

Book an audit 

COOLmob offers full-price home energy audits starting from $320 per house. Prices vary depending on distance from Darwin. Contact COOLmob to discuss your needs, by emailing or phoning 8981 2532.

The average electricity consumption of a Darwin household is around 25kWh per day, which ends up costing you about $2,658 each year. An investment in a COOLmob home energy audit can save you anywhere from 10% to 30% off your home’s consumption, saving you between $248 and $742 each year. Now that’s smart! Call us to find out more.

Sustainability Assessments – do your own:

Click here if you want to know how to do your own sustainability assessment.