Better Living by Design

Ben O'Callaghan

Ben is one of Australia's leading sustainable development and design professionals with over 18 years of experience in the property sector.

Ben started his career with the Federal Government and Accenture. His unique combination of academic qualifications and practical construction and sustainable development experience, have enabled him to contribute to over 50 leading sustainable design projects in Australia.

Ben is passionate about creating truly sustainable communities that deliver higher quality of life outcomes whilst reducing impact on the environment. He lives in award-winning sustainable community and sustainable house.

Ben's experiences enables him to quickly identify methods to create more sustainable housing and balance the essential factors of economics, affordability, flexibility, decision making and financial viability. Ben's other experience includes:

  • Working as a project manager, and then in operational roles, to deliver The Ecovillage at Currumbin Queensland (2005+). This intentional community is the most awarded estate in Australia with more than 33 awards including "The World's Best Environmental Development" (FIABCI Prix D'Excellence Award). The 147 lots comply with some of the strictest architectural codes in Australia.
  • Helping to manage Canberra Cohousing Association.
  • Projects Manager for Quantum BioEnergy.
  • State Manager, Cundall.
  • Director of Neco.
  • HIA Energy Efficiency Award Winning house within The Ecovillage at Currumbin called Yagoi100 in 2009.


As a professional sustainability consultant, Ben has assisted developers, owners, architects and engineers to develop some of Australia's most exemplary projects. These projects include:

  • Queensland University of Technology – Education Precinct Building
    Sustainability Consultant appointed by Wilson Architects ($74M project)
  • James Cook University - "The Science Place"
    Sustainability Consultant appointed by Hassell. ($80M)
  • The Loop (Belconnen Markets Redevelopment Plan)
  • Tipplers Hub Eco-Resort, Gold Coast Queensland
  • Gold Coast City Council
    Sustainability Workshop Development and Delivery
  • Energex House - 33 Breakfast Creek Rd Newstead QLD
    Queensland's first 6 star Green Star rated commercial project.
  • Loreto College, Brisbane
    Campus-wide Sustainability Assessment
  • ABC Headquarters – Southbank, Brisbane Queensland
    5 Star. Consultant to Leighton & Richard Kirk Architects.
  • Bondi Junction Precinct Energy and Water Redevelopment Strategy
  • Finalist, 2011 Premier's Climate Smart Sustainability Award


Ben possesses a Masters of Philosophy (Architecture) in Sustainable Development and Design from The University of Sydney. Ben also completed a Bachelor of Information Technology in 1998 from The Australian National University in which he studied subjects in economics, information systems, law and statistics.

  • Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) Assessor and Expert Panel Member
  • GBCA Green Star Accredited Professional: Design, Build and Communities.
    Ben was one of the first people in Australia to become a Green Star Accredited Professional for the new Communities rating tool, and is now an authorised Assessor for the Green Building Council of Australia.
  • UDIA EnviroDevelopment Professional
  • GreenSmart Accredited Professional
  • Andersen Consulting Prize, ANU.

Presentations, Conferences and Publications

Guest Speaker and Articles:

  • Sustainable Communities, Wodonga 2018
  • Green Building Council of Australia, Brisbane Green Day 2017
  • International Urban Design Conference, Canberra 2016
  • Liveable Cities Conference, Melbourne 2015
  • Communities By Design, University of Technology Sydney 2016
  • GBCA Green Cities Conference, Melbourne March 2015.
  • CSIRO Symposium, Melbourne, June 2013.
  • 7th National Housing Conference. Brisbane. October 2012.
  • Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA). August 2012.
  • Association for Sustainability in Business. Gold Coast, Australia. May 2012.
  • O'Callaghan, B. T., Green, H. J., Hyde, R.A., Wadley, D, Upadhyay, A., 2012, Exploring the influence of housing design and occupant environmental attitudes on energy and water usage. Architectural Science Review No. 55 (A Grade ranked journal)
  • Architectural Science Association Conference. Best Paper Nomination. Sydney. 2011.
  • World Sustainable Building Conference, Helsinki Finland. The impact of sustainable design and attitudes on resource consumption. 2011.

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