By embracing innovative design, Melbourne is pioneering sustainable city living with an expanding population. One of these innovations is being showcased on the world stage on the touring BlackBOX design exhibition.
The system developed by Melbourne company Biofilta Pty Ltd, is helping to transform cities into water catchments. Mr Marc Noyce, co-inventor and Biofilta CEO said “We are very excited and honoured to be part of the BlackBOX exhibition”. By harvesting urban stormwater run-off in built up urban centres, Biofilta is producing fit for purpose water to irrigate important landscapes like Fitzroy Gardens adjacent to the Melbourne CBD. “Stormwater is typically a wasted resource in urban environments. Our spatially efficient system captures this resource and allows cities to become mini catchments. Combined with our natural plant based filters, we can create healthier environments, produce irrigation water for less than the cost of potable water and help to keep our parks and gardens alive during drought” said Mr Noyce.
Biofilta’s innovation has been selected by the City of Melbourne for the BlackBOX design exhibition because of it’s high performance and spatially efficient design, which does not interrupt the busy hustle and bustle on the streets of Melbourne or relaxing recreational space in nearby parklands. Biofilta’s award winning stormwater harvesting projects “provide a way to use stored stormwater to protect urban landscapes, in turn cooling the micro climate associated with cities” says co-inventor and sustainable designer Brendan Condon. “This helps cities to combat the urban heat island effect created by our roads and buildings, which is important for liveability and resilience for cities in the face of rising temperatures in a changing climate” he says.
The BlackBOX exhibition is named after the Melbourne invention that revolutionised the global aviation industry. The exhibition shines a spotlight on 64 Melbourne inventions and innovations from the past 150 years that have profoundly impacted who we are as a community and the way we live our lives. From enabling hearing for the hearing impaired with the bionic ear, through to polymer bank notes, the Sherrin football and refrigeration, this exhibition shares the stories of these products and their connection to Melbourne.
Mr Noyce said the company has a goal to capture and filter 1 billion litres of stormwater per annum through its systems by 2020, adding to completed projects which are already capturing and filtering over 200 million litres per annum for Australian cities.