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Aussie rating tools embrace life cycle assessment

eTool’s Alex Bruce

By Cameron Jewell

16 April 2014 — Life cycle assessment is ramping up in Australian building sustainability rating tools, with the Urban Development Institute of Australia announcing LCA as part of its EnviroDevelopment tool, and the Green Building Council of Australia releasing stakeholder feedback on draft LCA credits
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  • News From The Front

    • News from the front desk: Issue No 187On buildings and the zeitgeist 16 April 2014 – Here's some good news from Perth – Kings Square, the huge development in the centre of the city, is using life cycle
    • Researchers make step towards solar power generating windows 16 April 2014 — Windows that generate solar power could be a step closer to reality, thanks to research on quantum dots. Researchers from Italy and the US found that the
    • Aussie rating tools embrace life cycle assessmentBy Cameron Jewell 16 April 2014 — Life cycle assessment is ramping up in Australian building sustainability rating tools, withthe Urban Development Institute of Australia announcing LCA as part of its EnviroDevelopment tool, and the Green Building Council of Australia releasing stakeholder feedback on draft LCA credits that will now form an integral part of the new Green Star Design & As Built rating tool.
    • Desso in ambitious cradle to cradle manufacturing By Cameron Jewell 17 April 2014 – Alexander Collot d’Escury, chief executive of carpet manufacturer Desso, was in Sydney recently to promote the company's cradle to cradle manufacturing process that aims
    • Behind the lines: Surreal Tony can’t see the wood for the treesBy Lynne Blundell 16 April 2014 — Comment: One morning recently I turned on the radio, as I do most mornings, and was pleasantly surprised to tune into a very clever satirical piece. Finally someone had mastered an impersonation of our prime minister Tony Abbott.
    • New ACF chief Kelly O'Shanassy rocks conservative boat with new strategies to tackle "reckless" governmentBy Tina Perinotto 15 April 2014 – New chief executive of the Australian Conservation Foundation Kelly O’Shanassy has signalled a dramatic shift in political strategies from more conservative methods to stronger grassroots and people-centred campaigns.
    • SAS International takes over Australia’s Mikor15 April 2014 — British interior fitout company SAS International has bought out Sydney-based ceiling distributor Mikor in a move designed to gain more market share for SAS’s metal ceiling systems.
    • Wollongong council signs up for Green Star Performance15 April 2014 — Wollongong City Council’s Administration Building will become one of the first existing buildings to receive a Green Star – Performance rating. It was announced last week that the 13-storey office had registered for the new Performance rating, which allows existing buildings to assess performance against best-practice benchmarks on energy, water and resource efficiency, and structure a path towards more sustainable operation.
    • How building codes save homes from cyclones, and how they don’tBy Wendy Miller, Queensland University of Technology 15 April 2014 — During Queensland’s preparations for Severe Tropical Cyclone Ita, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman advised residents who lived in older houses (those built before 1985) to evacuate their homes as they were not likely to stand up to the storm’s destructive winds.
    • Green MashUP: the future of transportBy Leon Gettler 15 April 2014 — Public transport of the future is likely to be faster and greener. Many cities around the world have public transport infrastructure that's been in place for over a century, and some radical plans are in the works that will redefine our notion of how we get around.
    • Archbishop Desmond Tutu calls for passive resistance to carbon emitters15 April 2014 — South African Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for a global consumer-led boycott of companies that contribute to climate change.
    • IPCC: built environment jumps to the top of the list for crucial action on climateBy Cameron Jewell 14 April 2014 — Tackling the built environment, in buildings, urban planning and public transport investment, is a priority area for mitigating climate change and will deliver benefits in access to energy, air and water pollution, maintaining employment opportunities and competitiveness, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in its most recent report.
    • Martin Blake: into the blue economyBy Cameron Jewell 1 April 2014 — The Fifth Estate often hears that sustainability is a naff term, people have green fatigue and business needs to find new language for these concepts.
    • Interview: Jackie French on listening to the land and lessons from historyBy Willow Aliento 10 April 2014 — Historian, children’s author, novelist and permaculture expert Jackie French is an inspiration to those who practice old-school, hands-in-the-garden sustainability. As the author of books including The Chook Book and Backyard Self-Sufficiency, and the regular gardening writer for the Australian Women’s Weekly, she shares the wisdom earned from 40 years of self-sufficient living on her property near the Australian Capital Territory.
    • The ratings battle: how industry is trying to derail LEEDBy Tina Perinotto 10 April 2014 — There’s a fierce battle raging in the US to bring down LEED, the rating equivalent of Australia’s Green Star.
    • Is Green Globes the trojan horse of US rating systems?By Willow Aliento 10 April 2014 — Just as the original Trojan horse was made of wood, so too is the leverage the Green Building Institute, promoter of the Green Globes rating system, has used to undermine the use of the US Green Building Council’s LEED ratings system by government funded projects in the United States. A major lobbying push by the alternative rating system – which has a board featuring members from chemical companies, lobbyists for the vinyl industry, firms involved with the Keystone XL Pipeline project and nuclear industry, and major players in the timber industry – has seen the use of LEED effectively barred for government projects in five states.
    • Australian Ethical downgrades renewable investment outlookBy Cameron Jewell 9 April 2014 — Funds manager Australian Ethical Investment has downgraded Australian renewables due to government policy uncertainty that has forced some companies in the sector to turn to fossil fuels. However, Asia is now looking like a hot destination instead.
    • News from the front desk: Issue No 186On socialised learning, bigger pictures and names and roses 10 April 2014 —Craig Roussac will be settling into new ridiculously expensive digs (for a very modest home) with his family in
    • New affordable housing proposal offers sustainable securityBy Willow Aliento 10 April 2014 — An affordable housing investment pathway that would deliver triple-bottom-line benefits has been outlined in a groundbreaking report published this week by RMIT University and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.
    • Can standards fill a policy vacuum?By Willow Aliento 10 April 2014 — The Abbott Government’s “repeal day” was a fine reminder why legislation can’t always be relied on to effect lasting change for the better, with the Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill including some questionable and well-buried items like a relaxation on reporting requirements for ozone-depleting gases imported by small and medium enterprises.
  • Business

    • SAS International takes over Australia’s Mikor15 April 2014 — British interior fitout company SAS International has bought out Sydney-based ceiling distributor Mikor in a move designed to gain more market share for SAS’s metal ceiling systems.
  • Business

    • Archbishop Desmond Tutu calls for passive resistance to carbon emitters15 April 2014 — South African Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for a global consumer-led boycott of companies that contribute to climate change.
    • Martin Blake: into the blue economyBy Cameron Jewell 1 April 2014 — The Fifth Estate often hears that sustainability is a naff term, people have green fatigue and business needs to find new language for these concepts.
    • Is Green Globes the trojan horse of US rating systems?By Willow Aliento 10 April 2014 — Just as the original Trojan horse was made of wood, so too is the leverage the Green Building Institute, promoter of the Green Globes rating system, has used to undermine the use of the US Green Building Council’s LEED ratings system by government funded projects in the United States. A major lobbying push by the alternative rating system – which has a board featuring members from chemical companies, lobbyists for the vinyl industry, firms involved with the Keystone XL Pipeline project and nuclear industry, and major players in the timber industry – has seen the use of LEED effectively barred for government projects in five states.
  • Residential

    • How building codes save homes from cyclones, and how they don’tBy Wendy Miller, Queensland University of Technology 15 April 2014 — During Queensland’s preparations for Severe Tropical Cyclone Ita, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman advised residents who lived in older houses (those built before 1985) to evacuate their homes as they were not likely to stand up to the storm’s destructive winds.
  • Residential

    • New affordable housing proposal offers sustainable securityBy Willow Aliento 10 April 2014 — An affordable housing investment pathway that would deliver triple-bottom-line benefits has been outlined in a groundbreaking report published this week by RMIT University and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.
    • LandCorp's Gen Y house comp aims to open up WA property marketBy Cameron Jewell 9 April 2014 — LandCorp has announced the winner of a competition that asked Western Australia’s young architects to design a sustainable home specifically targeted towards prospective “Generation Y” home buyers.
    • 2XEP forum: the way forward for resiBy Cameron Jewell 3 April 2014 — It was an all-star line-up at the Australian Alliance to Save Energy’s 2XEP Forum on Doubling Energy Productivity this week, with high-profile guests including US sister organisation president Kateri Callahan, adjunct professor in sustainability Robert Hill of the US Studies Centre and former White House climate advisor Heather Zichal, whose speech included a warning to the Australian government to get serious on climate policy.
  • Products and Services

    • Aussie rating tools embrace life cycle assessmentBy Cameron Jewell 16 April 2014 — Life cycle assessment is ramping up in Australian building sustainability rating tools, withthe Urban Development Institute of Australia announcing LCA as part of its EnviroDevelopment tool, and the Green Building Council of Australia releasing stakeholder feedback on draft LCA credits that will now form an integral part of the new Green Star Design & As Built rating tool.
  • Products and Services

    • Wollongong council signs up for Green Star Performance15 April 2014 — Wollongong City Council’s Administration Building will become one of the first existing buildings to receive a Green Star – Performance rating. It was announced last week that the 13-storey office had registered for the new Performance rating, which allows existing buildings to assess performance against best-practice benchmarks on energy, water and resource efficiency, and structure a path towards more sustainable operation.
    • The ratings battle: how industry is trying to derail LEEDBy Tina Perinotto 10 April 2014 — There’s a fierce battle raging in the US to bring down LEED, the rating equivalent of Australia’s Green Star.
    • Is Green Globes the trojan horse of US rating systems?By Willow Aliento 10 April 2014 — Just as the original Trojan horse was made of wood, so too is the leverage the Green Building Institute, promoter of the Green Globes rating system, has used to undermine the use of the US Green Building Council’s LEED ratings system by government funded projects in the United States. A major lobbying push by the alternative rating system – which has a board featuring members from chemical companies, lobbyists for the vinyl industry, firms involved with the Keystone XL Pipeline project and nuclear industry, and major players in the timber industry – has seen the use of LEED effectively barred for government projects in five states.
  • Case Studies

    • New online platform enables cost-effective, holistic lifecycle analysisBy Willow Aliento 18 March 2014 — A new online platform is giving business, planners, architects and educational institutions the ability to quickly and cost-effectively assess options for building – and living – within the earth’s finite resources. The online sustainability calculation system and software platform has been developed by Dr Caroline Noller’s The Footprint Company.
  • Case Studies

    • Australand registers first industrial Green Star Performance building26 February 2014 — Australand’s Keysborough Spec 1 in Melbourne has become the first industrial facility to register for the new Green Star – Performance tool.
    • Airport sustainability? Who's performing and who's laggingBy Willow Aliento 25 February 2014 — Australia’s airports clearly demonstrate that what constitutes “sustainability” is open to a wide variety of interpretations, which therefore results in dramatically different outcomes in terms of actual green measures.
    • 8 Chifley: the journey to high performanceBy Erik Moore, Arup 6 February 2014 — As reported on The Fifth Estate on 16 July last year, 8 Chifley Square is one of a new breed of buildings currently being introduced to the Sydney commercial market. This new breed is providing the City of Sydney with ingenious and unorthodox designs that are leading the international field in sustainable building design in their technology and systems, along with the less tangible element of societal change.
    • Rupert Posner on the power to demand greener products, in more than Green Star By Rupert Posner, Good Environmental Choice 8 April 2014 – Green Cities in Melbourne recently was a great occasion to be upbeat about sustainability – and we should be. A large
    • Universities fail the climate risk management testBy Nicholas Gurieff, UNSW SRC 7 April 2014 — The University of New South Wales is a world leader in sustainability research, so why can’t it, along with other leading Australian universities, acknowledge its contribution in providing financial support to the industries fuelling climate change, asks Nicholas Gurieff.
    • Benchmarking building performance: what can we learn from LEED?By Dr Jeroen van der Heijden, Australian National University 2 April 2014 — Recently I questioned whether Green Star has caused the green building revolution the Green Building Council of Australia claims. I concluded that the “revolution” was very much contained to the high end of the office market in Australia’s central business districts.
    • Choosing hot water systems for multi-unit residentialBy Siân Willmott, GIW Environmental Solutions 2 April 2014 — There has been much confusion within the development industry between architects, services engineers, ESD consultants, other design consultants and planning authorities as to which hot water systems are most suitable for a development, particularly within the multi-unit residential sector.
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  • What's On

    • Desso in ambitious cradle to cradle manufacturing By Cameron Jewell 17 April 2014 – Alexander Collot d’Escury, chief executive of carpet manufacturer Desso, was in Sydney recently to promote the company's cradle to cradle manufacturing process that aims to have a restorative impact on the environment. The company, which
  • EDUCATION & TRAINING

    • Researchers make step towards solar power generating windows 16 April 2014 — Windows that generate solar power could be a step closer to reality, thanks to research on quantum dots. Researchers from Italy and the US found that the superior light-emitting properties of quantum dots – ultra-small bits of
  • EDUCATION & TRAINING

    • Universities fail the climate risk management testBy Nicholas Gurieff, UNSW SRC 7 April 2014 — The University of New South Wales is a world leader in sustainability research, so why can’t it, along with other leading Australian universities, acknowledge its contribution in providing financial support to the industries fuelling climate change, asks Nicholas Gurieff.
    • Monash denies colluding to keep climate investment risk a secretBy Cameron Jewell 3 April 2014 – Updated: Monash University has denied a decision has been made on whether it will reveal its climate investment risk after leaked correspondence showed it had been advised to ignore a request from the Asset Owners Disclosure Project, and that most other Australian universities were following suit.
    • University sustainability research: the latest updateBy Willow Aliento 20 March 2014 — From practical research into technology, materials and techniques through to big picture policy and planning studies, almost every university in Australia is contributing in some way to creating a greener society.
  • People

  • People

    • Interview: Jackie French on listening to the land and lessons from history By Willow Aliento 10 April 2014 — Historian, children’s author, novelist and permaculture expert Jackie French is an inspiration to those who practice old-school, hands-in-the-garden sustainability. As the author of books including The Chook Book and Backyard Self-Sufficiency, and the regular gardening writer for the Australian Women’s Weekly, she shares the wisdom earned from 40 years of self-sufficient living on her property near the Australian Capital Territory.
    • Scott Ludlam exclusive interview: Why the video went viral By Tina Perinotto 6 March 2014 — RE-POSTED: When we started a phone interview with Senator Scott Ludlam at mid-afternoon on Thursday, a video of his final speech to the Senate
    • Dear Mr Abbott, every time you open your mouth the Greens vote goes up – Scott Ludlam 5 March 2014 — West Australians will head back to the polls in one month on 5 April for a half-Senate election, as the results of the previous Senate election were declared void by the High Court after 1400 ballot papers went missing.
  • Politics and Policies

    • Behind the lines: Surreal Tony can’t see the wood for the treesBy Lynne Blundell 16 April 2014 — Comment: One morning recently I turned on the radio, as I do most mornings, and was pleasantly surprised to tune into a very clever satirical piece. Finally someone had mastered an impersonation of our prime minister Tony Abbott.
  • Politics and Policies

  • Design and Technology

    • Researchers make step towards solar power generating windows 16 April 2014 — Windows that generate solar power could be a step closer to reality, thanks to research on quantum dots. Researchers from Italy and the US found that the superior light-emitting properties of quantum dots – ultra-small bits of semiconductor matter – could be applied to solar energy production
  • Design and Technology

    • SAS International takes over Australia’s Mikor15 April 2014 — British interior fitout company SAS International has bought out Sydney-based ceiling distributor Mikor in a move designed to gain more market share for SAS’s metal ceiling systems.
    • Green MashUP: the future of transportBy Leon Gettler 15 April 2014 — Public transport of the future is likely to be faster and greener. Many cities around the world have public transport infrastructure that's been in place for over a century, and some radical plans are in the works that will redefine our notion of how we get around.
    • LandCorp's Gen Y house comp aims to open up WA property marketBy Cameron Jewell 9 April 2014 — LandCorp has announced the winner of a competition that asked Western Australia’s young architects to design a sustainable home specifically targeted towards prospective “Generation Y” home buyers.
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