4 December 2013 — Randwick Council has taken out the top honour at the NSW Local Government Excellence in the Environment Awards for its Sustaining Our City initiative.
The environmental levy-funded program, which has been in place for a decade, has contributed to upgrades to the Coastal Walkway, stormwater reuse programs, new cycling paths, the annual Eco-living Fair, community and school gardens, school holiday coastal and marine programs, and the installation of solar panels on community buildings.
2 December 2013 — Defence Housing Australia’s newest residential development is their first to be awarded Urban Development Institute Australia’s EnviroDevelopment certification.
The development, AE2, is located in Ermington, five kilometres east of Parramatta CBD in Sydney.
The 21.3 hectare masterplanned community has ticked off all six of the EnviroDevelopment boxes – ecosystems, waste, energy, materials, water and community.
DHA managing director Peter Howman said environmental impact...
2 December 2013 — A company in the Blue Mountains has created a guide to protecting homes from ember attack, in light of a drier than normal winter lead to expert predictions of a severe bushfire season.
Jackie Hammond, general manager of Blue Mountain Mesh, said she had seen an increase in calls from people concerned about how to best protect their home.
“The main cause of houses catching fire is not because the fire wall had reached the house, but rather due to ember attack, with winds able...
28 November 2013 — The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia and the Green Building Council of Australia today [Thursday] signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the organisations work more closely to enhance the planning, design, construction and management of sustainable communities and infrastructure in Australia.
Both organisations agreed to increase cooperation and information exchange, and to promote shared interests.
“Our organisations share a common mission to...
28 November 2013 — A gathering of Australia’s top infrastructure leaders today [Thursday] in Sydney has called on government to invest in resilience for buildings and infrastructure.
David Singleton, global planning leader for Arup and chairman of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia, called for the building and infrastructure sectors to invest in resilience, rather than resistance, in order to create successful and sustainable urban communities.
“We can no longer design to...
28 November 2013 — CSIRO has joined forces with the Australia’s key disaster management agencies to tackle the problem of how to access and interpret the large amount of information gathered during bushfires and other natural disasters in order to help emergency services save lives and property.
“Currently, there are many ways emergency services and the community accesses official, crowd sourced and social media information during natural disasters,” CSIRO’s digital productivity...
27 November 2013 — The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is seeking community input into its annual review of solar feed-in-tariffs.
Releasing an Issues Paper for public comment today, IPART chairman Dr Peter Boxall said the review will determine the subsidy-free value of electricity exported from solar PV units.
“We will determine a benchmark range for solar feed-in-tariffs, which is designed to help customers choose the best combination of electricity prices and feed-in...
26 November 2013 — There is a growing concern that the actual energy efficiency of buildings in Australia – both new builds and renovations/additions – may not always match the energy performance requirements in the National Construction Code. The National Energy Efficient Building Project aims to understand why this discrepancy exists, the extent and what could and should be done to address the problem.
The project, being rolled out by pitt&sherry and Swinburne University, is now undergoing...
21 November 2013 — The latest version of the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design tool has been launched by the US Green Building Council at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Philadelphia.
“LEED v4 is a quantum leap for LEED,” said president, chief executive and founding chair of the USGBC Rick Fedrizzi.
“Over the past 15 years, LEED has fundamentally revolutionised how we design, construct, operate and maintain our buildings and communities. LEED has created a...
20 November 2013 — The University of Melbourne’s School of Land and Environment has launched a new associate degree in urban horticulture for 2014 at its Burnley campus.
The course was designed in response to the evolving challenges of the horticulture industry to produce quality urban environments.
Ms Annette Warner, lecturer and researcher in landscape design, and course coordinator at the Burnley campus said: “The course addresses the many facets of sustainable horticulture for urban environments....
20 November 2013 — Researchers from Curtin University in Western Australia have taken out the top prize and $100,000 at the 2013 WA Innovator of the Year Awards, with an innovative membrane and novel process for its manufacture.
The team received the Mitsubishi Corporation WA Innovator of the Year as the overall winner, for creating a new approach to making membranes that speeds up the transfer rate of oxygen.
The innovation resulted from a project led by Professor Chun-Zhu Li from Curtin’s Fuels...
19 November 2013 — A group of 27 scientists from across the world have joined forces to counter the coal industry’s claim that “high efficiency coal” is a climate solution.
In a joint statement, the scientists said that having new coal without carbon capture and storage technology would mean dramatically overshooting the agreed 2°C global warming limit.
The statement was a direct response to the controversial International Coal and Climate Summit, which the World Coal Association...
19 November 2013 — A 100 kilowatt solar PV system installed at the Glenlyn Aged Care Facility in Glenroy, Victoria will generate half the facility’s energy requirements.
The 100kW installation is expected to generate over 392 kilowatt-hours of solar energy daily to power the centre’s operational and cooling facilities, particularly in periods of peak daytime demand.
This installation was designed and configured by EnviroGroup in close consultation with microinverter producer Enphase to meet...
12 November 2013 — An independent body representing businesses that create and trade in energy efficiency certificates has been formed.
The Energy Efficiency Certificate Creators Association has been established to represent and self-regulate the activities of businesses creating and trading energy efficiency certificates. These activities underpin the Victorian and NSW energy efficiency schemes, which facilitate the installation of energy efficient products and services to households and businesses.
11 November 2013 — The winners of the 2013 NSW Awards for Excellence in Planning have been announced.
The President’s Award went to the Oran Park Town Greenfield Development Company and UrbanGrowth NSW for Oran Town Park Centre.
“The project exemplifies a collaborative approach between government and the private sector, which puts the community first,” said Sarah Hill, NSW president of the Planning Institute of Australia.
“The 2013 NSW Awards for Excellence in Planning are an opportunity...
7 November 2013 — Sir Ernest Shackleton led a gruelling Antarctic expedition and subsequent rescue mission in 1914-16 (which involved a 1500km crossing of the Southern Ocean in a 22.5-foot wooden life boat and traversing the treacherous mountains of South Georgia on foot) to ensure the survival of his 28-man crew.
In January/February 2013, Arup colleague Tim Jarvis AM led a successful re-enactment of Shackleton’s amazing feat, the story of which will be told in a Discovery Network documentary...
7 November 2013 — Australian Greens health spokesperson Dr Richard Di Natale has lodged a written complaint with both the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commissioner and the Australian Tax Office regarding the Waubra Foundation qualifying as a health promotion charity, meaning donations to the organisation are tax deductible.
“The Waubra Foundation is not a health promotion charity, it is an anti-wind lobby group that peddles unfounded myths about the health impacts of wind farms,”...
31 October 2013 – The Nebo Rail Maintenance Facility project in Queensland has won two of Norman Disney & Young’s (NDY) Excellence Awards this year.
It is the second year the consulting engineers to the buildings, defence, health, industry, transport and utilities have made the awards for projects they consult on, initially called the Innovation Awards.
The Nebo project was winner in the categories of Best Project over $20 million and in Exemplar Documentation, reflecting the scale of the...
23 October 2013 — The City of Sydney has urged members of the NSW Parliament to reform outdated electricity regulations preventing the installation of low-carbon trigeneration electricity plants.
At a hearing of the NSW Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee into trigeneration, the City of Sydney’s Chief Development Officer Energy and Climate Change, Allan Jones, said the City’s views were echoed by major businesses groups that want to bring more efficient energy systems to Australia.
22 October 2013 — Always dreamed of exploring the Antarctic? Dream no longer.
Air New Zealand has launched a global search for an environmental enthusiast keen to share the wonders of the frozen continent with the world.
“Antarctica: No Ordinary Place, No Ordinary Assignment” will take the winner to the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand to team up with National Geographic photographer Jason Edwards before flying south to the frozen continent for two weeks.
22 October 2013 — Bentley Systems, which provides software solutions for sustaining infrastructure, has acquired the MOSES software business from Ultramarine.
Moses is an analysis and simulation software for complex projects involving the transportation and installation of offshore structures, including the launch of jackets and floatover of topsides.
Bentley chief financial officer David Hollister said the acquisition of MOSES extends the company’s softwares’ capabilities to include the most...
22 October 2013 — The South Australian Police headquarters , designed by Woodhead, has achieved a 5 Star Green Star certification trifecta.
It received the rating for Office Design, As Built and Office Interiors, one of just five buildings awarded all three certifications nationally.
Project developer Commercial & General’s managing director Jamie McClurg said the key to the building’s green credentials was the prioritisation of indoor environment quality, water and energy efficiency throughout...
22 October 2013 — US greenhouse gas emissions fell to their lowest levels since 1994 last year even as the economy grew, according to a new report from the US Energy Information Administration.
Emissions declined 3.8 per cent in 2012, which is the biggest dip since 1990, bar the 2009 global financial crisis recession year.
While GDP increased by 2.8 per cent in 2012, energy consumption fell by 2.4 per cent.
However, half of the decline was said to be due to an unseasonably warm first quarter, dampening...
17 October 2013 — To celebrate 30 years of innovation, The Warren Centre will hold a networking event to help create a vision and strategy for Australian industries for the next 30 years.
The event, which includes Australian industry leaders and thinkers, will be held at the Sydney Convention Centre, Friday, 8 November 2013 from 8.30am
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16 October 2013 — The results from the Women Power pilot initiative, which started with a City of Sydney environmental grant to 1 Million Women, will be shared at a summit on October 30.
The three-month pilot program included 10 women from different walks of life who signed up for the challenge to reduce their electricity consumption by 20 per cent over that period.
The pilot participants attended workshops to teach them how to use smart energy management devices, which were installed in their...
14 October 2013 — Research scientists have found a consistent projection for the future of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation in a warming climate. ENSO drives substantial variation in rainfall and severe weather, which impacts agriculture production, ecosystems and disease in many parts of the world, including Australia.
Using the world’s latest generation of climate models, researchers from the Bureau of Meteorology have uncovered a consistent projection for the future of ENSO, the dominant...
9 October 2013 — 11 October is International Day of The Girl, and Aussie charity One Girl is calling on Australians to complete challenges in school dresses to raise awareness and funds, enabling women and girls in Sierra Leone to get an education and break the poverty cycle.
One Girl’s “Do It In A Dress” campaign is a response to an urgent crisis: not only are there 60 million girls globally not in school, but in Sierra Leone, the most disadvantaged girls are more likely to be sexually assaulted...
9 October 2013 — Degrémont, a subsidiary of Suez Environnement, has won a contract to design, construct and commission an industrial wastewater membrane filtration system.
The SmartRackTM membrane filtration system system will treat 1000 metres cubed of wastewater a day for Thales Australia at its Mulwala facility in New South Wales.
SmartRackTM uses a novel rack system that allows complete interchangeability of ultrafiltration membrane modules, through an innovative proprietary design of Degrémont....
8 October 2013 — Wood & Grieve Engineers are part of a consortium with Brookfield Multiplex and BG&E, which will form an alliance with the Public Transport Authority to build a new state-of-the-art underground bus station in Perth.
The $249 million project is essential to the $4 billion Perth City Link project and is the final step in reconnecting Perth and Northbridge.
WGE will provide 11 separate services including electrical, hydraulic, integration, vertical transportation, security,...
8 October 2013 — Partnering with MobileMuster has helped Kimberly-Clark Australia recycle 20 kilograms of mobile phone components since 2011.
It has also contributed to Kimberyly-Clark Australia’s its goal of increasing electronic waste recycling by 10 per cent by 2015.
Sustainability and corporate social responsibility manager Jacqueline Fegent-McGeachie said the company wanted to develop an employee e-waste recycling program to divert old mobile phones from landfill.