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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 Read More  
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By 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. Read More  
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By 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. Read More  
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15 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. Read More  
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By Wendy Miller, Queensland University of Technology 15 April 2014 — From The Conversation: 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. Read More  
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By 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. A lot of it sounds like science fiction but these innovations are being developed right now. Indeed, some are already here. Read More  
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By 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. Cameron Jewell reports. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 1 April 2014 — Extended interview: 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. So when we were presented with an email saying green and sustainability had become taboo words with corporates and we needed to move to “blue”, it was met with an extended eye roll. Read More  
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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. Read More  
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By 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. It’s driven by the commercial interests of those who stand to lose most from the gradual elimination of harmful chemicals and destructive environmental practices, as highly rated green Read More  
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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... 
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By Cameron Jewell 9 April 2014 — Investment manager and super fund Australian Ethical 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. Read More  
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  By 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. The report recommends the establishment of an Affordable Housing Finance Corporation combined with a well-structured guarantee to make it more attractive for long-term managed funds to invest in new affordable and well-targeted... 
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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.   Read More  
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11 April 2014 — The Green Building Council of Australia has released a scoping paper for the new Green Star Design & As Built rating tool. The GBCA said in a media release the new tool, an overhaul and simplification of current Green Star tools, could assess all building uses in Australia except for single-unit dwellings, and would cover single- and mixed-use buildings at both the design and construction phases. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 10 April 2014 — The Australian Building Codes Board is seeking comment on whether changes to the National Construction Code are necessary to deliver buildings with better resilience, as increased numbers of extreme weather events and shifting weather patterns begin to threaten the built environment. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 9 April 2014 — LandCorp has announced David Barr as winner of a competition that asked Western Australia’s young architects to design a sustainable home specifically targeted towards prospective “Generation Y” home buyers. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 9 April 2014 — Brookfield Multiplex is using the construction team site sheds at Wetherill Park in south western Sydney as a living laboratory for sustainable work spaces and modular buildings, according to Brookfield Multiplex sustainability manager Lauren Haas. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 9 April 2014 – GHD announced its acquisition of Woodhead a day after ASIC appointed administrators for the award-winning international architecture practice, The Fifth Estate has discovered. Sydney Firm HLB Mann Judd was appointed as the administrators for Woodhead on 2 April, with the first creditor meeting set for 14 April in Sydney. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 9 April 2014 — The Climate Institute has advised Prime Minister Tony Abbott to take note of Asia’s action on climate change as he prepares to visit Japan, China and South Korea this week. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 8 April 2014 — Augmented reality technology could lead to more sustainable built environment outcomes through lessening the need to physically build structures, the developer of a mobile app for the Venice Biennale has said. Read More  
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7 April 2014 — A documentary on the rebuilding of Christchurch produced by Curtin University’s Professor Peter Newman has been released. The film, Christchurch: Resilient City, was made during Professor Newman’s time as a visiting professor at the University of Canterbury, and features key figures such as Bishop Victoria Matthews, former mayor Sir Bob Parker, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive Roger Sutton, new mayor Lianne Dalziel, academics and geography experts, and... 
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7 April 2014 — Sydney’s Chatswood Chase has become the first shopping centre to register for a Green Star – Performance rating. The tool is part of the Green Building Council of Australia’s push into existing building sustainability, assessing operational efficiency on metrics such as energy, water and resource use. Read More  
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By Nicholas Gurieff, UNSW SRC 7 April 2014 — The University of New South Wales is a world leader in sustainability research, so why won’t it, along with other leading Australian universities, acknowledge its contribution in providing financial support to the industries fuelling climate change, asks Nicholas Gurieff. Marks are out and Australia’s top universities have been given a clear “fail” for their inability to put their money where their mouths are. Read More  
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By Tina Perinotto and Willow Aliento 3 April 2014 – Environmental groups will have a major fight on their hands if proposals to make environmental campaigns against unsustainable products illegal gets lift-off. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 3 April 2014 — Heather Zichal, former lead US White House advisor on energy and climate change, has called out the government’s climate inaction and labelled its decision to sit out on international climate negotiations a “mistake”. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 3 April 2014 – The Australian Construction Industry Forum this week called for an uncompromising stance on the urgent need to change industry approaches to improve productivity, address climate change and create a more sustainable industry. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 3 April 014 – The AIA’s highest accolade, the Gold Medal, went to Troppo co-founders Phil Harris and Adrian Welke in this year’s Australian Achievements in Architecture Awards. In an interview after the awards Phil Harris explains some of the firm’s thinking and why he likes what Tim Flannery  says, that  “to feel comfortable, happy and mentally connected” in a place you need Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 3 April 2014 – University of Sydney graduate architect HY William Chan who received the 2014 Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture in the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2014 Australian Achievements in Architecture Awards says there’s not much focus right now on post-occupancy evaluation of buildings. His honours thesis at University of Sydney (he won the University Medal Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 3 April 2014 – DesignInc’s John Macdonald won this year’s AIA Leadership in Sustainability Prize but his background in sustainability goes way back. The firm was part of the design team for Council House 2 (CH2) in Melbourne, for the City of Melbourne, and K2, the “residential equivalent” of CH2. Read More  
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