Australian companies blitz UN’s leadership board for responsible investment

Seven Australian asset owners and investment managers have been named top performing responsible investors along with 36 other organisations from around the world. AMP Capital Investors, Australian Ethical Investment, Charter Hall, Dexus, CBUS Superannuation Fund, Lendlease, Aware Super and Manulife Investment Management have all earned a position on the 2020 UNPRI Leaders’ Group A spot on […]

Budget 2020 steps a toe in the water for sustainability

Infrastructure emerged as a winner in the federal government’s big-spending 2020-21 budget and now the hard part: making sure these “nation-building” projects are sustainable. Money is flowing into the built environment, with the government’s “JobMaker Plan” including an increase to the government’s infrastructure investment pipeline by $10 billion to $110 billion over 10 years. The […]

Still house hunting after budget 2020

More than $5 billion was poured into social housing after the GFC and most economists supported the tactic for its propensity to boost jobs and stimulate the economy. This time round funding for social housing was a glaring omission from the federal government’s Covid-recovery 2020 budget.  The sector wasn’t ignored completely: an extra $1 billion […]

Nightingale Housing lands in Adelaide

The Nightingale model for sustainable housing that started in Melbourne has spread its wings to Adelaide. While details are still scant, the announcement from Nightingale Housing identified Adelaide as a “place in which it is easy to imagine a Nightingale community flourishing.” “Adelaide’s commitments to renewable power and carbon neutrality, its diverse affordable housing initiatives […]

Covid a wakeup call for energy guzzling health and research facilities

Energy efficiency and diversification are two major opportunities for health and research facilities looking to save money and attract investment.    Air quality is of utmost importance for health and research facilities to protect people from bacteria, viruses, chemicals and other nasty contaminants. But keeping all that fresh air pumping through the HVAC system comes at […]

What we did during lock down… according to our “digital chatter”

Interest in the great outdoors has spiked dramatically in Australia’s capital cities due to Covid restrictions. Recently released data from urban planning data analytics company Neighbourlytics shows that while online engagement – measured “digital chatter” across various different online platforms – with parks and other natural spaces increased across the CBDs in Brisbane, Melbourne and […]

Built and Nuveen fuse old with new for Sydney CBD office tower

Until a few years ago, two industrial heritage buildings in the middle of Sydney’s CBD sat unused for 20 years because no developer was brave enough to touch the tricky infill site. Building and construction company Built has risen to the challenge, on Wednesday topping out an eye-catching glass “bubble” atop the two existing buildings, […]

Consulting giants targeting net zero but is it enough?

On Tuesday, KPMG Australia’s head of oil & gas Jonathon Peacock sent out strong note of support for the government’s gas plans announced that day, despite widespread criticism on environmental and economic grounds. So how is the rest of the company thinking on climate change? And what about the other giants of consulting that make […]

Fender Katsalidis: on joining up two Brisbane office buildings

In an impressive engineering exercise, two office buildings in Brisbane were recently stitched together, maintaining much of the existing fabric while creating expansive floor plates for prospective tenants. It was challenging for the architects, Fender Katsalidis, and for the engineers Inertia Engineering. But the results will be a more sustainable product.

The thermal energy brick that promises to end our grid stability woes

Storage remains the pain point in the renewables transition so it’s no surprise a cheap, clean and scalable energy storage technology invented by Australian scientists is attracting attention. Researchers from the University of Newcastle have been developing the energy storage technology called “miscibility gap alloy” for nine years and are now scaling it up for […]

Haystack solar garden could spur a solar gardening revolution in Australia

Community solar group Pingala has teamed up with the Community Power Agency and Komo Energy on Australia’s first major offsite solar garden project. And there could be more if we can overcome the financial hurdles such as lumping solar co-operatives in with corporate investment schemes. Common in the US and parts of Europe, solar gardens […]

Conrad Gargett and McConnel Smith & Johnson join forces

There’s still a sense of wait-and-see hanging over the built environment industry due to Covid but that hasn’t stopped two major architecture firms going ahead with a merger. After a M&A discussions that started well over a year ago, Conrad Gargett and McConnel Smith & Johnson have decided to join forces. The merger will bring […]

Flow Systems is back in action and growing fast

Flow Systems has recruited around 10 people in the last six months and has plans to hire around another 10 in the coming months to join the team of 80 to 90 people. The recruitment drive is to help the company cope with an influx of work providing embedded energy systems, mainly in Queensland but […]

Australia’s build-to-rent is coming of age and it’s green

Australia’s emerging build-to-rent sector is starting to look like an attractive asset class and stimulus option, especially now. With Covid the sector benefits by being closer to “shovel ready” than traditional build to sell models. And there’s no need to wait around for pre-sales to kick start a project.

Engineers Australia’s chief engineer on elevating engineers to “wicked problem” solvers

Engineers are devilishly good problem-solvers, according to Engineers Australia’s first chief engineer, Jane MacMaster. They are traditionally directed at technical problems, but Macmaster says an engineer’s knack for “asking the right questions” can help navigate Australia’s complex “wicked problems”, such as the Covid recovery and climate change. MacMaster is passionate about elevating the profile and […]

Social housing is not a bloody-minded numbers game

The truth is, governments have the power to solve social housing shortages and homelessness. But once social housing becomes a bloody-minded numbers game of delays, deficits, and denials, it invariably degenerates into the dark art of political obfuscation.