On why the net zero all-electric challenge deserves the biggest brains trust we can manage (on 5 August at Flick the Switch)

News from the front desk, issue 491: There’s pretty much consensus, in The Fifth Estate’s circles at least, that going all-electric is the most straight-forward way for most buildings to hit net zero targets. It makes sense when Australia’s energy network is tracking towards the “biggest and fastest” clean energy transition in the world according […]

Jobs news: Jane Fitzgerald GSC’s interim CEO + our pick

A green recovery is on the agenda for Western Australia, with the state government pouring $60 million into environmental projects to create more than 1000 conservation jobs. The plan is part of the government’s recovery plan and will target revegetation, habitat restoration and protection of existing vegetation. The package includes new funding commitments, environmental offset funds […]

Cooling demand to heat up in coming years

The cooling industry will need to improve the efficiency and affordability of its units by 2030 if it is to meet a surge in demand, a new report finds.

ARENA backs Sustainable Australia Fund with $630,000

IN BRIEF: The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has today announced
$630,000 for the Sustainable Australia Fund (SAF) to expand its fixed-rate, long-term
loans for environmental upgrades to NSW and SA.

Architecture and construction can create a better world, WSU students say

Tomorrowland19 – I, human: Today’s architecture, engineering and construction students are tomorrow’s builders. Tomorrowland 2019 heard from two Western Sydney University students – Manuel Hankoo and Lavender Liu – whose passion for the built environment promises hope for the future.

Peter Poulet on the new role of the architect

Tomorrowland19 – I, human: “But it is more obvious now than ever that the architect can’t make a building on their own,” Peter Poulet says.

The inclusive apartments of the future need visionary backers

Tomorrowland19 – I, human: Property consultant Abdul Khan told Tomorrowland19 about plans for a new style of sustainable housing, with apartments to suit everyone from youth with disabilities to retirees looking to downsize. But will politicians and developers back this vision?

Daniella Traino: The promises and pitfalls of the digital age

Tomorrowland19 – I, human: Connectivity in the built environment has many benefits, but the reality is that smart buildings are collecting data that could be used in nefarious ways in the future and it’s hard to plug the entry points for infiltration.

Robert Harley: a personal takeaway from Tomorrowland19 – I, human

Tomorrowland19 – I, human: Tomorrowland points to the intellectual and structural changes that will impact this sector, including construction, real estate technology, and the cities, for years to come, says Robert Harley.

Nightingale and clever finance is shifting the market

Tomorrowland19 – I, human: This is what can be created when you team an architect with a passion for affordable, sustainable housing with impact investors and bankers: carbon neutral, low-cost housing that creates resilient communities.

2019 Banksia Sustainability Awards

A “digital owl” and a scheme to make infrastructure greener were among the winners of the 2019 Banksia Sustainability Awards, announced at a gala dinner in Sydney earlier this week.

Buildings and how to do them better

Tomorrowland19 – I, human: Australia’s top commercial property developers are talking about “radical sustainability”. But if these ideas are to reach the mass market, the building industry needs to consolidate, cut costs and better train construction workers.

How to drive successful communities

Tomorrowland19 – I, human: Creating sustainable, liveable communities is no cake walk, but some of the key visionaries in the public sector are using ambitious targets, planning controls and a big dose of grit and determination to make the impossible possible.

Another UK apartment fire blamed on cladding

FLAMMABLE MATERIALS, UK – You’d have thought it wouldn’t happen again. The fire at The Cube building on Bradshawgate in Bolton, northern England, on 15 November spread rapidly due to its plastic external cladding, just as with the Grenfell disaster.

5 reasons re-loving old buildings makes dollars and sense

The stone, brick, timber, tiling and cast-iron elements of old buildings have already proven their durability and suitability for purpose. The same can’t be said of some of the more modern materials such as aluminium composite cladding, high-formaldehyde composite boards and asbestos fibro.

Give your old building a new look, sustainably

We cannot just restyle our buildings to conform to current fashion; we must deeply rethink them, act towards positive future environments and mindsets, find better ways to recycle them and create a symbiosis between the old and new.

Less is more when it comes to renovating homes

Architects are discovering that keeping some of the old features of our homes can be more sustainable than installing new materials and technology.