Productivity Commission to hold inquiry into the right to repair and planned obsolescence, while the Feds get jittery

COMMENT: Now we tend to not like the Productivity Commission much, mainly it’s our unforgiving nature for when it said we should deregulate zoning as a way of making housing more affordable. It certainly would make houses more affordable, because no-one would want to live there. But that’s another story entirely to what hit us […]

Atlassian’s new HQ at Sydney’s Tech Central lures long time Lendlease talent

The chance to work on Atlassian’s new hybrid timber Sydney headquarters was enough to lure Lendlease sustainability manager Matt Williams to join LCI Consultants as principal of the sustainability team, after nearly 20 years with his former employer. The building services consultancy has managed to snag a spot alongside Stantec to do the building services […]

Flick the Switch! Join us on the most important journey of discovery yet

Our latest event and ebook started with the notion that we need to understand how to create a net zero future and all-electric buildings and cities. It was time to Flick the Switch! What we wanted to understand exactly what governments around the country were up to in terms of reaching their Net Zero targets. […]

Europe goes green in its Covid recovery

The European Union has thrown down a green gauntlet for its Covid recovery. Leaders reached a landmark €1.82 trillion budget and COVID-19 recovery package early on Tuesday morning based on European Council President Charles Michel’s compromise proposal. “Europe’s recovery will be green: the new budget will power the European green deal, it will accelerate the […]

We need 3 things to deal with coastal erosion

In these stormy days, one is reminded of Charles Dudley Warner’s quip: “Everyone complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it”. This past week, much to the exasperation of Wamberal residents as they forfeit a good slice of their back yards, we remain confused about what to do and who should do […]

Clare Parry: “Now that I live in a Passive House, I never want to move”

Clare Parry, who will be a panellist at The Fifth Estate’s Flick the Switch event on 5 August, is a director of the Australian Passive House Association (and founding chair). She’s been weathering the lockdown periods in her recently built Passive House in Melbourne, and is thrilled not to be in the “dumb” double brick house she lived in before.

Want a marriage made in heaven? Try Passive House+

Plans for one of the largest “passive house” social housing estates in Europe have been approved in Ireland. But the designers could still learn a thing or two about the latest thinking in sustainable social housing from Germany. A total of 597 homes will be built on a nine hectare site by scenic Shanganagh Castle, […]

The truth behind the housing supply nonsense

It is widely believed that Australian housing supply is constrained by planning regulations. In a new research paper out last month, I show that this belief is wrong. How can I be so confident about my assessment? First, I crawled through the annual reports of Australia’s top eight listed housing developers, who represent about 9 […]

Breathing space and life after climate change

Life in the civilised lane is rule-bound and consumption-driven to the point that it is not unusual for our heartfelt aspirations to run contrary to the promise of modern living. Not only has the fundamental concept of sustainability become difficult to envisage, but modern-day sustainability seems unable to prevent the social destruction of communities through […]

The Pandemic and city formation

Capital flow is moving Australia’s way – strongly. What’s the bet that well-managed cities are the winner in the aftermath of Covid? As the impact of Covid-19 advances are the old theories still good? Is urban life still viable and desirable?  Much of the response to Covid-19 emphasised distancing, avoiding gatherings and public transport.  In […]

Qld’s Ignite Ideas, ACT architects, red gum forests and sustainable agriculture

GREEN GIGS and government tenders: a round up of business opportunities in sustainability Igniting ideas in Queensland Queensland’s latest Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas funding round is open for small and medium sized businesses to put forward their best and brightest ideas for commercialisation. The grant supports a diverse range of projects including public smart tech, […]

In the eye of the storm, great things are possible

Recovery investment in green infrastructure, education and training, R+D into clean tech and agriculture, and real investment into renewable energy would certainly herald a new policy position on action on climate change. It would assist the economic recovery, and demonstrate a willingness to make smart decisions in the eye of the storm. The Covid-19 emergency […]

Yes, Mr Cummings, energy efficiency is boring – if you have a one inch deep mind

The evil gnome who has taken up permanent residence on the shoulder of British prime minister Boris Johnson and whispers dark instructions into his ears, last week pronounced energy efficiency as “boring“. His name is demonic comings. I’m sorry, that was a mistaken auto-correction by my dictation software; it should have read Dominic Cummings, who […]