Inside the sustainable, human-centric Bondi Pavilion revamp

The Bondi Pavilion rejuvenation project finally has the go-ahead after many years of impassioned back and forth debate between the community and the local council. In this case the public has emerged triumphant. Included in the plans are green leases for tenants to mandate the use of green packaging and other environmental controls. Developers had […]

Amory Lovins and Alan Finkel in free live-streamed webinars

Rocky Mountain Institute guru Amory Lovins is a household name in climate and sustainability circles. He’s renowned as a leader in super-efficient buildings, factories and vehicles. And he advocates for integrative design as the new normal for investments in energy efficiency that yield expanding rather than diminishing returns. Next week Australians will get a chance […]

Taxing the voter to keep the candles – a thoroughly mesmerising government

The government’s new approach to climate change is simply mesmerising. Thankfully you’re no longer paying attention. Gaze intently upon this swinging spoon. Wish…woosh…wish…woosh. “Technology not taxes”, “technology not taxes”. Wish…woosh…wish…woosh. You’re in a deep sleep now. You hear an energy minister talking faintly about a new way to deal with climate change. An ingenious plan […]

Letter to the editor from former Australian PM Kevin Rudd

Dear editor Re: On myopic split systems thinking – and environmentalism’s struggle with racism I’m glad to see you’ve acknowledged the Liberal Party’s fraudulent claims about my government’s Energy Efficient Homes program during the global financial crisis. However, I wish you’d shown the same level of attention to other aspects of our stimulus strategy. For […]

How ventilation controls can affect the spread of COVID-19

Two new research papers advocate the use of engineering controls in public buildings, along with other measures to limit the risk of infection from covid-19. This is because to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and other infections in public buildings, handwashing and social distancing are not enough; they do not prevent infection by inhalation […]

Four new sustainable building materials to watch

With the need for better buildings more urgent than ever, great minds across Australia are finding innovative ways to reshape the building sector with sustainable construction materials When it comes to rethinking sustainability, the Australian building sector is going to have to start from the ground up. Australia’s construction sector is the fourth largest indirect […]

Post-Covid job creation and our pick of the jobs

It’s all about jobs, with the Council of Australian Governments abolished to make way for a governing body composed of federal, state and territory leaders focused on post-Covid job creation. Whether or not these will be meaningful jobs that also lead to environmental and social outcomes is unknown, but there certainly are jobs fitting this […]

Power purchase agreement whiz Jackie McKeon joins Renewable Energy Hub

Jackie McKeon, who has just taken on a new role as director, energy services at Renewable Energy Hub, knows a thing or two about renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) and says now is the perfect time to make the switch – even if it may not look like it.

Sally Dominguez: Sustainability should be at the heart of innovative thinking

If you need to restore your faith in the human mind as an amazing problem-solving machine, then Australian-born inventor and educator Sally Dominguez is the right person to speak to. Dominguez joined The Fifth Estate managing editor Tina Perinotto on our podcast How to Build a Better World last week and, as always, blew our […]

Impact investment is booming, even now under Covid

The market for impact investment in Australia is exploding and shows no signs of slowing down, even under global pandemic conditions. The bi-annual benchmarking report from the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) released on Tuesday showed that the market for impact investment had more than tripled over the past two years from $5.7 billion to […]

GPT’s sustainability agenda on track & why energy efficiency is the new black

The world is still in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic but GPT Group’s sustainability agenda has barely hit a speed bump. As the property giant made clear in its annual sustainability report, released two weeks go on 15 May, the company is working towards clear policy goals: the big one being carbon neutrality by 2030. […]

Social value: the next great leap in Melbourne and Sydney’s transit infrastructure

In Melbourne and Sydney, investment in transit infrastructure is at an unprecedented high. How these two cities are learning from places with developed transit-related value capture models, such as Hong Kong, Los Angeles and London, to ensure that the investment brings broad, long-lasting social value and environmental benefits to the surrounding communities? Melbourne is currently […]

Improving consumer confidence in apartments rests on making information about defects available to all

Finding relevant information about potential defects of an apartment building is hard for a team of dedicated researchers, let alone for consumers. The new industry-based Multi-Party Risk Rating Tool is a start but will it be enough? We recently wrote an article, lack of information on apartment defects leaves whole market on shaky footings, outlining […]

Hitting the “pause” button on your career

“How people treat you is their Karma; how you react is yours” – Wayne Dyer Just the word itself, redundant, is harsh when you look at the definition: “no longer needed or useful; superfluous”. The loss of confidence that comes with the notion of being redundant can be debilitating, especially if it was a role […]

Green gigs, government tenders and grants: Water Sensitive SA, environmental facilities and NSW funding proposal

The Victoria Department of Environment is looking for a statewide facilities management service to help keep its operation running smoothly. Responsibilities include site maintenance and repairs, security services, health and safety services, sanitation and managing any potential risks from project works or handovers. The winning supplier will also be in charge of promoting the department’s […]

How we can spend our way to a better world through green jobs

The global call to turn the tragedy of the pandemic into an opportunity for a better world is growing. But what does it mean? Last week, British Green MP Caroline Lucas said we need to “dream big and bold”. She summed up polls of public opinion which have found that most people want a new […]

Jobs news and our pick of the jobs: “JobMaker”, MOV3MENT, WSP and more

Overhauling training and education will be central to the Morrison government’s pandemic recovery plans, the Feds announced on Tuesday. The “JobMaker” policy plan is not about extra funding but about better distribution and accountability of funding to better link industry demands and skills the government said. The apprenticeship system for one, needs an injection of […]

Ethics should lie at the heart of the new construction industry

The NSW Building Commissioner’s most recent communication deals with why an ethical and authentic developer or construction enterprise will have the most customers in future. According to David Chandler ethics and authenticity lie at the heart of what makes a construction business distinctive, in demand and ultimately successful. Most leading companies in the construction industry realise […]

Mott MacDonald snares ILFI’s Amanda Sturgeon to drive regenerative design leadership

With outfits like Google and Salesforce jumping onto the Living Building Challenge this is a green building growth phenomenon. In a signal it wants to be a regional leader in this fast-growing space, global engineering and development consultancy, Mott MacDonald, has hired someone from the very top of her field to be its first-ever head […]

Energy retrofits in community housing are tough, but there is a way  

There are many barriers to energy retrofits in the community housing sector – which needs them most – but here’s a thought: what about combining government funding with private impact-linked private capital to kickstart the economy post-Covid at the same time?

Green Gigs and government tenders: Changing Places, hybrid solar power and assessing Sydney motorways

Your guide to what’s on offer by way of government tenders this week. New management at Changing Places The Changing Places Initiative is ready for a change in management. Founded in the UK, the Changing Places initiative creates accessible public bathroom facilities such as larger than standard toilets, adult-sized change tables and tracking hoist systems. […]

Green Star Homes changing the market – at last

RESIDENTIAL SPECIAL REPORT:  The residential market has been slow to move the needle on sustainability, particularly on energy performance. Now things are changing. There’s a long list of reasons why the home builder market has been slow to move on sustainability, including how it’s marketed to consumers. However, there’s promising signs that we’re on the […]

Will streamlining planning make a difference to housing outcomes?

There has been a lot of talk by developer lobby groups about the need to unclog the planning system to assist economic recovery post COVID 19. And the NSW government is putting out media releases saying that rapid approvals are injecting billions of dollars into the state’s economy. Thinking that approvals are going to lead […]

Jack Mundey, the Liverpudlian and some other expats

MEMOIRS: Some reflections on the impact of Jack Mundey, who pioneered the green bans movement to protect the built environment and who passed away this week. My partner Lisa had completed a Cambridge certificate for teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) before we went to Taiwan. She wanted to have something to do while […]

Confidence in construction has been sluggish but some builders are getting savvy

Dean Willemsen, who heads commercial building company Primebuild, is well aware that his sector has taken a bit hit to confidence under Covid, but he’s among some smart operators that are taking the chance to retool the way they do business. While the pipeline looks quite strong in the months ahead for Willemsen’s business, April […]

7 ways to rebuild Australian resilience

The flipside of crisis is opportunity. The past six months have seen two extraordinary stressor events play out across Australia with devastating impacts – the eastern Australian drought and bushfires, closely followed by Covid-19. The good news is that as we move into recovery mode, we have the ability and opportunity to enact a series […]