Interest in heat pumps – a lower cost, lower emissions alternative to gas boilers in aquatic centres – is growing.
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 […]
While the race to achieving net zero is on, we need to focus on acting.
The pandemic has exposed the gap between how we think the world works – based on the Newtonian paradigm focused on understanding each “part” in isolation – and how it actually works – as a complex, living system. Let’s not repeat past patterns in our post-COVID-19 world.
Jay is an international student at the Canberra University of Technology. When she and her housemate both lost their jobs in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, their landlord reacted in the worst possible way: he refused to reduce the rent, instead increasing it by $15 per week. Jay and millions of renters like her […]
With the elderly community most at risk, seniors’ housing for retirement living and aged care is at the coalface of change to manage COVID-19 and any future infectious diseases. For the past few months, the focus of seniors’ living providers, especially those offering residential aged care, has been literally on staying alive and protecting their […]
Recently I argued that cutting red tape or fast-tracking planning approvals would not help the housing market recover from its COVID afflictions. Some developer lobbyists have responded, doubling-down on the claim that rapid and less scrutinised approvals are essential for property market recovery. This claim underpins their attacks on the planning system – it demands […]
Carbon neutral certifications are multiplying under the government’s Climate Active program. Mother Nature is not necessarily impressed.
The COVID-19 crisis has upended local and global economies, disrupted supply chains and prompted politicians and the global citizenry alike think about what sort of world we want to live in. The immediate focus is on economic recovery but the subsequent focus on reform represents an opportunity for meaningful change. In Australia, our manufacturing and […]
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 […]
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 […]
Despite pockets of silliness, like the freedom ‘n’ gun-loving idiocy erupting in the US, sensible minds are turning to what happens once COVID-19 restrictions are eased. Already, tensions are starting to appear between resuming past urban policy settings and the need to rethink them deeply.
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 […]
While the evidence so far indicates that increasing outside air circulation may help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in buildings, some common sense goes a long way for facility managers looking to keep occupants safe without wasting energy on overzealous air circulation.
Around 85 per cent of mercury-containing fluorescent tubes and lamps still go to landfill –poisoning our land and water tables – even though it’s illegal and Australia has signed an international convention. Simple changes to the National Construction Code (NCC) are part of the solution.
The pitch to replace stamp duty with a broad-based land tax is seeing a new surge of advocacy. Just in the past few days the Reserve Bank Governor together with state Treasurers in both NSW and Victoria have all weighed into this debate once again, arguing that such a transition is now an urgent priority.
Last week an article was published in The Fifth Estate titled “We are looking for the Henry Ford of Buildings”. In my view that’s the last thing we need, especially now as we emerge from the COVID 19 crisis and start to rebuild our devastated economy in a just and equitable way. In modernising the […]
The tourism industry is in trouble but what if a new, more sustainable narrative for tourism rises from the ashes?
Governments need to think differently to spread the benefits of their post COVID 19 stimulus. Building a new “third” construction sector is an excellent place to start. The NSW Government has prioritised 24 housing, school and industrial projects to undergo the fast-track assessment process, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hope is that […]
Readers may be surprised to hear that there was much in the Tim Sneesby editorial published in The Fifth Estate on 21 April 2020 which the Urban Taskforce agrees. But there were a few “cheap-shots” at the private sector property and construction sector generally, and the Urban Taskforce in particular, that merit a response. Firstly, […]
If we’re picky about the projects we choose, fast-tracked planning approvals could accelerate the low carbon transition, fix social problems and boost the economy at the same time.
Many see the current pandemic crisis – coming on the heels of the bushfire crisis and its parent, the climate crisis – in optimistic terms; as providing opportunity in recovery for economic environmental and social policy rethinks.
The world is on the brink of the worst economic conditions in decades thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic but we should be wary of governments rushing to strip back regulation in a bid to restart industries.
The pursuit of greener urban areas in NSW will bring us resilience to climate change and increased liveability but if we’re not careful, urban greening policies could be the kindling for future bushfire events that destroy lives and property. The good news is there are a host of techniques that allow us to vegetate responsibly, […]
Many governments, businesses and local communities have made commitments towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but COVID-19 may set some of these commitments back.
Greetings from my bunker in Sydney’s Fairlight: the paradox of a pandemic is that it both unifies us globally while separating us nationally, and indeed individually.
There are big socio-economic implications for of the COVID-19 lockdown and ultimately for urbanism and climate change.
More new homes spring up every year, and for an ever-growing number of people, these homes are apartments.
In the short term, the COVID-19 pandemic has stalled the climate action momentum that was growing in Australia following the disastrous 2019/20 bushfire season. In the medium to long term, the pandemic and our response to it may yet prove a watershed for climate action. The pandemic has, of course, delivered an enormous hit to […]
The summer bushfires were Australia’s wake-up call on the climate emergency, and now there’s no time to waste. Fortunately, the road to decarbonisation is becoming clearer.