Time to deal with embodied carbon – WGBC

The World Green Building Council has called for net zero emission by 2050 in the Asia Pacific region along with a primer on getting there. The Asia Pacific Embodied Carbon Primer highlights what embodied carbon is, where it occurs throughout a building and infrastructure asset’s lifecycle, and how tackling it can catalyse APAC to rebuild […]

Time’s up for shoddy building code compliance

Sustainable built environment body ASBEC has put its foot down on the lack of compliance with the building code. The organisation is calling for urgent changes to the way building compliance is enforced as outlined in the 2018 Building Confidence report by Professor Peter Shergold and Bronwyn Weir on issues in the construction industry. The […]

Snaidero goes green with Australia’s first sustainable porcelain kitchens at Seafarers Residences

As consumers become more sustainably conscious, the typical kitchen design has been turned on its head by revered Italian kitchen brand Snaidero. The company recently unveiled its first Australian project to feature precision-engineered porcelain fronted joinery at Seafarers, the new Yarra River waterfront residences in Melbourne developed by Riverlee. Designed and crafted in Italy, the […]

FLICK THE SWITCH: All-electric sustainable luxury in Brisbane

A former minerals explorer turned developer is proud that each home he and his team builds is more sustainable than the last. With a new luxury home called Vanquish in the Brisbane suburb of Auchenflower, this has culminated in a Passive House certified home that was offered to market for between $3 million and $4 […]

Finally, evidence that NABERS works well in Oz…but what about the UK?

Carbon reduction in buildings is critical in responding to the climate emergency, and a new academic paper reflects on the success of the NABERS energy performance rating scheme and investigates whether or not it will find similar success overseas, especially in the UK, as it has in Australia. The paper, titled A new energy efficiency […]

FLICK THE SWITCH – Sian Willmott: An ESD consultant’s guide to net zero in office buildings

The challenge to deliver net zero all-electric buildings is a formidable one. And no-one knows that better than an ESD consultant. Victorian based AECOM principal sustainability consultant Sian Willmott is well familiar with the task. Her remit in all-electric projects stretches from education to healthcare and the commercial sector. When it comes to office buildings, […]

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 […]

How to disembody your carbon

Your questions answered about embodied carbon and scope three emissions. Alex Herridge is something of an expert on embodied carbon. He works for one of the water utilities in the UK – Welsh Water. Herridge’s job is to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. He’s employed by The Capital Delivery Alliance, a group of six companies […]

How HVAC systems can be modified to reduce SARS-CoV-2 virus transmission

Aerosol transmission has emerged as a COVID-19 infection mechanism with very small particles carrying the virus, emitted by infected people breathing, hanging in the air possibly for hours, pushed around by air flows in rooms. These are then potentially drawn into recirculating HVAC systems – possibly being reintroduced into occupied areas. In deciding what to […]

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 […]

The case for social housing on church land

Tone Wheeler of Environa Studio says there are three options to find land for affordable housing: government, churches and philanthropists. The government seems little interested and same with philanthropists, he says. In a new position paper on affordable housing commissioned by Churches Housing, Wheeler makes the case for social housing on church land. Social housing […]

What must be fixed before the NSW’s Planned Housing Diversity SEPP can do what it sets out to do

While the New South Wales government’s revamped housing diversity policy is being touted as the answer to the state’s shortfalls in affordable housing, I believe the unintended consequences may have the opposite effect. The proposed changes (Housing Diversity SEPP) are far more likely to suffocate future supply. This is due to the removal of provisions […]

Corporate net-zero targets established

Corporates are on notice. To achieve science based net zero targets their goals must align with warming of no more than 1.5°C and they must neutralise their impact of residual by removing an equivalent amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide. To ensure that net-zero targets in the corporate world translate into tangible actions, the Science Based […]

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, […]

­­­­­­How much extra does it cost to make a building net zero carbon?

What are the real-world implications for achieving new net zero buildings? How can new buildings be designed to reach net zero performance targets and what effect does this have on cost? These are the questions researchers for the UK Green Building Council set out to answer with a deep dive into the implications for two […]

Why the MLC Building in North Sydney should be saved

Beyond concern for preserving such rich heritage, the proposed demolition of the MLC Building in North Sydney poses deep environmental concerns. History is the story of who we are. A wise society will take lessons from that history – both good and bad – and critically engage with the present to proactively shape a better future. We […]

How about a European Bauhaus for co-creating a renovation wave?

Europe’s president Ursula von der Leyen has called for “NextGenerationEU to kickstart a European renovation wave and make our union a leader in the circular economy”.  She promised to set up “a new European Bauhaus – a co-creation space where architects, artists, students, engineers, designers work together to make that happen”. At her first State […]

Beware the booming industrial sector and its poor carbon profile

The booming industrial sector is going great guns under Covid with people shopping more online and forcing up demand for more logistics space, but will the low carbon profile of many of these buildings as flagged by the Green Building councils of Australia and New Zealand potentially lead to unintended consequences. As the need for […]

The time has come for regulations that drive net zero homes

It’s time that the National Construction Code and, in NSW, BASIX, be updated to drive the trajectory to net zero energy homes. An opportunity has arisen to make major improvements in the energy efficiency and renewable energy generation of new buildings, following recent consultations and current analysis for the next update of the National Construction […]

Fremantle carbon neutral apartments to deliver 50 per cent strata savings

Fremantle-based Montreal Commons, set to become one of the first carbon neutral apartment buildings in Australia, will save its tenants 50 per cent on body corporate fees under a renewable energy deal between OP Properties and Power Ledger. The five-storey, 39-apartment complex has set a benchmark for sustainable apartment design and will use developer-funded 75kW […]

Construction’s cowboys to get a shakeup in NSW

Dodgy NSW builders, developers and certifiers are expected to get a kick up the backside as sweeping new powers come into force, with the state’s construction watchdog aiming to shake up the industry to provide confidence for prospective buyers.

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.

Landcom’s patterns for cooling the commons in Western Sydney

The heat is on for Western Sydney in more ways than one. Not only is the region expected to regularly hit 50 degrees in summer, it’s already done so. And yet it’s earmarked for major expansion of population. With a new report Cooling Common Spaces in Densifying Urban Environments the NSW government’s land development agency […]

Where’s your lithium from? EU’s New Green Deal to track critical materials

Renewable electricity generation and storage requires huge quantities of mined raw materials. In Europe, most of these elements are currently imported and unsustainably produced. So the European Commission has hatched a new plan for obtaining them within its borders, to make the industry more sustainable and resilient against outside disruptions. The commission has launched a […]