Green ceramics look great, now for the hard part

Mirvac on Wednesday revealed a new green ceramics range of apartment fittings that it’s collaborated on with Professor Veena Sahajwalla and the UNSW’s SMaRT Centre. In no surprise to anyone, Professor Veena Sahajwalla was introduced to NSW energy and environment minister Matt Kean and a crowd of onlookers at Mirvac’s Pavilions at Sydney Olympic Park […]

The Grenfell Tower inquiry

The Grenfell Tower public inquiry has revealed a catalogue of horrors in the construction trade, implicating manufacturers of plastic insulation and cladding that’s widely used to meet regulations focused on reducing carbon emissions and promoting energy efficiency. Barristers have testified that the companies involved viewed the fire safety certificates for their products as marketing tools […]

“Green” insulation not so green?

While the need for better green buildings is an urgent one, it is crucial to consider if the alternatives are any safer for the environment. Polymeric flame retardant PolyFR, an ingredient in an “eco-friendly” foam plastic insulation, could potentially be far more damaging to human health and the environment according to a new study, which […]

The latest in low carbon concrete

In an already emissions-heavy building sector, concrete and cement were linked to an estimated eight per cent of annual global emissions, according to a 2018 report from London think tank Chatham House.

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 […]

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 […]

Paving the roads with glass

An open market tender was released Tuesday to collect recycled materials such as crushed glass destined for use as road base by 15 councils in the south Sydney region. The initiative Paving the Way aims to use nearly 100 million glass containers per year that might otherwise end up in landfill. The tender contract is […]

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.

New meets old: Cob houses enter the twenty-first century

A marriage of new and old wall materials using earth and plant fibre has won the first prize in the category “Connecting Green, Blue and Grey” at the European Commission’s RegioStars Awards in Brussels, as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities.

Five ways hemp can help save the planet

Last week, the Northern Territory became the final Australian jurisdiction to legalise the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp with low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the mind-altering chemical compound found at high levels in marijuana.

A trillion dollar industry to turn carbon into useful materials

Imagine turning the CO2 from steel and cement into something useful, such as building materials. That’s the role that emerging technologies could play in meeting our emission reduction targets the Siemens Digitalise conference in Brisbane heard last week.

What does engineered timber need to go mainstream?

The future of cross laminated timber (CLT) and other engineered timber products has attracted a lot of attention this week in The Fifth Estate. For Aurecon engineer Ralph Belperio, timber has the potential to become a sustainable building material of choice – there’s just a few things holding it back.

Timber building is on the rise but is there enough and is it safe?

The use of cross laminated timber (CLT) and other engineered timber products is on the rise around the world but struggling with low awareness levels and concerns about fire risk and toxicity. Now the industry is fighting back. Last year in the wake of the Grenfell fire disaster the UK government banned combustible materials from […]

Concrete a key component of Australia’s first Passive House apartment building

Sustainability architects have for many years specified concrete for its thermal qualities, and it’s clearly an essential part of construction – especially in mid to high rise buildings and infrastructure. In recent times it’s attracted the attention of the Passive House movement.

Can algae building technology work in Australia? 

The age of fossil fuels is drawing to an end, and some believe the 21st century will be the age of the biofuels. A team of UTS researchers are currently working on one promising option – algae building technology – with the hope that it will be the next big thing in green buildings.

Post-Grenfell anxiety for insurers, regulators and building owners continues

Some insurance companies worldwide have stopped insuring tower blocks clad with the same sort of materials that led to the rapid spread of the fire in London’s Grenfell Tower that killed 72 people. Building regulations are also struggling to catch up with effective regulation and monitoring.