News from the front desk, issue 492: Here at The Fifth Estate our heads are spinning after what was an action packed five hours at our Flick the Switch event yesterday about the transition to all electric, net zero buildings and cities. The subject matter certainly struck a chord – we had record numbers in […]
The Covid -19 pandemic has been nothing short of a monumental experiment. Within weeks, workplaces were forced into changes that would normally take years to implement. Reactions to the current state of work have been as varied as the experiences of the people going through it. Accounts range from horror stories to fairy tales and […]
Jeremy McLeod was a key signatory to the influential Architects Declare movement. He says sustainability might be seen as complex by some people but there are simple ways “that everyone could win”. Partnered content for Beyond Zero Emissions At the beginning of this year, Australia’s leading architects called on the wider industry to make a […]
Throughout Australia, when land is rezoned from industrial to high-rise residential, a charge is levied to help fund the required infrastructure. In NSW it is called an infrastructure contribution. The NSW government is reviewing it in order to cut “red tape” and “fix the uncertainty”. They are words that ought to set off alarm bells. […]
For an industry that involves climbing ladders and working in confined spaces, construction seems inaccessible for someone in a wheelchair. But according to construction academic from the University of South Australia, Jonathan Fritsch, this isn’t always the cas
Natural ventilation, or lack of. The modernist triumph of bare-arse glass for fully airconditioned office buildings has become the ubiquitous answer for high rise residential. Brisbane is now plagued by them. Pretty much the same for other Australian capitals with different climates. The first dilemma on observation is: is it office or residential. A slightly […]
One of the key speakers at Flick the Switch next Wednesday, Stiebel Eltron’s Glenn Day, will tackle the potential of heat pumps to pave the way to net zero. But it’s not easy: the hurdles are tough, especially for existing buildings.
The benefits of embracing AI outweigh the potential negatives, especially in construction.
The truth is, governments have the power to solve social housing shortages and homelessness. But once social housing becomes a bloody-minded numbers game of delays, deficits, and denials, it invariably degenerates into the dark art of political obfuscation.
It’s exciting that on nearly every front where we can see problems there is almost equal energy expended in finding solutions. Call it the optimism gene but it’s working for us!
According to Professor Janis Birkeland, green building rating tools are improving but they are only improving upon a flawed conceptual model.
What Covid’s doing to our working habits is not all bad.
A 2017 United Nations report focused on the “financialisation of housing”, with structural changes where housing is treated as a commodity, a means of accumulating wealth and often as security for financial instruments that are traded and sold on global markets.
For the first time in NABERS’ 20-plus years, the government’s environmental benchmarking scheme is updating how it accounts for the emissions profile of grid electricity to reflect booming renewable penetration.
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.
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, […]
Rainwater harvesting solutions involves a minimal upfront cost to achieve sustainability upgrades that will pay significant dividends for homeowners as the climate changes.
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 […]
Fast-tracked approval for a new six-star Green Star commercial tower in North Sydney connected to the Victoria Cross over station development will “set a new benchmark” for the CBD area, which Bates Smart director Philip Vivian says is having a “true renaissance”.
Noise-cancelling windows that block traffic sounds even when windows are open are inching closer to reality, with a new study showing that the technology can reduce perceived loudness of traffic noise by half.
In the race to decarbonise the economy, industrial processing is a tough nut to crack given the amount of heat needed to process goods. But there’s signs of progress, with frozen food giant McCain Foods committing to what it claims is Australia’s largest behind-the-meter renewable energy system.
An inner-city suburb on the Brisbane River could be home to the “greenest residential building in the world” with ambitious plans currently under review by the city’s council.
For tradies working to hard deadlines and budgets to construct buildings off predetermined plans, it can be hard to see how they can contribute meaningfully to the climate and biodiversity emergencies.
Multiple rooms in the average Australian home would have to be significantly renovated to access the government’s $25,000 HomeBuilder grant, a program aimed at keeping the construction industry afloat as Australia heads into its first recession in almost three decades.
A new study at Monash University is giving Australians a glimpse into the not-so-distant digital future of energy efficient smart tech.
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 […]
There’s good news for affordable accommodation in Sydney and Melbourne. In fact, it’s exciting if you consider the co-living, co-operative and shared equity housing that Landcom in Sydney has in mind, and the twin key apartments in Melbourne, thanks to a lovely collaboration. Landcom boss John Brogden flagged the possibilities for radically different affordable housing […]
Shane Quinn, co-founder and executive chairman of Quintessential Equity, is a big believer in Geelong’s future. With affordable homes, nearby beaches and a commutable train ride to Melbourne, Geelong has all the hallmarks of a second major business hub outside Victoria’s capital.
Property owners have a huge new world of responsibility falling on their shoulders with the climate emergency and Dexus is taking things seriously.
Countries around the globe are set to launch the biggest round of infrastructure investment since the post-2008 financial crisis stimulus measures…