David Chandler on the need for buildings that don’t harm the environment, or people

The construction industry must deliver buildings that don’t harm people physically, emotionally or economically, and that have a small environmental footprint, if it wants to win back consumer confidence, says NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler, who will be speaking at The Fifth Estate’s Building Circularity event in two weeks. The industry must start cutting embodied […]

Mandating high sustainability in Victoria turns out to be a strong selling point for housing estates

A look at three housing estates that are mandating sustainability covenants. And surprise surprise, the buyers are lapping them up. We look at Mullum Creek Estate in Donvale, Melbourne, The Cape in Gippsland east of Melbourne and Salt Torquay, on Victoria’s western coast where after the first builder showed a higher energy efficiency rating could be done easily and cheaply, is now 80 per cent sold.

Now for airconditioning-as-a-service

A Singaporean business offering airconditioning as-a-service has its sights set on Australia, which could bring cheaper, ultra-efficient cooling to Australian buildings. Kaer’s revolutionary airconditioning model borrows from other industries that have “servitised” their offerings, such as Uber (mobility) and Spotify (music), which provide access to products rather than ownership. Rather than a building owner procuring […]

Choosing the right PPE for COVID

Not all personal protective equipment was created equal and different industries need more protection from Covid risk than others. Here’s your guide to getting the right level of protection to keep your workplace safe. Compared to the rest of the world, Australia has fared pretty well when it comes to COVID-19. Victoria experienced the worst […]

Half-price CPD ’til March 2021 – How do you Rate that!?

Energy assessors can get $44 off every NatHERS Technical & Non-Technical webinar until March 2021, thanks to Design Matters National’s half-price special offer.  Webinars cover Tools & Materials, Sustainability, Software and more, and are delivered by subject-matter experts (not sponsors) including Matthew Graham, Dong Chen and Jo Brennan. Here’s some energy assessors’ feedback about Design […]

Biggest overhaul of Green Star since inception

It’s the biggest overhaul of Green Star since it started in  2003 – there’s a new scoring system, framework and a clearer pathway. And the big – and long awaited – news is the push to eliminate natural gas from construction and the requirement for buildings to be fossil fuel free and 100 per cent […]

Improved targeted rent assistance needed for low-income tenants

Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) is not reaching many of those who need it, with about 18 per cent of low-income private rental households in housing stress, yet not receiving the income supplement, a new AHURI report reveals. The Demand-side assistance in Australia’s rental housing market: exploring reform options report modelled a number of possible cost-effective […]

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 […]