Environment

George Street, Sydney smoke

Why our HVAC and buildings can’t always keep us safe

OXYGEN FILES: In recent weeks, air quality in Sydney and Brisbane, and in many regional areas, has ranged from bad to extremely hazardous because of bushfire smoke. With health experts telling people to stay indoors because no amount of exposure to the smoke is safe, a deeper issue is emerging: most of our buildings can’t block the pollution.

toilet sign

How to slash water use in high-rise buildings by 80 per cent

Water scarcity is a serious issue for densely populated cities, especially in Australia. Fortunately, technology can help us reduce huge amounts of water in our buildings, with the good old vacuum toilet leading the way.

The jobs transition out of coal in Western Australia

What’s the future for coalminers? Thanks to some deep dive work from Beyond Zero Emissions and collaboration with unions, the prospects are quite positive. Check out the Western Australian coal mining town of Collie, for instance.

Drought roadkill

If it’s not a climate crisis, then what kind of crisis is it?

A few weeks ago, I had to drive to Brisbane and, unexpectedly, drive back to Sydney just a few days later. It’s a journey I’ve been doing once or twice a year for 19 years. Over that time, I have seen dry periods and bushfires but this trip was different. 

Guyra dam levels

What happens when the water runs out?

Armidale hasn’t received its usual winter rain, and the city’s water reservoir has also been servicing the nearby township of Guyra, where water supplies are critically low.