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The Fifth Estate’s top 10 stories of 2018

The end of recycling? Why Australia is at crisis point

Alas, sometimes things need to be broken for us to realise that we need to make changes.

end of recycling

Strongbuild falls as Frasers Property pulls the pin on a major deal

Prefabrication and lightweight timber builder Strongbuild was placed into voluntary administration at 9 am on Thursday morning, after Frasers Australia pulled out of a contract just two weeks from commencement leaving a massive $6 million gap in expected earnings.

strongbuild

3 First look inside Australia’s tallest timber tower

Lendlease has released images of the inside of its engineered timber office building under construction at 25 King Street Brisbane, which is set to become Australia’s tallest engineered timber building when complete.

lendlease

4 Green walls come under attack

Green wall advocates have hit back at an attack from a leading architect on the value of green walls, citing energy savings and biodiversity benefits.

green walls

5 Is gas heating really cheaper than electric?

It’s autumn, the weather is finally starting to cool, and in some homes in Australia ducted heating systems are being switched on for the first time this year, sending hot air through chilly rooms.

gas heater

6 Cool roofs versus dark roofs: special report

SPECIAL REPORT: We talk to manufacturers and sustainability expert Dr Chris Reardon; we check the councils such as Pittwater and Woollahra to see why they don’t like light roofs; take a look at City of Melbourne’s study; and even the argument for dark roofs.

dark roofs

7 On Strongbuild and prefab pioneering

Strongbuild was clearly the darling of the prefab and lightweight timber construction scene. Pretty much everyone we spoke to about the story that broke on Thursday about the company’s failure said what lovely people are Adam Strong, his fellow directors brothers Jamie and Tim, and long term friend Shane Strong who is also in the business but not related.

Strongbuild

8 Nightingale growth set to explode with $300 million finance fund

Exclusive: Nightingale Housing is set to leap out of start-up mode to full scalability with a new fund that promises around $300 million in finance.

nightingale

9 Tim Hollo on an ecological democracy where “everything is connected” and embedded in nature

Disconnection and atomisation is at the heart of the crisis of democracy sweeping through the Western world. What we need is a shift to ecological ecology, which is about participatory, deliberative democratic paths, embedded in nature and where “everything is connected”, argues Tim Hollo, executive director of think tank the Green Institute, and former political adviser to former Greens Leader Christine Milne. Here is what he told a Politics in the Pub crowd last Thursday night.

democracy

10 Sydney’s transport planning fundamentally flawed

TRANSPORT SERIES – SYDNEY:  John Austen is a transport specialist with a big track record including senior roles in the NSW government and as a former member of Infrastructure Australia.  He claims that NSW’s troubled road and rail infrastructure planning is fundamentally flawed.

Sydney infrastructure transport

Honourable mentions

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