The two ‘morrows of Tomorrowland

I don’t know about you, but after working in sustainability for 12 years, I have never been more hopeful nor more terrified of what the future could bring.

A new collaboration to navigate the digital revolution – sustainably

TECHNOLOGY: Simon Carter’s company Morphosis and other supporting organisations last week launched the Sustainable Digitalisation Project – a collaboration making digitalisation in real estate and cities responsible, ethical and sustainable.

2019 Smart City Awards for a better Sydney

Urban wheelchair tracking technology, Transport for NSW’s Opal card system and a customisable strata app were among the winners this year’s Smart City Awards.

Waste biogas conversion project receives government funding

Brief: Hazer Group Ltd has received $9.41 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency towards building a facility to demonstrate a proprietary technology that converts waste bio-methane into resources such as hydrogen and graphite.

The future of farming is up in the air

Food that’s grown in the air instead of soil could soon appear on plates in Britain and other parts of the world. A new investment deal worth $1.8 million to build indoor farms uses technologies developed by a company called LettUs Grow, a Bristol, UK-based startup that designs irrigation and control technology for vertical farms. […]

Striking a balance between smart and sustainable cities

The Fifth Estate’s UK correspondent and prolific writer David Thorpe has a new book in the works, which is soon to be released. The following is an extract from his chapter about the role of sustainability in the smart cities revolution. 

Amazon dips toes into prefab construction

Amazon is making a play for the prefabricated construction and smart home markets, investing in a California startup that makes prefab homes.

Driverless cars: benefit to humanity or road to an Orwellian dystopia?

Understanding where driverless cars are taking us – in terms of physical safety, governance models and unintended consequences – is still in its infancy. In this article David Wilson, a planning professional part-way through a PhD doctoral thesis on the topic, provides a helicopter view of what’s coming.

Plans for game-changing off-grid high-rise revealed

Exclusive: Plans have been revealed for an off-grid high rise project on Sydney’s north shore that will be powered entirely by human waste and use design inspired by the wings of an owl to reduce wind load.

How do you know if your office is healthy?

This excerpt from The Fifth Estate’s Healthy Offices ebook shows that when attempting to gauge whether an office is a truly healthy space, both qualitative and quantitative data are equally important.

5 next generation technologies for low-carbon cooling

Robotic shading and smart facade materials that breathe could cool buildings by up to 5°C and reduce the need for airconditioning by 25 per cent, according to the Spain’s Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC).

Would more people buy solar panels if they were green?

Green solar panels that blend in with nature; red solar panels on a terracotta roof; white solar hidden on a wall. Researchers have discovered a way to turn typically black and blue solar panels a shade of green, and potentially any colour imaginable.

Charter Hall gets Comfy with new HVAC app

Charter Hall has become one of the early adopters of a new app, Comfy, which allows users to personalise workspace heating and cooling.

You can now get a High Distinction in drone studies

From the Lead: The University of Adelaide is offering the five-day course leading to the award of a CASA-certified Remote Pilot Licence (RePL). Under Australian Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, the operation of drones over 2kg for commercial purposes needs certification. The intensive course is run on University of Adelaide campuses by a team of CASA-certified drone operators and trainers from […]

New technology could give 1 billion people clean water

From Rice University A federally funded research effort to revolutionize water treatment has yielded an off-grid technology that uses energy from sunlight alone to turn salt water into fresh drinking water. The desalination system, which uses a combination of membrane distillation technology and light-harvesting nanophotonics, is the first major innovation from the Center for Nanotechnology […]

ANU’s biomimicry breakthrough means better solar and smarter windows

The wings of a butterfly were the inspiration behind a new discovery from ANU that could lead to more efficient solar cells, smart windows and even stealth technology. The tiny nanostructures developed by the ANU team are based upon the wings of the Morpho Didius butterfly, which has cone-shaped structures that scatter light to create […]

Australian researchers are creating low-cost smart windows

Low-cost smart windows that can selectively block out light and heat are on the horizon for Australia, thanks to a new research project underway at Queensland’s Griffith University. Professor Huijun Zhao, director of Griffith’s Centre for Clean Environment and Energy, has been awarded more than $500,000 to develop smart windows through the Australian Research Council […]