What does a green star rating – One Central Park apartments in Sydney
received five stars, for instance – actually mean?
Buildings are central to creating more sustainable cities, and green ratings are often used to assess how well a building measures up against this goal. But the current system has serious flaws.
The Tower of London has altered greatly in its 900-year history as a castle, home, museum, prison and tourist attraction.
When talking about heritage, we need to be clear about our definitions and our objectives for each building. Then we can work on achieving the optimum balance of heritage and sustainability.
An outstanding example of sustainable residential building, Breathe Architecture’s The Commons apartments in Melbourne won a 2014 National Architecture Award.
Image courtesy of Australian Institute of Architects
New South Wales is the only state that has made meaningful progress on legislation and enforcement of standards capable of creating a sustainable built environment.
Flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Can the region rebuild infrastructure so that it can better withstand extreme weather events?
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
After extreme weather events like Hurricane Harvey, city planners need to think about the smartest way to rebuild. Here are some no-regrets infrastructure investment ideas.
After decades of sustainability initiatives, key environmental indicators keep getting worse.
The Capital Wind Farm, REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo
Why, after decades of international agreements, are we still damaging the environment? New research, looking at dozens of unsuccessful policies, has uncovered the basic elements of failure.
A floral wreath made from vegan leather designed by Sofia Moreno-Marcos and York Hon John Liang in 2014.
Conventional leather is fraught with ethical and environmental issues. But leather grown from fermented kombucha tea offers consumers a glimpse of a DIY, sustainable future.
Nne-star-rated ‘Catalyst’ houses built to maximise passive solar principles were evaluated against seven control houses built to DHHS standards.
Emerging research challenges the idea that sustainable housing is unaffordable. It shows sustainability and good design can be affordable when analyses include social, health and wellbeing benefits.
The cracks are starting to show.
Reinforced concrete is everywhere. But unlike plain concrete, which can last for centuries, reinforced concrete can deteriorate in decades as the reinforcing bars succumb to rust.
Philippe Starck’s Juicy Salif turned the humble lemon squeezer into a piece of classic industrial design.
It's time to rethink the stack-em-high and sell-em-cheap approach to business.
Pedalling our televisions could save us a fortune in electricity – and keep us in great shape, too.
City residents are embracing the bike as the fastest, most convenient transport in areas like Brunswick, yet an apartment building has been blocked for not providing car parking.
It's up to state governments to ensure urban planning rules properly reflect both the desires of residents in the 21st century and the principles of sustainability.
Changing our thinking about car design.
How Hwee Young/EPA
Changing habits and pollution concerns are calling time on our love affair with cars. But this doesn't have to be the end.
Prefabricated buildings don’t have to be dull. The challenge will be to get Australians to embrace them.
Memories of school demountables might cause some people to sneer at prefabricated buildings. But they can be stylish too, not to mention offering a possible way to ease the housing affordability problem.
Don’t tread on woodchips.
Rick Kimpel/Wikimedia Commons
The outcry over the government's plan to allow wood burning from native forests under the revamped Renewable Energy Target belies the fact that woodchips can be useful and sustainable if harvested responsibly.
Hong Kong: a showcase for Asian urban development.
Nobel Laureates met recently in Hong Kong to sign a memorandum calling for cities to help guard against climate change. As the most creative places on the planet, big cities are the perfect place to meet this challenge.
Beautifully rendered: rammed earth walls don’t typically need decorating.
Rammed earth has been used for centuries, for buildings that have stood the test of time, including China's Great Wall. It's also cheap and environmentally friendly, so why aren't modern architects embracing it?
Yobarnie at North Richmond in the 1960s. The area is the subject of a disputed development that featured at ICAC last week.
Yeomans, P.A. (1965, 1968). Water For Every Farm. Sydney, NSW: The K.G. Murray Publishing Company Pty Ltd.
Last week the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) began investigating a political donation of A$18,000 made by Nathan Tinkler’s Buildev corporation. The 2010 donation helped…
Wood is good.
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, it would be better if we built buildings from wood than from concrete, brick, aluminium and steel. We use millions of tonnes of these modern materials every year…
Trees cool cities down, naturally.
Air conditioners across the country are running on full this week as Australia battles a heatwave – but are we missing an obvious, leafy solution? Trees, which provide shade and act as natural air conditioners…
The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute building may inspire architects and scholars globally.
Is it a spaceship piloted by a friendly alien, a metallic pine cone or a giant cheese-grater? No, it’s Adelaide’s South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (the SAHMRI building for short…