Articles on Construction

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This, except printed directly onto your roof tiles. Cole Eaton Photography/Shutterstock

We can make roof tiles with built-in solar cells – now the challenge is to make them cheaper

Australia is in the midst of a solar energy boom, yet it is lagging behind other countries when it comes to 'building-integrated photovoltaics' - solar cells built into the very fabric of buildings.
With the tensile strength of steel but six times lighter, bamboo can be used for ambitious buildings once it has been treated to ensure its durability. Courtesy of Green School Bali

Bamboo architecture: Bali’s Green School inspires a global renaissance

Bamboo has been used since ancient times for building, but only in recent decades has pioneering work in Bali inspired its wider use for substantial and enduring structures.
Building construction and demolition create enormous amounts of waste and much of it goes into landfill. Sytilin Pavel/Shutterstock

We create 20m tons of construction industry waste each year. Here’s how to stop it going to landfill

China has put the onus back on Australia to take responsibility for our waste, and Germany has shown us the way with extended producer responsibility for construction and demolition waste.
The world’s current tallest skyscraper is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It’s 828 metres tall. But we could go taller. Flickr/Cristian Viarisio

Curious Kids: what’s the tallest skyscraper it’s possible to build?

It would be difficult, but we could probably build a tower over 2,000 metres tall, which would be like ten normal skyscrapers on top of each other! This is probably not a very good idea though.
Can Australians be confident that the new National Construction Code will ensure new buildings avoid structural defects like those that led to the evacuation of the Opal Tower (left) in Sydney? Dylan Coker/AAP

Australia has a new National Construction Code, but it’s still not good enough

Under the new code, buildings are hardly likely to differ measurably from their fault-ridden older siblings and can still fall short of a six-star rating. It's possible they may have no stars!
About 100 homes in Angus, Ont. were damaged by a tornado in June 2014. Ten lost their roofs and had to be demolished. Gregory Alan Kopp, Western University

As climate changes, the way we build homes must change too

Weather-related catastrophic events have cost Canadians more than $17 billion in the past decade. That only stands to grow, unless building codes change to make homes more resilient.
Architects see buildings as a possible solution to the climate crisis. NNECAPA Photo Library/flickr

Green buildings must do more to fix our climate emergency

Buildings are responsible for 40 per cent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. Efforts to reduce emissions should no longer be voluntary.
The 392 apartments in Opal Tower (centre) were evacuated on Christmas Eve when residents heard loud cracks and defects were found. Paul Braven/AAP

Beyond Opal: a 10-point plan to fix the residential building industry

While Opal Tower residents are more badly affected than most, up to 80% of multi-unit buildings have serious defects. Here's what government can do right now to fix the industry.
In recent years, Detroit has demolished thousands of abandoned homes annually. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Domicology: A new way to fight blight before buildings are even constructed

By the time a building is abandoned and falls into disrepair, its community is already suffering. Michigan scholars suggest it's time to plan for structures' end of life before they even go up.

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