Articles on Sustainable design

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Barangaroo is a development on Sydney Harbour with strong green credentials, but it’s overwhelmingly the well-off who enjoy the benefits. Brendan Esposito/AAP

Making developments green doesn’t help with inequality

Barangaroo is an example of a development with admirable green credentials, but it is also an exclusive precinct that has played a role in displacing the disadvantaged from this part of Sydney.
What does a green star rating – One Central Park apartments in Sydney received five stars, for instance – actually mean? AAP

Greenwashing the property market: why ‘green star’ ratings don’t guarantee more sustainable buildings

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. Claudio Divizia/Shutterstock

Heritage building preservation vs sustainability? Conflict isn’t inevitable

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

Sustainable cities? Australia’s building and planning rules stand in the way of getting there

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

6 rules for rebuilding infrastructure in an era of ‘unprecedented’ weather events

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

After 25 years of trying, why aren’t we environmentally sustainable yet?

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. QUT media

Will we soon be growing our own vegan leather at home?

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. Trivess Moore

Sustainable housing’s expensive, right? Not when you look at the whole equation

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. Dean McCartney

The problem with reinforced concrete

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.
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. flickr/Takver

Nightingale’s sustainability song falls on deaf ears as car-centric planning rules hold sway

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.
Prefabricated buildings don’t have to be dull. The challenge will be to get Australians to embrace them. Wendy Miller

Not just daggy dongas: time to embrace prefabricated buildings

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.
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.

A heritage vision for sustainable housing goes to ICAC

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…

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