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Articles on Construction

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Emerald ash borer larvae is removed from an ash tree in Saugerties, N.Y. AP Photo/Mike Groll

Making the most of a tree epidemic

With trees infested by the emerald ash borer deemed essentially worthless, a team of designers wanted to see if the decaying wood could be repurposed as a building material.
A sand mine in Nepal. Growing urbanization and its need for concrete is fuelling a global sand crisis. (Michael Hoffmann)

Roving bandits and looted coastlines: How the global appetite for sand is fuelling a crisis

As sand markets boom, entrepreneurs, organized crime and others are cashing in — leaving widespread environmental damage in their wake.
There are no guarantees in bushfires, but you can improve the odds your house survives a blaze. Photo by Edward Doody, courtesy of Arkin Tilt Architects

12 simple ways you can reduce bushfire risk to older homes

Houses built more than 20 years ago are likely to be more vulnerable to bushfires than newer builds. But there are some simple and inexpensive ways to reduce your risk.
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.

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