Earth-covered houses are not only highly fire-resistant, but sustainable features such as off-grid power and water supplies could also be life-saving in a bushfire.
The problems of demolishing high-rise buildings in busy cities point to the need to prepare for unbuilding at the time of building. We'd then be much better placed to recycle building materials.
Ensuring a building will be safe against fire requires careful consideration from not only fire engineers, but also from builders, architects and building owners.
Planning controls in Melbourne were eased 20 years ago, with mixed results, and new limits are now in place. Will other cities that have eased height limits, like Adelaide, avoid the same mistakes?
Fires and building failures highlighted serious gaps in Australian building regulations. But recent revisions and recommendations still fall short of preparing our buildings for climate change.
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.
Aged-care units can be a lottery of comfortable versus uncomfortable temperatures, depending on the building's construction and where you live within it. That needs to improve.