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Articles on Construction standards

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The fire in the Melbourne CBD on Monday was a reminder of the urgency of developing a system that guarantees only materials that meet building safety standards are used. Bekah Jane/Twitter

Cladding fires expose gaps in building material safety checks. Here’s a solution

Fortunately, no lives were lost in the latest cladding fire in Melbourne, but it's a stark reminder of the urgent need to track and verify that building materials comply with safety standards.
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.
Lochiel Park in Adelaide was Australia’s first large-scale attempt to create homes that use near net zero energy. Stephen Berry

When the heat hits: how to make our homes comfortable without cranking up the aircon

Air conditioning changed both building design and people's active management of home temperatures. A return to houses designed for our climate can keep us comfortable and cut energy use and emissions.
About 300 people were evacuated from Sydney’s Opal Tower after a loud cracking sound was heard on December 24 and a large crack appeared on the 10th floor. Paul Braven/AAP

There are lessons to be drawn from the cracks that appeared in Sydney’s Opal Tower, but they extend beyond building certification

It's tempting to blame building certifiers and the fact they are privately employed. But the cracks in the quality of our apartment buildings go deeper and can be fixed.
The dark side of Italian infrastructure. Luca Zennaro/EPA

Genoa bridge collapse: the mafia’s role

In the region of Liguria, and the city of Genoa itself, Calabrian mafia clans have been infiltrating construction projects for decades.
A 6.9 magnitude earthquake led to the collapse of thousands of houses in the northern parts of the Indonesian island of Lombok. Adi Weda / AAP

Lombok earthquakes: different building designs could lessen future damage

Hundreds of thousands of people are homeless following the Lombok earthquakes. Much of this suffering need not have happened if houses were constructed to better withstand shaking.

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