Worlds tallest hybrid timber building proposed for Sydney

July 15, 2020 by  
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Australian software company Atlassian has tapped New York-based architecture firm SHoP Architects and Australian practice BVN to design its new Sydney headquarters — an approximately 40-story skyscraper that is expected to become the world’s tallest hybrid timber building once complete in 2025. Proposed for the emerging tech precinct at the city’s Central Station, the new Atlassian headquarters will target 100% renewable energy operations as well as 50% less embodied carbon in construction and 50% less energy consumption as compared to conventional buildings. These impressive targets will be made possible through the building’s use of mass timber construction that helps to substantially reduce a building’s carbon footprint. <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Atlassian-headquarters-SHoP-architects-and-BVN-1-889×592.jpg" alt="aerial rendering of 40-story tower with green roof" class="wp-image-2274967" Atlassian’s new headquarters will serve as a high-performance landmark and first anchor property for Central Station, an area that the NSW government plans to regenerate as a new tech precinct. The new Atlassian building is expected to generate 2,500 additional jobs — the tower will house 4,000 Atlassian staff — and add almost $1 billion annually to the Australian economy. The sustainable building will also move the needle forward on the company’s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Related: Canada’s first net-zero carbon, mass-timber college building to rise in Toronto <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Atlassian-headquarters-SHoP-architects-and-BVN-6-889×667.jpg" alt="rendering of tall timber tower with slatted exterior" class="wp-image-2274973" <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Atlassian-headquarters-SHoP-architects-and-BVN-7-889×592.jpg" alt="rendering of indoor garden full of plants" class="wp-image-2274974" The hybrid building, which will rise to an approximate height of 590 feet, will combine mass timber construction with a steel exoskeleton as well as solar panels built into the transparent facade. The electricity-generating facade system will include self-shading capabilities to reduce unwanted solar heat gain. An abundance of natural light and cross ventilation will also help reduce energy use. <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Atlassian-headquarters-SHoP-architects-and-BVN-2-889×592.jpg" alt="rendering of transparent facade revealing floors of offices filled with plants" class="wp-image-2274968" <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Atlassian-headquarters-SHoP-architects-and-BVN-5-889×667.jpg" alt="rendering of 40-story tower lit from within at night" class="wp-image-2274972" User comfort will be enhanced not only with the use of timber, which provides a sense of warmth throughout, but also through the integration of park spaces. Staggered outdoor gardens provide protected spaces designed for year-round comfort. Level 1 communal activities will be located at the first of the elevated parks of the tower. + Atlassian + SHoP Architects + BVN Architects Images by SHoP/BVN Architects

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Worlds tallest hybrid timber building proposed for Sydney

Australian Bushfires: How Might Smoke Haze Affect You?

January 20, 2020 by  
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The bushfires in Australia are having devastating impact on local … The post Australian Bushfires: How Might Smoke Haze Affect You? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Australian Bushfires: How Might Smoke Haze Affect You?

Half a billion Australian animals, even 30% of koala population, likely lost to wildfires

January 6, 2020 by  
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Record-breaking wildfires have ravaged millions of Australian acres for many months now. Ecologists estimate upward of 480 million mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects have died, as well as more than 8,000 koalas from New South Wales, equating to over 30% of the region’s entire koala population. Figures continue to rise as the fires rage on. Heat from the fires has driven many animals, such as kangaroos, to flee. But not all can escape, exemplified by flightless endemic birds unable to venture far from the ground. The plight is worse for koalas, already a vulnerable species experiencing significant habitat loss . Koalas are slow-moving by nature, incapable of escaping highly flammable eucalyptus trees. The flames will need to subside further before their losses can be fully assessed. Related: Koala-sniffing detection dog, Bear, helps save koalas from Australian bushfires Other species have been devastated as well. Insects, vital to pollination and nutrient cycles, have suffered massively. Many rare plants are also feared to be entirely decimated, with no chance of recovery for their species. These staggering losses jeopardize species populations and ecosystems in Australia. Environmental activists are consequently sounding alarms on climate change , demanding halts to logging and coal use due to their exacerbation of wildfire conditions. “The compelling issue here is climate change. Yes, Australia is burning, and national parks and our native animals are being decimated,” said Clover Moore, mayor of Sydney. “As the driest continent on Earth, we’re at the forefront of accelerating global warming . What is happening is a wake-up call for our governments to start making effective contributions to reducing global emissions.” Various animal care facilities are struggling to help the surviving animals. Eventually, once they have healed, these animals still need to return to their natural habitats. The surviving animals may have trouble finding food and shelter in the blazes’ aftermath. “We’re getting a lot of lessons out of this, and it’s just showing how unprepared we are,” said Kellie Leigh, executive director of Science for Wildlife, to the Australian parliament during an urgent December hearing regarding the koala population. “There’s no procedures or protocols in place — even wildlife carers don’t have protocols for when they can go in after the fire.” Typically, wildlife authorities advise against feeding wild animals . But the ravaging wildfires have prompted a message change — people are now encouraged to provide crucial food and water to wildlife in affected areas. Lands affected range from at least 8.9 million acres in New South Wales, 2.9 million acres in Western Australia, 1.8 million acres in Victoria, 618,000 acres in Queensland and 250,000 acres in South Australia. Via HuffPost Image via Simon Rumi

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Half a billion Australian animals, even 30% of koala population, likely lost to wildfires

Australia is investing over $377 million to protect and restore the Great Barrier Reef

May 1, 2018 by  
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The Great Barrier Reef provides $6.4 billion AUD to the economies of Australia and the Australian state Queensland a year — and now the Australian government aims to protect that asset with what they say is the largest ever single investment in the reef . They’ll pour over $500 million AUD, or around $377 million, into “the planet’s greatest living wonder” — which is at risk. The Australian government is investing millions in the Great Barrier Reef to “protect thousands of jobs, improve water quality, tackle coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish and implement scientific reef restoration.” NPR reported just over 11 percent of this money will go to marine park and federal agencies, with $444 million AUD, or around $335 million, going to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation . Related: Rising ocean temperatures are cooking the Great Barrier Reef to death $40 million AUD of the money for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation will go towards reef health monitoring, $45 million AUD to other work including coastal clean-ups and community engagement like indigenous traditional knowledge, and $58 million AUD to fighting the starfish. $100 million AUD will go towards “harnessing the best science to implement reef restoration” as well as funding research supporting adaptation and resilience. $201 million AUD will go towards improving water quality, starting on land: with farming practices like lowered fertilizer use and “adopting new technologies and land management practices.” The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble. It suffered from coral bleaching events in 2016 and 2017. Since 2016, around half of the reef has died, according to Forbes . The waters around the Reef warmed due to El Niño and climate change , and corals have perished. Heat stress from global warming (right) killed 30% of corals in 8 months (left). In the north, 50% died. Then it happened again in 2017. To save the #GreatBarrierReef , WE NEED TO TACKLE GLOBAL WARMING. https://t.co/YeW6ymNDok pic.twitter.com/m5GGgWWxS9 — Terry Hughes (@ProfTerryHughes) April 29, 2018 Surprise – not a single mention of #climatechange nor the massive coal mines that are driving the destruction of the Reef in this PR blurb for the government! https://t.co/axBhiHcNx7 — Christopher Wright (@ChristopherWr11) April 29, 2018 Government that wants to put public money into coal mines and coal power plants announces Reef package for all the factors harming the reef other than the ocean warming that will kill it https://t.co/tcl1n0PrHn — Tom Swann (@TOM_SWANN) April 29, 2018 Will the investment be enough to save the reef? Business Insider said experts have criticized the plans for their failure to address greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, seen as the root cause of the reef’s struggles. + Great Barrier Reef Foundation Via NPR , Forbes , and Business Insider Images via Depositphotos and Matt Kieffer on Flickr

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Australia is investing over $377 million to protect and restore the Great Barrier Reef

Birds called ‘firehawk raptors’ are intentionally spreading fires in Australia

January 10, 2018 by  
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When you think of causes of fire in Australia , you might think of lightning or arsonists – but you probably don’t think of birds . But at least three birds of prey species spread wildfires in Australia, according to a new paper incorporating indigenous knowledge. Penn State University geographer and lead author Mark Bonta told National Geographic , “We’re not discovering anything. Most of the data that we’ve worked with is collaborative with Aboriginal peoples…They’ve known this for probably 40,000 years or more.” ‘Firehawk raptors’ – the Black Kite ( Milvus migrans ), Brown Falcon ( Falco berigora ), and Whistling Kite ( Haliastur sphenurus ) – spread fire by carrying burning sticks in their beaks or talons. They can transport fiery sticks up to around one kilometer, or 0.6 miles, away, staring fires where the flames haven’t yet burned. And while indigenous people have known about this behavior for a long time, this new study published in the Journal of Ethnobiology late last year documenting the knowledge and around six years of ethno-ornithological research could help overcome what the paper abstract described as “official skepticism about the reality of avian fire-spreading.” Related: Carnivorous marsupial alive and well after being presumed extinct for 100 years “Intentional Fire-Spreading by “Firehawk” Raptors in Northern Australia,” Bonta et al. Journal of Ethnobiology, 37(4) (abstract): https://t.co/JJVomc5zDy #ethnobiology #ethnoornithology #birds #fire pic.twitter.com/Bv4oSA6BpC — Bob Gosford (@bgosford) January 1, 2018 Why would these birds of prey set fires? According to National Geographic, the blazes could help them find food as small animals and insects attempt to escape the fire. Co-author Bob Gosford told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2016, “Black kites and brown falcons come to these fronts because it is just literally a killing frenzy. It’s a feeding frenzy, because out of these grasslands come small birds, lizards, insects, everything fleeing the front of the fire.” And it’s important to dispel skepticism so officials could better plan land management and restoration. The researchers hope their paper will help with fire ecology and fire management that takes into account these fire-spreading birds. Via ScienceAlert and National Geographic Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

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Birds called ‘firehawk raptors’ are intentionally spreading fires in Australia

Australian home builder to include a Tesla Powerwall in every new home

April 4, 2017 by  
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An Australian home builder has announced plans to include a Tesla Powerwall in all new homes. Arden Homes says they will outfit all their new homes with the energy storage technology through a partnership with solar energy company and certified Tesla Powerwall reseller Bradford Solar . The move is expected to slash electricity costs for homeowners. Tesla Powerwalls will now be standard in Arden homes as part of the Bradford Solar ChargePack. Solar panels on home rooftops will gather energy, which can then “be used to power your appliances, fed back into the grid , or stored for later use,” according to an Arden brochure . The pack also includes cloud-based monitoring so people can track energy consumption right from their smartphones. Related: Solar homes with Tesla’s Powerwall 2.0 are already cost-competitive with the grid in Australia The Tesla Powerwall, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery , allows homes to run on renewable energy whether the sun is shining or not, and can even power homes during an outage. Powerwalls can also help homeowners slash electric bills by up to 92 percent; according to Tesla , the battery charges when electricity demand is low, and therefore rates are low, and discharges when electricity demand is higher and rates are more expensive. According to Arden’s brochure, families could save around $2,500 every year on electric costs, and their five kilowatt (kW) Bradford Solar ChargePack allows a family of four to attain 90 percent self-sufficiency a day. Their six kW pack allows an Australian family to live with little dependency on the grid. Arden Homes are also designed to allow plenty of natural light to brighten up their dwellings through sun courts and large picture windows. 15 percent of Australian households – or around 1.5 million homes – are utilizing solar energy, and information released late last year showed the electricity generated in Australian solar homes with a Tesla Powerwall 2 is cost-competitive with the grid. + Arden Homes + Bradford Solar Via Futurism Images via Bradford Solar Facebook and Arden Homes Facebook

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Green-roofed Torquay House provides sanctuary in a less-than-secluded neighborhood

November 18, 2016 by  
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A concrete facade conceals a secluded courtyard that leads up to the glazed entrance door. From this point on, a variety of large, open spaces unravel and blur the line between the interior and the central courtyard. A double-height gallery space is glazed on one side to reveal the plan that wraps around the courtyard and draw northern light and breezes through the house. Related: Solar-powered Bush House exemplifies chic eco-friendly living in the Australian outback A series of rooftop gardens , along with greenery draping off the deep concrete eaves give a verdant feel to the entire house. A rich palette of natural and metallic elements, including fine timber battening and brass detailing, creates patterns and provides warmth that counterpoints the rugged quality of the concrete . + Auhaus Architecture Via Uncrate Photos by Derek Swalwell

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Green-roofed Torquay House provides sanctuary in a less-than-secluded neighborhood

Australian father and son crowdfund $13 million for backyard Flow Hive honey harvester

September 19, 2016 by  
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Nearly 18 months ago, we reported on Flow Hive , the wildly successful crowdfunded project with two key benefits: making it easier to harvest honey in your backyard while simultaneously supporting threatened bee populations . The crowdfunding campaign broke numerous records , as it soared past $1 million in backing pledges on Day 1. The wild success of Flow Hive’s Indiegogo campaign made history—not just for bees and prospective beekeepers, but for all sorts of inventors and entrepreneurs looking for ways to fund their own innovations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z54bL6kjyOI In total, the crowdfunding effort raised a whopping $13,244,379 for the Australian father-and-son team of Stuart and Cedar Anderson. That is 17,380 percent of the campaign’s original goal. The campaign was a raging success for many reasons. To start, the duo’s invention addresses a global problem and provides a hands-on solution that individual people or small communities can actually utilize (despite criticisms about Flow Hive’s plastic honeycomb). Additionally, the Andersons thoughtfully prepared photos, descriptions, and videos demonstrate how their prototype works. Related: 6 Buzz-worthy backyard beehive designs Those essential elements contributed to what happened next: the crowdfunding campaign went viral. The Flow Hive received widespread news coverage and tons of activity on social media. Because the campaign got so much attention, it quickly broke a number of crowdfunding records. Flow Hive became the fastest campaign to reach $1 million in backing (within the first 24 hours), the fastest to reach $2 million, and ultimately the most successful crowdfunding campaign ever launched outside the United States. By the end of this month, the project’s backers will have all received their very own Flow Hives, and the duo also sells them directly (for $699). While this particular project translates into a sweet life for bees and backyard honey fans, it’s also a great example of the awesome power that comes from combining a good idea, an entrepreneurial spirit, and an internet community full of bee lovers. Via CNET Images via Honey Flow

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Australian father and son crowdfund $13 million for backyard Flow Hive honey harvester

Refined timber-wrapped house is a low-maintenance space for a retired couple

August 24, 2016 by  
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The house is located on a sloping site in Victoria, Australia . The configuration of the plot dictated the form of the building, which the owners wanted to be all on a single level for convenience. Completed in 2014, the building functions as a friendly getaway where the couple can relax between travels. Related: Solar-powered Bush House exemplifies chic eco-friendly living in the Australian outback The main living area faces north and is naturally ventilated , while the bedrooms are oriented to the east to receive optimal amounts of natural light in the mornings. External timber cladding adds warmth to the house and makes it look like a cozy mountain cottage. + Coy Yiontis Architects Via Freshome Photos by Tatjana Plitt

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Refined timber-wrapped house is a low-maintenance space for a retired couple

Jam Furniture transforms reclaimed timber into sleek minimalist designs

June 27, 2016 by  
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Stylish furniture that is kind to the environment is always the way to go and it’s even better if the designs reference the beauty of nature. Like its name indicates, Jam Furniture is sweet yet practical. Inspired by reclaimed material and minimalist design, Jam Furniture’s creations showcase timber that tells a story, timber that had a previous life. Details like the nail holes in this stunning seventy-year-old reclaimed Australian cypress pine table are what make each design unique. Since many of these quirks can’t be recreated without the passage of time, Jam takes care to retain as many of them as possible. An all-natural (even edible) Beeswax polish gives the timber a sheen that extenuates the character of the grain, while locally sourced folded and powder coated steel frames and celebrates the warmth of the wood. Jam was established by Ben Cramp in 2013 on the rugged West Coast of Wales in the UK. + Jam Furniture The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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