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="//×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="//×667.jpg" alt="rendering of tall timber tower with slatted exterior" class="wp-image-2274973" <img src="//×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="//×592.jpg" alt="rendering of transparent facade revealing floors of offices filled with plants" class="wp-image-2274968" <img src="//×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

Hundreds of Amazon employees risk jobs to protest company’s climate policies

January 28, 2020 by  
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Hundreds of Amazon employees have joined in solidarity, forming the advocacy group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ) to protest the company’s climate policies. AECJ seeks to push Amazon into adopting more eco-conscious practices, but Amazon has threatened the protesters with termination for violating its communications policy. Undeterred, AECJ’s campaign continues to pressure the e-commerce behemoth into rethinking its environmental impact. Last autumn, Amazon became The Climate Pledge ’s first signatory, vowing to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early. Amazon announced, “The Climate Pledge calls on signatories to be net-zero carbon across their businesses by 2040 — a decade ahead of the Paris Accord’s goal of 2050.” Amazon promised to decarbonize, develop low-carbon products and services, invest $100 million toward reforestation and shift toward 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030. Related: Over 6,000 employees demand Amazon take climate change seriously In response, AECJ — which bills itself on Twitter as “a group of Amazon employees who believe it’s our responsibility to ensure our business models don’t contribute to the climate crisis” — has called on the tech giant to accelerate its sustainability practices. AECJ wants Amazon to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and steer away from contracts with fossil fuel companies. To guarantee accountability with its Climate Pledge, Amazon also unveiled a sustainability website . There, Amazon publicly pledged to “promote safe and inclusive workplaces in our operations and throughout our supply chain.” That measure became a point of contention with AECJ, whose members criticize Amazon for not taking sufficient action. For instance, Wired reported that Amazon workers lambasted Amazon’s supply chain for being “built at the expense of warehouse workers who work at a pace that causes higher-than-industry-average industry rates. It’s not humane to have people scared to go to the bathroom.” Perhaps the stickiest of point of all is Amazon’s policy that restricts employees from speaking negatively in public about the company without prior approval. An Amazon spokesperson explained, “While all employees are welcome to engage constructively with any of the many teams inside Amazon that work on sustainability and other topics, we do enforce our external communications policy and will not allow employees to publicly disparage or misrepresent the company or the hard work of their colleagues who are developing solutions to these hard problems.” Despite the policy, AECJ has decided to publicly criticize Amazon for its climate policies, tweeting, “Hundreds of us decided to stand up to our employer, Amazon. We are scared. But we decided we couldn’t live with ourselves if we let a policy silence us in the face of an issue of such moral gravity like the climate crisis … Workers everywhere must have the right to question their own employer’s contributions and responsibilities in the climate crisis.” + Amazon Employees for Climate Justice + Amazon Via Vox and Wired Image via Shutterstock

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Hundreds of Amazon employees risk jobs to protest company’s climate policies

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