This riverfront pier is revitalized after Cyclone Maria ravaged Rockhampton

August 10, 2018 by  
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When Cyclone Maria hit Rockhampton,  Queensland in 2015, the whole community quickly joined forces to repair and rebuild local homes and businesses. Now, one of the most prized assets of the community, the Rockhampton Riverside Precinct, is getting a major makeover — led by Woods Bagot — that everyone can enjoy. The massive riverfront pier site suffered from neglect even before the cyclone hit, but its potential was steadfast. Architectural firm Woods Bagot is at the forefront of the renovation of the pier and adjacent structures and is intent to restore the two-story landmark back to the community hub it once was. Not only will the pier be overhauled and upgraded, the site will be designed to offer something for everyone, from kids to adults. The plans include interactive water attractions, galleries of local artwork, lush terraced landscaping, a playground and plenty of open space for mulling around or just taking in the picturesque surroundings. Local businesses, including a new restaurant celebrating the region’s fresh produce and seafood, will round out the attractions at the Rockhampton Riverside Precinct. Related: Australia’s cyclone-resistant home The rich auburn exterior of Corten steel will include embellishments of silver, gold and copper, homage to the region’s history of ore mining. Green aspects of the project include solar roof tiles that produce electricity for the project’s power grid, plenty of charging stations for electric cars  and sites for bicycle maintenance and minor repairs to encourage green transportation . Instead of energy-hungry cooling systems, the complex largely depends on keeping the atmosphere comfortable with huge roof overhangs and fresh breezes off the water wafting through the open hallways and deck. Images of ancient ship masts come to mind as the winds whip through the structure, impatiently changing direction as nature dictates. “Rockhampton Riverside Precinct has become a destination for everyone to visit, occupy and enjoy,” said Mark Damant, principal of Woods Bagot. “The vision of restoring the energy from the gold period has been realized along with the aim to provide the people of Rockhampton with a world-class civic and recreational space.” + Woods Bagot Images via Florian Groehn

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This riverfront pier is revitalized after Cyclone Maria ravaged Rockhampton

University of Queensland wants to drop "bommies" on the Great Barrier Reef

July 25, 2018 by  
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Experts at the University of Queensland are experimenting with a new way of saving Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – one of the most endangered natural environments on the planet – and their strategy might surprise you. Researchers in the university’s Civil Engineering and Biological Sciences department have been salvaging portions of dead coral and recycling them into new structures. They hope that the project will not only protect still-active parts of the reef, but restore it with new life as well. University scientists are collaborating with engineering, science and technology consulting firm BMT to create netted structures that contain unstable rubble made up of dead coral, with the goal of transforming them into bombora. Bombora, or “bommies” as Australians have dubbed them, are large pillars of coral that serve as a habitat for myriad fish species and – when strategically positioned – may help repair the reef in a natural, non-invasive manner. Related: Australia is investing over $377 million to save the Great Barrier Reef The team has received funding from the Australian and Queensland governments that will allow it to commence pilot testing on the project. If the reef is not aided by external forces, it may not be able to survive the coral bleaching events of 2016 and 2017. While other projects have been suggested, including using giant fans in an attempt to cool down reef waters or developing films to shield the coral from increased sunlight exposure, the bommies would represent a more sustainable and natural endeavor. Professor Tom Baldock, who is working on the project, explains, “on a healthy reef, the wave energy is reduced by the coral structure, enabling broken coral to naturally bind to form a stable layer, initially through the growth of crustose coralline algae, or CCA. CCA helps bind coral rubble together to create the framework for reefs and releases chemicals which attract free-swimming coral larvae.” The research team is working hard in their race against the clock to establish this organic foundation and protect one of the Earth’s most beautiful yet endangered habitats. +University of Queensland Via NewAtlas

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University of Queensland wants to drop "bommies" on the Great Barrier Reef

The Science Place becomes Australias first new LEED Gold-rated educational building

April 24, 2018 by  
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James Cook University’s The Science Place recently earned the distinction of becoming Australia’s first educational building to achieve a prestigious LEED Gold rating. Designed by HASSELL , the sustainable building with state-of-the-art facilities brings together the university’s chemistry, biochemistry and biology research cohorts under one roof. The Science Place also recovered and recycled 96% of all the previous building materials—a new record for a Townsville development of its size. The nearly 130,000-square-foot The Science Place building serves as the iconic “home of science” and central hub on the university campus. The four-story structure stacks two floors of dedicated scientific research areas atop research-led learning spaces on the lower two floors, all linked by light-filled atrium spaces and a central open stair. “We’ve seen a surge in the desire to house STEM activities under the one roof as a way to increase cross-disciplinary education and knowledge sharing, and The Science Place is a prime example of achieving this goal,” said HASSELL Principal Mark Roehrs. “This not only makes sense from a building and asset point of view, but also for student experience as it increases interaction.” Related: The Global Change Institute Operates in a Net Zero, Carbon Neutral Research Center in Brisbane In addition to the recovery and recycling of previous building materials, the LEED Gold -certified university building keeps power consumption to a minimum thanks to natural daylight, daylight-sensitive lighting, water-saving taps, and a light-colored reflective roof that reduces solar heat gain. A 25kW solar rooftop area also generates 125kWh of renewable energy a day. For improved health and comfort, the building is also equipped with superior indoor air quality management and testing, multiple low-emitting materials, and performance-optimized smart metering. + HASSELL Images © Andrew Rankin

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The Science Place becomes Australias first new LEED Gold-rated educational building

Great Barrier Reef bleaching is the "worst coral die-off" in recorded history

November 30, 2016 by  
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The health of the Great Barrier Reef is widely thought to be an indicator for the state of the Earth’s marine ecosystems, and the announcement made Tuesday that the reef is currently experiencing the worst coral die-off in recorded history doesn’t bode well for the rest of our waters. The depressing conclusion was reached after evaluating data collected during more than 900 dives along the 1,400-mile reef. When coral is exposed to too much warm water, it dies, thus transforming from a vibrant display of colorful creatures to a white or greyish skeleton. Its light color is known as “coral bleaching,” and researchers are recording ever larger spans of the reef where this phenomenon is taking place. On Tuesday, Prof. Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Queensland, said on Tuesday that around two-thirds of the shallow-water coral on the reef’s 430-mile northern stretch is now dead, but the survival rates in the middle and southern parts of the reef are much better. Related: No, the Great Barrier Reef isn’t dead – but it is damaged “The good news is that in the south, only about 1 percent of the reef’s coral has died, and the mortality rate in the middle is about 6 percent,” Hughes said. “But in the north, mortality rates are very high, and in some places where coral has survived but it has weakened, the per capita predation rate has gone through the roof.” Hughes noted that this is the third major bleaching event to hit the Great Barrier Reef, and that while some sections of the reef are still thriving, their fate remains uncertain. Increasing warming trends in ocean water currents pose higher and higher future threat to the remaining living coral, not to mention the other creatures living in and around the reef. In response to the issue, the Australian government is putting about $33.6 million into efforts to protect the reef, by improving water quality and reducing sediment runoff. Australian leaders may petition the United Nations to declare the Great Barrier Reef an “in danger” site, a move the international coalition has stopped short of in recent years. Via NYT Images via ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

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Great Barrier Reef bleaching is the "worst coral die-off" in recorded history

Low-impact Planchonella House meanders through Queensland’s lush tropical forest

November 11, 2015 by  
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Australia approves one of the world’s largest coal mining projects

October 21, 2015 by  
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Just when you thought coal was going completely out of style, Australia has given approval for one of the world’s largest coal mines . According to the BBC , a court temporarily blocked the project back in August due to environmental concerns, but the Australian government has given Adani Mining of India the go-ahead for their Queensland mine. Australian environment minister Greg Hunt says the approval includes “36 of the strictest conditions in Australian history,” but critics aren’t buying it and say it’s “grossly irresponsible.” Read the rest of Australia approves one of the world’s largest coal mining projects

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Australia threatens to kill Johnny Depp’s dogs

May 14, 2015 by  
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Traveling with animals is far from the easiest of tasks, but traveling with animals without proper permits is downright foolish, as Johnny Depp has recently found out. Currently in Queensland to film the latest in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, it has been alleged by Australian authorities that he “snuck in” two Yorkshire terriers—named Pistol and Boo—on a private plane. Australia is taking a decisive stance with Minister of Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce announcing in an interview that if the dogs haven’t “buggered off back to the United States” by Sunday May 17, then they will be put down. Read the rest of Australia threatens to kill Johnny Depp’s dogs Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: amber heard , animal import , animal quarantine , animal smuggling , Australia animals , dog euthanasia , dogs on planes , johnny depp , queensland , traveling with animals , yorkshire terrier

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Australia threatens to kill Johnny Depp’s dogs

Join Jamie Oliver’s fight for children’s food education on Food Revolution Day, May 15

May 14, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. Jamie Oliver is known around the globe as a guy who is passionate about food and, in particular, about food education at an early age. He’s battled for better school lunches, worked to teach kids what’s in their food, and campaigned against childhood obesity. Oliver’s gone one step further by naming May 15 as “ Food Revolution Day ,” a massive effort to rally people around the world to call for early food education, including growing and cooking their own food. Read the rest of Join Jamie Oliver’s fight for children’s food education on Food Revolution Day, May 15 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: children food education , early food education , food education in schools , food revolution , food revolution day , jamie oliver , jamie oliver petition , kids learning to cook , kids learning to grow food , may 15 , petition for food education

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Join Jamie Oliver’s fight for children’s food education on Food Revolution Day, May 15

Meet ‘Skeletorus’ and ‘Sparklemuffin’—the world’s newest species of peacock spiders

March 9, 2015 by  
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Maratus jacatus (or, Sparklemuffin) Two new species of the strikingly-patterned peacock spider have been discovered in southeast Queensland by a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. One, nicknamed “Sparklemuffin” bears colorful red and blue markings and appears similar to three previously identified species of peacock spider, while the other—”Skeletorus”—features skeleton-esque black and white markings, the likes of which have never been seen before. Read the rest of Meet ‘Skeletorus’ and ‘Sparklemuffin’—the world’s newest species of peacock spiders Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Animals , arachnid , australia , Australian spiders , Dr Jurgen Otto , jurgen otto , Madeline Girard , maratus jacatus , Maratus sceletus , Nature , peacock spider , peacock spiders , queensland , Queensland Australia , skeletorus , skeletorus spider , sparklemuffin , sparklemuffin spider , spider mating dance , spiders

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Meet ‘Skeletorus’ and ‘Sparklemuffin’—the world’s newest species of peacock spiders

Zero-fuel Solar Impulse 2 takes off on world’s first round-the-world flight powered entirely by sunlight

March 9, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Zero-fuel Solar Impulse 2 takes off on world’s first round-the-world flight powered entirely by sunlight Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: abu dhabi , Andre Borschberg , bertrand piccard , Muscat , round the world trip , solar impulse , Solar Impulse 2 , solar panels , Solar Power , Solar Powered Flight , zero fuel plane

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