Articles

Sustainable Procurement - LCA the Way Forward

Explaining the benefits of and need for the use of Life Cycle Assessment in green purchasing and policy. This article explores green purchasing from an organisational standpoint and looks at the implications of engaging organisation-wide processes in sustainability to deliver overall increases in productivity, called 'Green Productivity' benefits, as well as how to engage these processes and deliver simple easier procurement outcomes.

Lean Cities - Low Carb Materials

This paper looks at what it will take to make eco-balanced cities and eco-balanced products that are engineered with multiple life-cycles considered before sale and how they can be re-use enabled by information flow into design, construction and higher levels of activity in physical re-sculpting at end of use. The Concept of Restorative Sustainability and the ecospecifier website as a tool is presented and case study solutions provided.

Materials Impacts in Construction

The building industry consumes a high proportion of the planet's resources and comes with a large range of embodied impacts. This article answers questions like: What are the environmental impacts of products? What part of a building has the highest proportion of embodied impacts?

Durability - Can we afford It?

In the past durability has been perceived as the king of sustainability criteria. High impact products have been able to claim they heve less impact becuase of long life. This article asks the hard questions: What impact does durability have on greenhouse emissions and climate change tipping points now? Can we affford durability 'premiums' if they come with high greenhouse gas impacts? The answers might surprise you.

Understanding the Language of Toxicity

For some, the language of R-Phrases and CAS numbers are meaningless mumbo-jumbo. This article explains the importance of these concepts and how they can be used to unscramble the complex maze of chemical toxicity and its impacts on people and the environment.

Going [leafy] Green - Inside and Out

We all know plants absorb carbon dioxide and provide fresh oxygen in return. But did you know they are nature's highly efficient VOC filters are air purifiers? This article presents the benefits of using plants and plantscapes, on, in and around buildings and considers the green building tool including Green Star(R) rating implications.

Five Fallacies About Green Buildings

Everybody knows green buildings and products are always more expensive, right? Wrong....this article presents and debunks five common falacies about green buildings.

Part 1 - Integrative Design & Tunnelling Through the Cost Barrier

In this first part of a 2 part paper is included some of the distilled experiences  of experienced green development design teams from around the world on how to deliver green projects at no or low cost differential to conventional ones. Part 2 presents information from 4 different continents about recent discoveries in the benefits of green buildings to developers, occupants, society and living systems.

Part 2 - Green Builidngs Benefit all

Part 2 of this integrative design article will present information from 4 different continents about recent discoveries in the benefits of green buildings to developers, owners, occupants, societies and living systems.

Shade - A Hot Climate Design Challenge

As humans in a hot climate, we instinctively seek shade when subjected to the hot sun. In early buildings and even in the adoption of traditional Middle Eastern Dishdasha and Abaya garments or the traditional tropical ventilated double roof is the instinctive acknowledgement that shade drives comfort in hot climates. This article considers the need for shade and demostrates with measured data why even smartglass alone is inadequate and looks at ways to deliver it in hot climates.

Bushfire Shelters and Earth Covered Homes

During the Black Saturday fires, a number of people were saved in underground bunkers and some were killed due to the inadequacy of the bunker and their preparation. Earth coverings can save lives, but adequate research, careful design, detailing, construction and preparation are required to ensure protection is successful. This article presents the case for earth covered and integrated homes and shelters in  bushfire. It provides links to the current Bushfire Shelter Code and other resources.

Propylene Glycol & Glycol Esters

Common Solvent Propylene Glycol may pose a wider range of health effects on human health than previously known.

Understanding Toxicity: What Comes before ESCAP

Legislation is almost silent on a mandate of safe levels of specific problem chemicals in finished products that might affect end users.  This article explores types of toxicity and effect on human health and the environment.