Melbourne leads Australia in cleaning stormwater naturally

EVERY year, about 500 billion litres of stormwater washes off the roofs, roads and footpaths of Melbourne into our rivers and bays.

That’s about the same amount of water that Melburnians consume each year.

Often it comes in a thunderous rush, surging out of drains, damaging waterways, and pouring litter into Port Phillip and Western Port bays.

But a $20 million bid to use Melbourne’s stormwater on “rain gardens” across the metropolitan area has gathered speed since early last year.

Rain gardens are designed to absorb large volumes of water from downpipes, road surfaces and paved areas.

Melbourne leads Australia in cleaning stormwater naturally | Herald Sun.

Design visionary to present futuristic ‘building for today’ at Abu Dhabi World Future Energy Summit | World Future Energy Summit (WFES)

A conceptual design for a skyscraper that can do ‘everything a tree can do except replicate’ will be one of the highlights of the inaugural World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi next month.

William McDonough – recognised by Time magazine as a ‘Hero for the Planet’ – was commissioned by Fortune magazine to come up with a design for a skyscraper office tower that would anticipate a 100 percent positive impact on people and place. Since his firm of architects embarked on the project, he has been approached by numerous companies keen to turn the idea into reality.

‘We’re really excited,’ said McDonough in an interview, ‘because everyone in the building world that has seen it has said ‘can we do this together?’ So we are now looking for a patron to help us bring this to reality.’

Design visionary to present futuristic ‘building for today’ at Abu Dhabi World Future Energy Summit | World Future Energy Summit (WFES).

Moscow rises to Foster’s space-age vision approved

Moscow planners have approved Lord Foster’s design for the world’s biggest building – likened by critics to an alien spacecraft and a “dahlia stuck in a string bag”. The British architect’s £2bn “city within a city”, Crystal Island, will be built on the banks of the Moscow river, with a total floor area of 2.5m square metres, making it the largest enclosed space ever to be constructed.

Crystal Island’s steel mega frame is to feature a “smart skin” to buffer against extreme temperatures and is expected to contain 3,000 hotel rooms, 900 apartments and a school for 500 pupils. Its 620m-wide base will taper to a spire almost 500 metres high, giving it the form of a vast transparent wigwam.

Moscow rises to Foster’s space-age vision | Art & Architecture | Guardian Unlimited Arts.

A Borrowed Place on Borrowed Time

In Hong Kong, where land for construction is scarce and commerce has long ruled, preservation has usually given way to a tide of urban development. Few of the British expatriates and Chinese immigrants who came to the city with the moniker “borrowed place, borrowed time” saw it as a permanent home. But since the territory was returned to Chinese rule from Britain in 1997, its local identity has come to the forefront and heritage conservation has taken on the overtones of a populist struggle.
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Rendering of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s proposal for the Central Police Station (inset) and Victoria Prison

Recently battles have been waged over buildings that in most cities would have little historical appeal. In the past year, the demolition of two 1950s ferry terminals to make way for a highway and commercial property developments spurred demonstrations, hunger strikes and arrests.

“These recent heritage battles represent a desperate search for a cultural anchor,” says Lee Ho Yin, director of the architectural conservation program at the University of Hong Kong. “It’s part of Hong Kong people seeking their own identity and roots.”

A Borrowed Place on Borrowed Time – WallStreetJournal.com.

London Olympics bringing in more equipment for clean up

The London Olympics site is current undergoing remediation and has just brought in more moachinery to clean 750 tonnes of soil per day. The construction program starts in spring with the Olympic Stadium.

Read more at Building.co.uk

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