Bond University to have new school of architecture

Bond University located on the Gold Coast of Australia is to introduce a new school of architecture due to the increasing demand for sustainably built environments. The new school will open in January 2011 in a newly built 6-star Green Star rated School of Sustainable Development building. The Soheil Abedian School of Architecture will offer 50 commencing places in 2011 for the six semester undergraduate program.

Professor George Earl, who will oversee the establishment of the School said, “The demand to design living environments that are sustainable and to address climate change issues are increasing exponentially.

“Climate change has required we evolve the way we design buildings.  Two years ago, the school undertook a survey of green rated building in Australia with 12 projects identified. The survey is currently being repeated but with 140 projects now participating.

Professor George Earl, who will oversee the establishment of the School said, “The demand to design living environments that are sustainable and to address climate change issues are increasing exponentially.

“Climate change has required we evolve the way we design buildings.  Two years ago, the school undertook a survey of green rated building in Australia with 12 projects identified. The survey is currently being repeated but with 140 projects now participating.

[SOURCE: Bond University]

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Wetlands restored after long term acid runoff

Australian scientists have announced the world’s first successful large-scale restoration of a coastal wetland being devastated by acid runoff.

The acid crisis at East Trinity began in the 1970s, when developers drained and cleared 800 hectares of tidal wetland to grow sugarcane. This dried out underlying acid sulfate soils causing them to release slugs of acid whenever they were soaked by rain, leading to fish kills and loss of wetlands which alarmed local residents.

A dramatic improvement in environmental conditions has been achieved by researchers working on the trial Hills Creek catchment at the East Trinity site near Cairns in Queensland, using a combination of natural tidal action and strategic treatment with lime.

Mangrove and wetlands are returning, birdlife is flocking to the area and fish abound in creeks that once ran so acid that nothing could survive in them.  Having first demonstrated success in the trial catchment, remediation is underway on the remainder of the site.

[SOURCE: CRCCARE -World-first clean-up of acid wetlands]

Continue reading Wetlands restored after long term acid runoff

Australian state government fastracks the rebuilding of Marysville

3 months after WLA reported in Marysville Moving On that the Marysville Urban Design Framework was released for public comment now comes news that the UDF has been fast-tracked and approved by Victorian State Planning Minister Justin Madden. Marysville was the township that was destroyed during the 2009 bushfires.

Mr Madden said that Murrindindi Shire Council had played a key role in the formulation and review of the UDF, working in partnership with the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority (VBRRA) and with the community who had major input into the framework.

Minister for Regional and Rural Development Jacinta Allan, speaking from Marysville, said the new framework was designed to address the social and environmental needs of the community in the immediate and long term.

“The framework will build on the existing Marysville rebuilding projects such as the Gallipoli Park Masterplan, Marysville Motor Museum Shopping Centre, and the $7 million school and children’s hub.”

[SOURCE: Victorian State Government]

Australian architects think about cities in 2050 and beyond

The Australian Institute of Architects has announced a shortlist of proposals for the Australia Pavillion at the Venice Biennale. The shortlist of 24 was selected from 129 submissions addressing urban spaces in 2050 and beyond.

Some of the proposals include:

  • New cities of 50,000-100,000 in desert areas
  • Cities which feature a ‘tartan-like texture of pure urban areas (or cells), pure rural cells, and cells which are a hybrid of rural and urban’, providing a ‘vital flexibility for a sustainable future’.
  • Cities hugging the coast from Noosa to Geelong to accommodate population growth and the preferred coastal climate; connected by a ‘very fast train running from North Qld to Victoria; pockets of vertical sprawl; new cities in pristine locations such as Botany Bay and the Royal National Park.
  • Cities in which ‘within tightly controlled boundaries exist Multiple Cities‘. Cities which address issues such as: what if a city grows not out, but up or down? What if a city’s growth boundary is not on its periphery but at its heart? What if new planning initiatives were introduced governing the use of air space? ‘A Green City, where the top plane provides wind and solar energy to power (and cool) the multiple cities below’, as well as all food production.
  • Cities ‘woven into the landscape’ – balancing dense human settlement with flora and fauna biodiversity, with major roadways converted into natural landscape corridors.

The competition fired the imagination of Australia’s architects and designers, resulting in inspired, possible solutions and imaginative proposals addressing the critical issue of Australian urbanism – examining possibilities across the terrestrial, underwater and airborne realms.

The two-part ‘NOW + WHEN Australian Urbanism‘ exhibition will highlight three of Australia’s most interesting urban regions as they are ‘NOW’, before dramatically representing around seven futuristic urban environments from the competition as they may be ‘WHEN’ we reach 2050 and beyond.

Co-Creative Director and well-known Melbourne-based photographer John Gollings said: “The large number of entries and range of approach and philosophy exceeded expectations. We felt that more than 50 per cent of the entries could have made an important contribution to the Venice Architecture Biennale, and narrowing the selection down to 24 was difficult.

“Of great interest now, is that these varied ideas must be turned into tangible 3D models which can be screened as virtual, built projects for exhibition in the Australian Pavilion in Venice. This process will challenge the normal speculative imaging often produced by architects, and lead to new presentation techniques benefiting the whole profession as the world embraces 3D, virtual, and holographic media. From the test results with our 3D projectors, now running in Melbourne, the Australian pavilion at the 2010 Venice Biennale will be a standout attraction.”

The Creative Directors said those shortlisted were far more than hypotheticals. Each uniquely responded to future challenges including population growth, environmental degradation, dwindling resources and climate change. Each entry reflected a highly creative diversity of possibilities fused with a diversity of design that mapped out possible cities of the future.

12th Venice Architecture Biennale:
Vernissage: 26, 27, 28 August 2010;
Exhibition: 29 August – 28 November 2010

SOURCE: Australian Institute of Architects

RELATED NEWS STORY: Sydney Morning Herald – Living in the future, with under-harbour views

Top scientists join calls to save threatened red gum forests

Sydney Morning Herald reports

MORE than 50 leading scientists from around Australia have written to the Premier, Nathan Rees, asking him to protect the iconic Riverina red gum forests by creating huge national parks in south-western NSW and increasing the flow of water to them from the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers

The letter, signed by 57 scientists, warns that the red gum forests and their wetlands are in poor health. It says the Government needs to ”act swiftly to hasten the much-needed repair and protection of these precious river red gum wetland forests by protecting them in new parks and reserves”.

Read the full article at the SOURCE: Sydney Morning Herald – Top scientists join calls to save threatened red gum forests

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