Media and News

Commercial Aviation Emissions Could Halve Due to COVID19

A report released by the The Australia Institute said aviation emissions would be slashed by 56 per cent if most flights are grounded for the next 9 months.

Australia Institute analysis shows global emissions from aviation in February and the first half of March 2020 are already lower than this time last year. If the cuts to flights announced by Qantas and Virgin continue into Spring, it would more than halve annual aviation emissions in Australia.

Emissions from Australian commercial aviation could decrease by up to 13.2Mt CO2 in 2020 (56% decrease from 2019) under an extreme scenario of continual grounding of most Qantas and Virgin planes for 9 months.

The report said the reduction in emissions, based on International Air Transport Association (IATA) data, would likely become an underestimation as the pandemic continued.

“The economic impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry has been no doubt devastating,” said Climate and Energy Program Director Richie Merzian.

“Even the three impact scenarios presented in the last month by the International Air Transport Association now appear to be optimistic.

“With the travel and quarantine restrictions in place, there has been an increased demand for alternative solutions — services like teleconferencing system Zoom recorded more active users in the first two months of 2020 than in all of 2019.

“If we can work well together online now, perhaps it will permanently reduce the need for business travel and so emissions over the long term.”

Source:  The Australia Institute

Stone hailed as a sustainable building material

Stone is a sustainable building material that has applications beyond use in cladding, according to a new exhibition in London, UK.

The ‘New Stone Age’ Exhibition surveys the contemporary use of structural stone and its sustainability credentials.  Stone has the ability to reduce a project’s embodied carbon by an incredible 90 per cent compared to typical steel or concrete frames.

Exhibition Curator and Architect Amin Taha says, “Stone is the great forgotten material of our time. In 99% of cases, it’s cheaper and greener to use stone in a structural way, as opposed to concrete or steel, but we mostly just think of using it for cladding.”

Through the Exhitibition, Taha together with stonemason Pierre Bidaud and engineer Steve Webb aim to show the potential of stone beyond decoration and how it can revolutionise contemporary construction as we know it.

Using stone for the core, structure and floors, they argue, would be 75% cheaper than a steel and concrete structure, and have 95% less embodied carbon. The primary reason for the saving is that, while concrete and steel have to be fireproofed, weathered, insulated, then clad, a stone exoskeleton can be left exposed.

By embracing stone as combined superstructure and external architectural finish, Tana says, we can save 60-90% of CO2 emissions for these key building elements.

The New Stone Age is at the Building Centre, London, UK until 15 May.

Source:  The Guardian

French public buildings to be built with 50 per cent wood

The French government has announced plans for a sustainability law that will ensure all new public buildings are built from at least 50 per cent timber or other natural bio-based materials.

The measure will be implemented by 2022 and affect all public buildings financed by the French state.

Bio-based materials are made from matter derived from living organisms, including hemp and straw, and have a  lower embodied carbon footprint compared to other construction materials like concrete and steel.

The proposal aligns with France’s Sustainable City plan launched in 2009, and president Emmanuel Macron’s drive for the country to be carbon-neutral by 2050.

The decision to introduce the law encouraging the use of bio-based materials was informed by the construction of the 2024 Paris Olympics complex. Any building in the development that rises more than eight storeys will be built entirely from timber.

Source: Dezeen


COVID 19 Update – Virtual Tour of Griffith University’s Engineering, Aviation and Technology Building

The Australian Green Development Forum (AGDF) would like to inform our valued supporters that due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, our Green Speed Learning Forums (GSLFs) will be moving, for the interim, to a new, online format.

The AGDF is committed to continuing its GSLFs during this challenging time, and will be presenting webinars to keep members and industry engaged while face-to-face events are on hold.
We will now be offering the March Green Speed Learning Forum – ‘A Tour of Griffith University’s Building for Engineering, Technology and Aviation’ in a virtual tour and webinar format via Zoom.

We’re delighted to have Associate Professor Cheryl Desha take us on an exclusive, virtual tour of the innovative facility for a behind-the-scenes look at its specialised laboratories, workshops, informal learning spaces and its unique ‘Living Laboratory’ followed by a short presentation, and a Question & Answer Session with Mark Roehrs, Principal Architect, Hassell.

  • Event venue: Online only
  • Event date: March 25
  • Event time: 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • Format:  Guided Virtual Tour, Presentation & Question and Answer Session
  • Zoom login will be sent by email to ticket holders
  •  Ticket holders for the previously scheduled face-to-face event will be provided with a Zoom login to take part in the virtual tour.  Please contact if you would prefer a refund.

We greatly appreciate your patience and support as we navigate the COVID-19 situation.  Tickets for the virtual tour and webinar are available via Eventbrite.

First large-scale timber building for WA

Western Australia’s first large-scale timber building is due to be built at Murdoch University.

The four-story building, constructed from locally sourced timber, will house the University’s School of Business and Governance and include offices, learning spaces, and informal gathering areas.

The project is designed by Lyons Architecture working with Officer Woods, The Fulcrum Agency, STH and Aspect Studios.

It is inspired by the modernist architecture of the existing campus and will feature flexible partitions and a new arrival court to act as the main entrance to the campus in the south.  Five existing buildings will be demolished to make way for the new construction.


Source: Archdaily

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