This project analysed the role of building and planning policy and regulations in delivering sustainable buildings and cities. It reviews policy and best practice, analyses VCAT data and cases, and draws on focus group results.
This report summarises the findings from Stage 1 of the Future Grid Homes project, which involved in-depth and at-home interviews with 51 Australian households in five National Energy Market (NEM) states and territories (VIC, SA, NSW, ACT and QLD).
Across the world, the role and functionality of urban water utilities has evolved over time, in response to urban challenges. The role of the urban water sector in each region has generally begun with water supply, and then been followed by sewerage, drainage, environmental protection, and then water security efforts through the collection of alternative water sources, such as desalination and recycled water. Typically these services have been delivered through networks of underground pipes, and publicly inaccessible treatment facilities.
Representing the culmination of five years of research, this report examines seven domains of a city’s liveability that also promote the health and wellbeing of Australians – walkability, public transport, public open spaces, housing affordability, employment and the food and alcohol environments.
Australian households have faced sharp increases in energy prices over the past decade. Household water bills have also increased. Higher numbers of households are experiencing electricity and/or gas disconnections due to non-payment of bills and joining energy retailer hardship programs to remain connected. As a result, research and energy policy has focused on energy retailer hardship practices, household experiences of hardship programs and disconnection, and ways to keep households connected.
In the context of energy reforms to address peak electricity demand in Australia, this briefing paper provides a critical review of cost-reflective electricity pricing policy and the potential impacts of heatwaves and other extreme heat events in vulnerable households.
Our cities are increasingly beset by a lack of affordable housing, inequality, lagging infrastructure – the list goes on. To the rescue, we now have the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But how can they help?
Read the full article on The Conversation.
Sitting at home in the summer heat, your mind may start to wander to that fancy new air conditioner.
But when it comes to making your house comfortable and sustainable, prevention is better than cure. By prevention we mean simple retrofits that will set you on the path to comfort and sustainability.
As we spend more than ever on maintaining and improving our homes, we’re also becoming more aware of how their design and use impact on our health and society. Add to this climate change and rising energy costs.
There are many ways to reduce energy and stay comfortable (for instance here and here). Numerous reports suggest it should be possible to reduce your energy use by 50-80% using existing and available materials and appliances.
Appliance are the easy bit, and you can find the most efficient appliances using energy star ratings. But before you go out and buy that air conditioner, consider the following principles that can help you decide what you need to create a comfortable home. Read the full article on The Conversation