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    February’s Top 10 stories – from Melbourne’s cladding problem to rethinking Parramatta Square

    Nathan Johnson

    As February closes and 2016 begins to pick up speed, we reflect on the articles that made headlines this month. The "Top 10" list below is an even mix of projects, news and comment articles. Click through to see what you’ve missed or for a refresher on what the design and construction industry found most pressing this month.

    1.jpg1. Melbourne’s glut of non-compliant buildings growing; more found with flammable cladding

    The list of Melbourne buildings found to have flammable cladding is growing as the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) continues its External Wall Cladding Audit of high-rise building permits in Melbourne.

     

     

     

    2.jpg2. Luigi Rosselli’s WA musterer’s quarters the most popular housing project in the world

    A Western Australian multi-residential project by Luigi Rosselli which features the longest rammed earth wall in Australia now also lays claim to be the world’s most popular housing project for 2016

     

     

     

    3.jpg3. Woods Bagot top Sydney heritage building with 74-metre copper clad tower

    Woods Bagot have submitted a Stage 1 Development Application with the City of Sydney for a 22-storey hotel that will rise out of a century-old former meat packing building on the city’s busiest street

     

     

     

    4.jpg4. The time is now for CLT in Australia: developments, barriers and our first CLT house explored

    We have it on good authority that cross-laminated timber (CLT) will be a major player in sustainable mid-rise building construction in the future. However, how far into the future that is, and how widespread its effect on Australia’s built environment will be is still a little up in the air, and according to some is much in the hands of the developer.

     

    5.jpg5. City of Melbourne okay six new towers worth $770 million

    Three out of four development applications were supported by the City of Melbourne at a recent Future Melbourne Committee meeting, including one each from Elenberg Fraser, Denton Corker Marshall (DCM) and Hayball architects.

     

     

    6.jpg6. Student accommodation building denied occupancy permits over non-compliance concerns

    The Iglu student accommodation building on Mary Street in Brisbane has been refused occupancy permits by the Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works due to concerns over the installation of potentially combustible non-compliant cladding on its exterior. 

     

     

    7.jpg7. How to get the best value for money out of the coming home battery boom

    Home power storage batteries are coming to a house near you as the game-changing technology – which promises to let you store solar energy for later use when the sun isn’t shining – begins appearing across Australia’s suburbs.

     

     

    8.jpg8. Grimshaw's Aspire Tower faces scrapheap as developer launches new design competition

    The developers of the 90-storey ‘Aspire Tower’ slated for Parramatta, Sydney has reopened a design competition for the project that will likely see the old concept by Grimshaw architects scrapped.

     

     

     

    9.jpg9. Addressing a ‘national problem’: Karri Fire House by Ian Weir and Kylie Feher Architect

    As the name suggests, Karri Fire House is designed foremostly to mitigate the danger of bushfire to the home’s occupants. Less obvious is the intention of the architects to position the building as both a model for affordable bushfire response architecture and as a model for good design in lieu of incessant vegetation clearing in bushfire-prone areas.

     

    10-1.jpg10. France's Manuelle Gautrand among four architecture teams shortlisted to design ‘centrepiece’ of Parra

    Four architecture teams have been shortlisted by Parramatta City Council to design the centrepiece of the $2 billion Parramatta Square urban renewal project.

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