Bruneder wins $10,000 prize for 8m Flinders St mural design

Adelaide artist, Stefan Bruneder has won first prize in the Art in the Heart Competition, winning $10,000 and a commission to design one of Adelaide’s largest public artworks in Adelaide’s East End.

The mural, proposed for Flinders Street and eight storeys high, references folk and street art and features symbols and patterns that will ‘speak’ to passers-by and inhabitants of local urban buildings in the area.

Stefan’s design was selected from more than 70 submissions as part of a competition run by Adelaide property developers Guava Lime Property Solutions to find inspiring local artists to collaborate on various art works for their latest residential development, ART Apartments at 242 Flinders Street in the CBD.

Both Michael and his partner Con Zahos have been working with artists on integrated projects for more than 20 years.

“With a trend toward inner city, higher density living, residents still want to have those individual touches that provide some kind of personality to a residence,” says Michael Loucas. “The use of original artwork throughout the ART Apartments, both externally and inside with unique foyers and ceiling art on each level, helps to provide a bespoke feel.”

Other local SA artists including those shortlisted in the Art in the Heart Competition will be considered in the creation of various internal commissions for ceiling and foyer wall panels unique to key levels of the 14 storey building.

Michael Loucas said additional collaborative opportunities to work with the Adelaide arts community were also under consideration.

The ART apartments will feature 51 apartments and several penthouse suites. Construction will commence next month with an expected completion date in June, 2014.


Adelaide- Most Liveable

The people have spoken, and if governments want their capital cities rated highly for liveability, they need to work on housing affordability, fair property taxes, keeping infrastructure on par with demand and have good urban planning and management of growth.

For the third consecutive year, Adelaide has been voted Australia’s most liveable city according to a Property Council of Australia survey of residents’ views.

The results from My City: The People’s Verdict has Adelaide as the winner, followed by Canberra.

At the other end of the scale, Darwin ranks last, just above Australia’s most populous city, Sydney.

Perth, however, saw the biggest decline from fourth to third last and Newcastle and Hobart watched their liveability scores rise.

The survey, by Auspoll for the Property Council, included the opinions of 5843 residents of all capital cities as well as Newcastle, Wollongong and Geelong.

“Australians know what makes a city great and they continue to rate our cities poorly in housing affordability, environmental sustainability, congestion and public transport,” Property Council chief executive Peter Verwer said.

“These results should be a wake up call for governments to lift the performance of our cities.”

Liveable cities rate highly in outdoor recreation spaces, natural environments, school and educational facilities and a vibrant cultural scene and good climate.

In terms of sustainability and climate change, though, Australians were less than impressed with their cities.

They also ranked their cities poorly in public transport, quality, affordable housing and roads and traffic congestion.

Mr Verwer said political parties needed to look at the results of the survey, to ensure their policies aligned with the growing problems in the country’s major cities.

Adelaide: Example of Regenerative Development

Adelaide has been used as an example to the world of a city that copies natural ecosystems for sustainability.

World Future Council director of programmes Professor Herbert Girardet this month said he was concerned about the effects of human work today on future generations and the relationship between cities and the world’s ecosystems.

He said the largest impact on the biosphere came from production and consumption systems in cities.

In an interview at COP18 UN Climate Change Conference 2012, Professor Girardet said Adelaide had gone from linear processes of resource consumption to a more circular functioning where waste food and water was being returned to surrounding farmland to increase soil fertility.

He said the traditional linear consumption model needed to be addressed with new technologies and innovative ideas on urban development.

More than being sustainable, Professor Girardet said cities needed to develop ways of being regenerative in their developments.

Adelaide is being regenerative in its development by copying the circular functioning of natural ecosystems.

He said this was also being discussed by other cities that were under construction as well as those already built.

Professor Girardet said sustainable development had not achieved enough and many organisations had realised that they needed to restore the natural world through human technologies and development, rather than just sustain the relationship between humans and the natural environs.

Green Food From Innovative Practices

SUSTAINABILITY is not just about living and building, it’s also about food production and solving a growing food crisis.

Environmentally-friendly practices have been rewarded at the South Australian Food Industry Awards held in Adelaide in mid-November, Pangkarra Foods from Hart (north of Clare) won the Foodland SA Product Award (less than 10 Employees) and were finalists in the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society Best Practice Award for their range of wholegrain pasta and flour made from durum wheat they grow using environmental sustainable farming practices.

Savannah Lamb from Hill River (east of Clare) was also rewarded for their environmentally-friendly farming practices with the Peats Soil and Garden Supplies Sustainability Award (less than 10 Employees) and the PIRSA Regional Award.

Savannah Lamb grows stress-free ethically raised lambs and is a business designed for maximum sustainability that aims to improve the land and captures energy within its farming system that would have otherwise been lost.

This was the second year the company had won the sustainability award as they aim for their lamb to be South Australia’s most sustainable food product.

Also working towards sustainable food production in SA is Philipp Saumweber who is growing fresh food in the desert outside Port Augusta.

Sundrop Farms has built a huge greenhouse, which uses very few fossil fuels and the sun to turn seawater into freshwater for irrigation and to heat and cool the greenhouse. even claimed that this project could bring about an answer to the world’s fresh food shortages when used across the globe.

Art theme for new Flinders St apartment complex

A MODERN art panel eight storeys tall will adorn a a new apartment building on Flinders St.

And the common areas on each floor of the 14-storey Art Apartments will feature floor and ceiling frescos by a range of modern artists.

The $9.5 million project, designed by architects Loucas Zahos for developer Guava Lime Property Solutions, was approved by the City Council’s development assessment panel last night (Monday, November 5).

Michael Loucas, a director of both firms, said each floor would have a different artistic theme.

“This is the first project where we’re integrating art into the fabric of the building,” he said.

“We’ve had some excellent (artistic) talent come forward.”

As well as the art panel on the western side, for which a design is yet to be finalised, the building will have the word “ART” embossed over three levels of its concrete eastern facade.

Between Frome and Daly streets, Art Apartments will have 48 apartments with up to three bedrooms, priced at $365-450,000, and two three-bedroom penthouses going for $1.1 million and $1.2 million.

There will be a cafe on the ground floor, parking for 10 cars, and 30 bicycle parks.

Residents will have access to a shared electric car.

Mr Loucas said 20 apartments had sold off the plan with seven more “on hold”.

He said construction, which would take a year, would start once presales reached about 70 per cent, or 35 apartments.

Buyers included investors and professional couples.

“It’s basically couples looking for affordable accommodation,” he said.

“It’s for young professionals who want a foot in the door in the city.”

The penthouses were aimed at families, he said.

Australian Farm, a Shining Example of Alternative Energy

Solar energy is big business in the domestic market, but Australia has flicked the switched on its first large scale solar farm in October taking solar to new heights.
The solar farm is in Western Australia near Walkaway and is a co-operative effort between Verve Energy and General Electric.

The Greenough River Solar project could produce enough power to service 3000 homes or 10 megawatts. The farm uses more than 150,000 thin film photo voltaic modules and will displace 20,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year- the same as taking 4000 cars off the road.

“As the largest photovoltaic solar plant in operation in Australia, the Greenough River Solar Farm demonstrates that renewable technologies can contribute to meeting Australia’s future energy needs on a sustainable, cost-competitive basis. This is a positive first step in validating the bright future that large-scale solar represents in Australia,” Verve Energy CEO Jason Waters said.

The future plan is to expand the farm to 40 megawatts. The Western Australia Water Corporation will buy the electricity to power a nearby desalination plant. More solar farms are planned for country NSW, ACT and WA with other states also looking for alternative energy opportunities and domestic take up of solar systems has reached 858,000 homes across the country.

Event Opens Doors to Change

Urban Ecology Australia say the uptake of renewable energy sources, recycling and other environmentally-friendly initiatives has been too slow in Australia, but Sustainable House Day could change this.

Even increasing electricity prices have not prompted enough change and home owners are being put off making their houses more environmentally-friendly due to prohibitive costs.

ABC News reported that Urban Ecology Australia is urging stricter building standards to ensure effective insulation and the use of energy-and water-efficient appliances. All of these measures were on display during Sustainable House Day. Across the country, 150 owners of eco-friendly houses threw open their homes on September 9 for the event’s eleventh year.

The day gave people the chance to get a real-life look inside houses that had been designed, built or fitted out with sustainability in mind and talk to owners for unbiased advice. The event could be a catalyst for change for most people who saw the benefits of these homes.

A survey by the University of South Australia (UniSA) in previous years found that nine out of 10 people said they would make a change based on their attendance of the event. The respondents were contacted almost a year later and 75% said they had made changes to their own homes which meant Sustainable House Day was not just an annual event, it was a catalyst for positive changes.

Bringing Green Inside for Health, Wealth and Happiness

Achieving sustainability is usually focused on the exterior of a structure, but new awards and a new rating system will recognise excellence in green interior design.

Jane Parkins reports, on Interior Design Source, that Australian interior design is beginning to embrace green building principles, with the US and UK markets already reaping the benefits in increased productivity and long-term economic savings.

The Your Future Home – Green Interior Awards are now offering designers incentives to consider the environmental benefits of their interior.

The awards aim to highlight designers who complete projects with a green theme and to educate designers in new ways to look at interiors.

Australian Living sustainable interior design consultant Daphna Tal will judge the awards along with panel members Sydney magazine editor and interiors blogger Jen Bishop and sustainability driven interior designer, speaker and writer Emine Mehmet.

Entries for the award program close in November.

As a further incentive, the Green Building Council of Australia has launched a Green Star rating tool for interiors this month, also.

Green Building Council of Australia chief executive Romilly Madew said this new rating tool would help more people to enjoy comfortable, healthy and productive indoor environments.

She said companies working in green interiors understood these workplaces could boost productivity and “act as a powerful recruitment and retention tool”.

“Green is now the norm – where it used to be a bonus in a building, it is now expected,” says Simon Hunt, Colliers International Managing Director of Office Leasing.

The challenge is now on to find the best green interiors and encourage more designers and tenants to reap the associated benefits.

South Australia Embraces Sustainable Infrastructure

The South Australian Government has launched the country’s first infrastructure sustainability rating scheme.

The Australian Green Infrastructure Council developed the tool which can assess infrastructure including roads and bridges, ports, harbours and airports, communication and energy with ratings out of 100 points given to the projects or assets.

Infrastructure Sustainability is Australia’s only comprehensive rating system for evaluating sustainability across design, construction and operation of infrastructure.

Each project is assessed across economic, environmental and social criteria.
As well as being a rating tool, the Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Scheme includes an assessment process and education and training programs.
A rating in the 25-49 range is considered good practice, a 50-74 rating is excellent and 75-100 is leading practice.

“It will help us assess the quality of management systems, the process of procurement and purchasing, how a piece of infrastructure can adapt to climate change and what it will discharge into land, air and water,” Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese said.

“The scheme is voluntary and helps create better, more sustainable ways of designing, building and operating infrastructure which can then be marked with a rating level. It demystifies the whole question of what exactly we mean by economic, social and environmental sustainability.”

World Green Building Week

Australia is celebrating excellence and progress in sustainable building with World Green Building Week running from September 17. More than 90 countries are coming together for the third year of the event. The Green Building Council of Australia said the week highlights the role that green buildings and communities play in reducing the global carbon footprint and saving money, whilst creating jobs, boosting productivity, health and learning and improving lives.

“Many Australian companies now have international reputations as sustainability specialists and we are leading the way in terms of green products and innovations,” Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) chief executive Romilly Madew said.

“In ten years, we have transformed some segments of the property and construction market – such as commercial offices – and we are making inroads into other markets, with sustainable schools, hospitals, shopping centres, industrial facilities and apartments a reality across Australia.”

Ms Madew said World Green Building Week reminded us that sustainable building was not a fad or a fashion, but was the future. Australia is a world leader in sustainable building and living and the week ahead will show this off to the world. During the week there will be walking tours, online chats, events, competitions, seminars and product launches.