Australia News

WOBO is always pleased to share global news and thanks the ABCB and CREATE DIGITAL for the information and articles provided.

Apartment Energy Efficiency handbook

This handbook provides guidance on the energy efficiency requirements for Class 2 apartment buildings. It also complements the Housing Energy Efficiency Handbook. Together, these handbooks are intended to help you understand and comply with the latest requirements for energy efficiency.  Access the Apartment Energy Efficiency handbook

New NCC CPD micromodules

NCC continuing professional development (CPD) micromodules have been developed for CPD providers to deliver as part of their own CPD activities. The micromodule format offers an important benefit of providing smaller segments of relevant NCC content that can be included into comprehensive CPD packages, delivered by CPD providers.

The ABCB have recently released two new CPD micromodules:

  • Using NCC referenced documents
  • Building and site characteristics – important NCC concepts

To access the micromodules, you must be a CPD provider. A CPD provider is an entity, typically an organisation or government that develops and/or provides CPD activities or CPD content. A CPD provider may or may not be a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).


The future of global methane in four graphs

Which industries contribute the most to global methane emissions, and which abatement strategies would have the biggest impact?

Global methane emissions contribute significantly to global warming — but there are abatement technologies for companies in industries such as energy and agriculture to counteract this impact.

With methane contributing 30 per cent to the rise in global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution, huge potential exists to reduce, if not eliminate, these emissions.

Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows that the share of methane emissions from the energy sector was 37 per cent of the total emissions caused by human activity — that’s an estimated 355,801 kt annually.


“My $500 million Mars rover mistake”

In this special feature, aerospace engineer Chris Lewicki shares the moment he realised he’d made a massive mistake while working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory — and how he managed the consequences for the Mars Rover machine and his team.

Some mistakes feel worse than death.

A February evening in 2003 started out routine at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA. I gowned up in cleanroom garb and passed into the High Bay 1 airlock in Building 179 where nearly all of NASA’s historic interplanetary spacecraft have been built since the Moon-bound Ranger series in the 1960s.

AA Gal

Pioneering technology to recycle waste

Australia produces 1.5 Mt of wastewater sludge every year, enough to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground. 

Until recently, farmers have relied on this nutrient-rich substance for fertilising crops after it’s been processed into biosolids via a stabilisation process that usually occurs at the wastewater treatment plants.

But public health concerns about the presence of high levels of contaminants such as microplastics, pharmaceuticals, pathogens, and per- and ploy-fluoro alkyl substances (PFAS) in biosolids have led to tough new regulations that may severely restrict its land use.

This may also significantly impact farms planning to use biosolids to meet their nutrient and carbon demand.

The new rules also mean water authorities have suddenly faced a huge bill for pouring the sludge into landfill. Globally, nearly a third of all biosolids are disposed of in that way.


Fixing systemic problems in construction

Recent structural problems have exposed issues in the Australian construction industry. What role do engineers play in maintaining high standards?

It is a story appearing with concerning frequency in Australia’s construction landscape: structural issues in a suburban apartment block. Flammable cladding resulting in fires in Melbourne and London flats. Residents evacuated from a tower after cracking was found in its structure.

This past month alone has seen four apartment blocks in the Sydney suburb of Macquarie Hills being subject to urgent work rectification orders after serious concrete damage was found that put them at the risk of collapsing, along with safety concerns about apartment blocks in Alexandria, another Sydney suburb.

AA Gal

Have concrete sewers had their day?

One of the biggest recent trends in sewer installations has been the move from concrete pipes and maintenance structures to those made from ultra-strong polypropylene.

Not only are such systems lighter, cheaper and faster to lay, but innovative technologies mean they last just as long or even longer than those made from concrete.

“Concrete has always been the conventional material for sewer maintenance structures poured in situ,” said Iplex Senior Sales Engineer Don Tasevski, a well-known industry figure for 35 years.

“But increasingly, engineers have been recognising that heavy-duty plastic alternatives are affordable, reliable and long-lasting so they make more sense.”

Another significant advantage they hold is their ability to meet the environmental, technical and economic demands of water authorities for water-tight, corrosion proof, stable and durable systems.

AA Gal

Could foamed bitumen pave the way to an eco-friendly future?

Three engineers explain how foamed bitumen could be an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to regular materials — and could help fortify roads against flooding.

How is foamed bitumen created?

Foamed bitumen is produced by injecting a small quantity of pressurised air and water into hot bitumen, creating a low-viscosity and high-volume expanded foam.

When hot bitumen is injected with cold water, it expands to over 10 times its initial volume and then gradually decays. In its expanded state, the foam is thoroughly mixed with cold aggregate, secondary binder (either cement or hydrated lime) and water to produce the foamed bitumen stabilised (FBS) material.

The foam primarily coats the fine particles in the aggregate, creating a bitumen mastic. A foaming agent is generally used to enhance the foaming characteristics of the foamed bitumen.




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