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Expert says high-rise and retro-fitting the way of the future

By Kerces - 19 October 2005 11

Sustainability expert Andrew Blakers has told [as reported in the Canberra Times] a sustainability forum at ANU that Canberra should have more high-rise apartment blocks to help the city become sustainable.

He also outlined plans for retro-fitting older houses with energy efficient measures.

Professor Blakers said if Canberrans embraced living in buildings of 12 or more storeys, this would put a large amount of people within walking distance of their work and essential services therefore minimising the need for cars and the environmental damgae that comes with them.

“The sooner Canberra has a large number of high buildings the better,” he said. “If you want energy efficiency on a large scale, if you don’t want urban sprawl, it is the way to go.”

He proposed that a central company be established to pay for the installation of these things and that the cost be recovered through the residents’ electricity bills. The rationale is that the improvements would reduce energy use enough to offset the cost of paying for them and, once paid off, energy bills would be cheaper.

Interestingly, Professor Blakers said that “solar represented the future of energy generation, as all other major forms such as nuclear and fossil fuels had drawbacks environmentally or politically”. The newly developing technologies, such as silver-cell photovoltaics solar cells mean solar power is becoming more efficient and less costly.

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
Expert says high-rise and retro-fitting the way of the future
agent00 12:33 am 30 Aug 11

The stuff about sliver-cell is not true. It was originally invented in the 90s and after years of investment Origin decided to back off. The idea sounds good on paper, but real-life implementation is very challenging and costly.

Samuel Gordon-Stewar 9:40 am 20 Oct 05

In case people are wondering, I left a comment on a camel related post on Maelinar’s blog last night…

Chris 9:29 am 20 Oct 05

Mike jeffreys fans will be aware of his caller this am who told Mike that the eyesore apartment block Sky Plaza (should that be Gaza ?) next to the SCC in Woden was 50 % owned by the ACT government who would be using it as public housing – that plus yesterday’s (ABC, I think) announcement of multiple storey blocks going up behind Woden’s peaceful little cemetery is going to cause quite some congestion in the southern satellite ….

Maelinar 9:14 am 20 Oct 05

Sorry Sam, I had to bite…

So since you’re allowed a pet camel in suburban Canberra, I think you have a point. It’s not the first thing I’d be looking at as a prospective lawyer thinking of writing up some body corporate rules for a new building block.

While it’s not practical, it’s entirely possible. And pet owners are fanatical.

This is a recipe for disaster, although since there are already high rise tennancy blocks in Canberra, I’m sure somebody has already thought of doing it…

T_Bone 5:25 pm 19 Oct 05

Will the high density living cater for my camel? I will install solar panels on it if required.

Chris 2:43 pm 19 Oct 05

And if he had lived in a (very) high rise in China, he might also have contributed to the picturesque street-scaping by drying his laundry by solar power, on bamboo poles sticking out of his high rise windows… my question was, is he in a high rise NOW ?

Maelinar 2:28 pm 19 Oct 05

Thanks Kerces, I was going to suggest he may have lived in China for a while…

bonfire 2:22 pm 19 Oct 05

i broadly agree. i think higher density urban development is the way ahead.

but you need to have your transport infrastructure in place first. i recommend light rail.

forget solar, for large power requirements generated cleanly and sustainably we should go hydro or nuclear.

Kerces 2:21 pm 19 Oct 05

If you read the CT story you’ll find that yes he indeed used to live in a highrise in Stuttgart, Germany, which experience is what he seems to be basing his assertions on.

Chris 2:01 pm 19 Oct 05

And does the good Professor himself live in a quote ‘high building’ unquote ? Hmmm ?

lod 1:36 pm 19 Oct 05

While he may be right, I’m not sure that it’s particularily surprising that Andrew Blakers sees solar energy as the future. Solar energy is his main field of research and interest.

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