Top stories for 2011 and wishes hopes and dreams

21 December 2011 – What did you like to read in The Fifth Estate in 2011?

We’ve compiled a list of the Top 30 stories (below). It makes informative viewing.

Top of the list was Job News. Of course. Gossip: what everyone else is doing in your patch. It’s the reason that language was invented, according to one theory from anthropologists. And why not. The Fifth Estate is designed for your community of interests. The place where you find out how your industry is faring, what your peer group is up to, what the competition is planning. But not just gossip, it’s also about the strategic reasons for job placements, what it tells us about business strategy.

So in 2012 it would be great to hear more from you about what’s happening.

Also heading up the list was an all time favourite, Sekisui House. Anything we write about this sustainable volume residential builder from Japan seems to top the charts anytime we write about it.

Another popular story was on the Government flood maps.

And also moving faster than any story we have ever seen is 76 Berry Street North Sydney, the 25 year old building that the Local Government Super Board heroically turned into a six star NABERS energy high achiever. It was posted only in early November and in its first week outperformed all other articles in terms of hits.

Good solid technical information shows it will always hit the mark. There seems to be a huge demand for information on Section J (of the Building Code of Australia), green building materials and how to sort the spin from reality on ratings, and on energy sources such as trigeneration and BlueGen fuel cells.

And the case studies. We can’t produce enough: The Ark, 1 Bligh Street, Sydney, GPT’s new case studies, the nine star residential performer from Perth – all prolifically absorbed.

As was just about anything we write on residential, showing major appetite to get stuck into a sustainable revamp of this appallingly neglected sector.

Readers seem to love anything about the enigmatic Patrick Blanc with his charming vertical gardens, and our feature of his work at Frasers’ Central Park, in Sydney also topped the charts.

Of course you also love the big picture thought pieces too: such as as from Arup and its New Agenda and its contribution to Greenhouse by Joost, and those on climate change and how cities are faring.

Provocative always goes down well too. So a top hitter was the work from Peter Newman and Jeff Kenworthy on their work showing we have now reached peak car use. As was a piece early in the year on former Liberal Leaser John Hewson slamming current leader Tony Abbott and the nation’s position on climate change.

Interesting too is that many people aren’t skimming through these articles. The average time on each story shows our readers are taking note and absorbing.

Wishes hopes and dreams
It’s been a huge year. The industry worked hard and furious after a shocking start full of cataclysmic events that spoke much to what might lie ahead with climate change.

Next year will bring economic challenges but there’s a constant stream of good news on sustainability: fabulous news almost on a daily basis on the technology front, and in the raft of incentives and funding to drive energy efficiency in the built sector. Huge breakthroughs are promised in solar energy; some people think  China’s solar energy will reach grid parity with coal fired power stations within a couple of years, for instance.

A fundamental shift  well underway is the  number of people and organisations ignoring the business as usual case and busy reshaping the way we deal with this fragile, beautiful world we live in.

One big thank you this year is owed to this Australian Government, which pushed through the carbon tax against so many odds, and against a vicious campaign that showed the nasty underbelly of climate deniers.

It’s a small step, and it’s modest, but it has done one powerful thing: it has officially sanctioned a change in tack. And finally given us hope that we can switch paths to a more sustainable future.

Let’s now just get on with it. And move as fast as we possibly can.

We hope you have a peaceful and happy Christmas, a great rest, and come back in the New Year ready to help reshape our world.

Our next newsletter will be in the week of 16  January 2012.

Most read article  for 2011                                                  H: M: Sec

Job News00:00:38
Sekisui House: Japanese green wave rolling out in the land of Oz00:04:18
Nick Murcutt: sad news00:02:41
Government flood maps released00:02:14
Decoding Section J: the new greener Building Code of Australia00:04:36
High-rise living – sustainable or not?00:04:59
Peak car use: urban planning needs to change say Newman and Kenworthy00:04:16
Residential ratings – so who’s got the dodgy data then?00:05:06
1 Bligh Street Sydney – a positive note in green00:03:09
Japanese developer Sekisui House eyes sustainable housing with Payce venture00:04:05
Grocon restructure00:02:43
THE ARK – North Sydney00:04:32
Henry Tax Review: summary00:02:34
Australian Conservation Foundation releases Sustainable Cities00:01:23
Apartment blocks the missing link in sustainability00:05:12
A New Agenda from Arup and a Greenhouse by Joost – just some of the fruits of turmoil00:03:58
NZ planners must consider renewables under new development policy00:00:56
Demand grows worldwide for BlueGen gas-to-electricity cell00:05:11
Meet 76 Berry Street, game changer00:03:49
Interview: Rob Adams – small and clever can save our cities00:04:22
Brian Eno’s opera house light art is sustainable00:01:29
Melbourne Convention Centre00:02:34
In Patrick Blanc’s world of vertical gardens there are no substitutes00:02:09
The flood crisis is not climate change – just the new normal that will change everything00:01:29
ANZ Centre wins for Hassell again00:02:35
Perth’s first 9-star carbon neutral home00:02:47
Shopping centres – the great energy gobblers start to take stock00:04:47
Sydney’s trigen masterplan: it’s market transformation and not at all easy00:05:23
Former Lib leader Hewson urges strong action on carbon and rebukes Abbott00:03:29
GPT’s new offices: like a 21st Century club and no hot desks00:04:08