Left to right:Matt Plumbridge, Urban Growth; Bruce Taper, Kinesis; Geoff Dutaillis Lend Lease

Kinesis has won the Green Cities Weapons of Mass Creation judges award for its PRECINX tool.

The awards, which wrapped up two days of discussion around creating better cities, had a record number of entries this year.

Kinesis’s winning product, which embeds sustainability into strategic urban planning and design, has been adopted by all the major government land authorities, private developers and utilities in Australia, and used on some of Australia’s most significant projects, the Green Cities audience heard.

According to UrbanGrowth NSW, the tool has brought crucial decisions forward by 3-5 years.

“It has allowed for early identification, validation and procurement of smarter, more efficient design and infrastructure solutions,” a video presentation shown to the Green Cities audience said.

The tool can calculate performance of development over a wide range of metrics including land use, transport, water, embodied and operational energy, peak energy use and costs.

Kinesis director Bruce Taper said UrbanGrowth NSW had been great collaborators, with the tool having spent six years in development.

“It’s a great example of maybe not big data, but best available data, and predictive analytics, so thank you,” he said.

People’s choice

Ashak Nathwani (left) with Geoff Dutaillis, Lend Lease.

The People’s Choice Award went to the University of Sydney’s IEQ Lab for its SAMBA device, which monitors key IEQ parameters in real time.

SAMBA is designed to measure air temperate and speed, humidity, light, sound and air pollutants – the key factors shown to have the greatest impact on an office worker’s health, comfort and productivity. The device is built on low-cost sensor technology that relays information about a building’s indoor environment back to a central computer for further analysis.

The technology is the brainchild of PhD student Tom Parkinson, who developed the idea with his brother and IEQ research assistant Alex Parkinson, under the leadership of Professor Richard de Dear, head of architectural science at the University of Sydney.

“Until now the industry has been limited by technology and high costs to capture this information through one device. What we now have is a revolution in technology, which has been produced at a relatively low cost and will have high returns for companies and its employees,” Professor de Dear said.

The university’s Ashak Nathwani told the Green Cities audience that IEQ had been one of the lowest profile sustainability consideration in the past.

“[SAMBA is] starting to raise the level of IEQ,” he told the audience.

The device was in fact used during the Green Cities conference to provide real time feedback of conditions in the auditorium.

Other Weapons of Mass Creation finalists included Greenville Development’s Upcycled Container Buildings, Stockland and CSIRO’s two-stage desiccant solar cooling system, and the University of Sydney’s PodPlants modular green wall system.