DESIGNING THE FUTURE
Our aim is to bring together skills that challenge the current way we design our urban spaces, including:
• Town planning - the planning and control of the construction, growth, and development of a city, town or other urban area.
• Infrastructure - the basic physical and organisational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, roads, rail, air, power , water, sewage and agriculture ) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise; "the social and economic infrastructure of a country".
• Buildings - Be they our private places where we live daily, the places we work, the places of education, the places of healing be they physical or of the spirit and the places we find our entertainment.
• Landscaping - connecting spaces that give us our streetscapes, parks and gardens, our sporting venues and agriculture for the growing of food. They are also the spaces that provide local climate modification and integration of people with nature in all its wonder.
It is how we bring all these components together that will create sustainable cities. UIWG 's focus is on the building of the spaces where we live and work and how we can better create sustainable communities.
BUILDING THE FUTURE
Urban Integration Working Group is about developing a vision and bringing to reality
a development that demonstrates what is possible and what will be an example for future developments.
It will take the visions of what many designers have now and make them reality. It will use current methods and technology and package them into something different and new. It will challenge what we accept as the norm and those who say it can not be done.
The construction of any development requires compliance with all relevant building codes, regulations, certifications and practices at all levels of governments and certification bodies. To build a sustainable urban community development will be inclusive of and go beyond these requirements to create superior buildings from those currently being constructed.
Urban Integration Working Group will bring together the skills and the team to move forward to create that vision.
Building the future is not easy. What it requires is our ability to rise to the challenges and find the resources to make a difference to our future urban environments to demonstrate a better way to integrate the best of design into a development that goes beyond the minimum requirements and creates a vibrant, healthy and sustainable community.
We do not know what is possible until we try.
Financing the future
Urban Integration Working Group (UIWGroup) asks the question: Is the current model of financing the future development of our urban environment the best way?
Is there a better way that allows us to implement best practice into the design and construction and also create a result that will adapt to the challenges of the future?
Are we to be constrained just by the returns on investment (ROI) and the current costs of funding? Do we need a more flexible system? The current financial system is inflexible and unwilling to take risks that an uncertain future requires. Yet it is true that most people are very risk adverse. It is not part of our learning. We are all required to contribute to superannuation which can only invest in publicly listed companies. The individual can make investments if they have funds available and any good investor will carry out their due diligence before they commit to an investment.
Urban Integration Working Group is working towards financing developments that minimise risk, and provide a return on investment with the benefits of long term planning to create developments that are part of vibrant, healthy and sustainable communities.
UIWGroup is going beyond profits. Because we can and
because we should
The impossibly ideal team member
Has an unfailingly positive attitude and believes that having fun is one of the best ways to energise people and get results. ‘Problems’ are simply a great opportunity to make a positive difference and to be stretched; so loves problem solving opportunities
Hugh Todd -
Team facilitator and coach
ZERO nett energy DESIGN AND THE CURRENT STATE OF PLAY
We would like to broaden the discussion beyond individual homes or small rural communities to whole developments or as we prefer to call them SUSTAINABLE URBAN COMMUNITIES.
We are building communities, not just building structures for people to live in. Building sustainable urban communities is the one area that is absent from all current housing development and government policy nationally. The almighty dollar has a big say in the what, where and how our urban landscape is developed. There has to be a better balance between the needs of increasing growth in our cities and what sort of developments are proposed, approved and constructed. All aspects need to be better integrated to achieve best practice and outcomes that look beyond the short term and plans for decades into the future.
We are looking at each state in Australia to assess the possibilities of redevelopment within the existing cities.
One of the driving forces in developing cities is the cost of land. For example in Sydney a five story building costs approx AU$206,000 per apartment for land content (4 floors of apartments) on a site of 1200m2 and building coverage of approx 1000m2. The cost of land will continue to be a driver to the affordability of housing. We have to look at ways of changing that obstacle.
So in terms of construction do we only build where land is cheapest or on the fringes of cities? There should be no exclusions to what is possible in creating workable opportunities that will create sustainable communities.
UIWGroup is taking the initiative to make it happen so with the Living Futures Institute of Australia: Living Building Challenge 3.0 (to download click image above) the global certification of UIWGroup will follow LBC in its design and construction of low impact zero carbon developments that create vibrant, resilient, healthy and sustainable urban communities.