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Decarbonising our cities

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The built environment accounts for 39% of gross annual carbon emissions worldwide, according to the World Economic Forum. Within this figure, embodied emissions — which includes all the emissions created in producing construction materials — is a significant offender. 

As we look for options to decarbonise our buildings, precincts and cities, what solutions are emerging and what data and tools do we need so we can make data driven decisions?

Join us for a panel event to discuss:

  • How do you optimise design for embodied energy vs cost?

  • How might different carbon accounting schemes effect the bottom line?

  • What data and tools do we need to assess retrofit vs rebuild in terms of embodied energy, embodied carbon, carbon offset cost and material costs?

  • How are industry considering local social and other environmental factors via Natural Capital Accounting and System of Environmental-Economic Accounting?

  • How can prefab and modular processes and novel materials (i.e. low carbon concrete) have an impact on decarbonisation?

  • What role might these technologies play in retrofit?

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Meet the panelists

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Lucy Marsland, Environmental Designer, Atelier Ten

Trained as a structural engineer at the University of Melbourne, Lucy is a passionate advocate for thoughtful, resilient, and environmentally sensitive buildings that empower and connect people with their communities.

Lucy is leading Atelier Ten’s Materials and Embodied Carbon practice as a certified Green Star Accredited Professional (GSAP) and co-chairs a working group for the Materials Embodied Carbon Leadership Alliance (MECLA). They provide studio support at the Melbourne School of Design Masters of Architecture and have published in Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, AIRAH’s Ecolibrium Journal and presented at events for MECLA and the Institute of Structural Engineers (IStructE) as well as guest lecturing at a range of universities.

Integrated design sits at the heart of Lucy’s practice: on projects, build-to-rent residential, community masterplanning, schools and art/cultural institutions, Lucy aims to tear down the silos that keep discipline designers apart; as part of MECLA they invite more diverse voices into the conversation around accelerating uptake of low embodied carbon design. Atelier Ten’s culture of integration and Lucy’s academic contributions to the AIRAH iHub Integrated Design Studios push sustainable ambitions through radical collaboration; disrupting business as usual to embed holistic sustainability into projects from master planning through to construction.

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Johanna Trickett, Associate, Education – Australasia Leader, ARUP

Johanna leads Arup’s education business with a focus on delivering sustainability strategies, advisory services and projects for both private and public sector education clients throughout the region. Johanna has more than 18years’ experience delivering multidisciplinary sustainable development projects of all sizes in Australia, the Middle East and Europe.
Having worked in various architectural, engineering and sustainability roles around the world, and now specialising in the tertiary sector, Johanna brings global insights and best practice to projects, fusing knowledge across disciplines and geographies.
Johanna’s technical background in architecture and ClimaDesign, coupled with her diverse experience in engineering and sustainable design, enables her to combine both knowledge spheres to offer solutions that surpass standard thinking and methodologies.

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Ian Dixon, National Lead – Building and Property Sustainability, GHD

Ian is Technical Director and the National Building Sustainability Practice lead at GHD. He has over 25 years’ experience in built environment sustainability and over the course of his career has been involved in the design and construction of a diverse range of major building, precinct and infrastructure projects.  He also has extensive experience in developing sustainability strategy, policy and advisory including developing decarbonisation pathways to reach net zero.  He has also contributed to a number of research projects and industry guides through his involvement in the CRC for low carbon living, Including the CRC Guide to Low Carbon Commercial Buildings and recently published Climate Emergency Guide. Ian has actively been involved in industry working groups through the Property Council and Green Building Council of Australia and is currently a member of the GBCA Health and Wellbeing expert reference panel.  He has recently been recognised by the GBCA as Green Star champion for his contributions to built environment sustainability. 


Dr. Behzad Rismanchi, Senior Lecturer, Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne

Dr. Behzad Rismanchi is a renowned expert in the field of building energy and sustainability. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Infrastructure Engineering and holds a PhD in Energy Management. With several years of experience in research, design, and optimization of energy systems, he has established himself as a leader in the industry. His background in Mechanical Engineering, combined with his extensive experience in the Oil and Gas industry, has given him a unique perspective on the intersection of energy and sustainability. Dr. Rismanchi's research has played a critical role in highlighting the differences between thermal energy networks and electricity grids, and has studied the unique challenges posed by thermal energy, including issues related to ownership and peer-to-peer trading. He is committed to education, mentoring graduate students and educating the public on the importance of renewable energy and energy storage. In addition, he has made substantial contributions to the industry by working with several companies to develop innovative solutions for energy storage and renewable energy integration. His contributions have helped companies to improve their energy systems and reduce their carbon footprint, earning him recognition and awards in the industry.

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Dr. James Helal, Lecturer in Sustainable Structural Design / Assistant Dean (Sustainability), Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning / Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne

Dr. James Helal specializes in life cycle assessment, computational design, and structural optimization of buildings. As Assistant Dean (Sustainability) of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, he is committed to enhancing and realizing the strategic direction and sustainability agenda for the faculty. This involves embedding sustainability into research, teaching, learning, culture, and organizational life.

Dr. Helal's research centres on the development of innovative software tools and computer models that integrate embodied carbon assessment into the early-stage structural design of buildings. His work has been acknowledged internationally by the Institution of Structural Engineers, receiving the Structures Best Research into Practice prize.

As a Lecturer in Sustainable Structural Design, he teaches in the areas of materials, structures, and life cycle assessment of the built environment. His dedication to teaching excellence has been widely celebrated, with awards including the Open Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, and the esteemed Edward Brown Award for Teaching Excellence from the University of Melbourne.


Mark Allan, Director Greenline, City of Melbourne (Chair)

With a career spanning 30 years in sustainable urban development, Mark currently leads the team delivering the city-shaping Greenline Project set to transform the north bank of the Yarra River – Birrarung’. Mark has played key roles in the planning and design of Federation Square, Melbourne Docklands and the Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal. Mark has previously held senior roles in architectural practice at Mirvac, VicUrban and the former Melbourne Docklands Authority. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and the Planning Institute of Australia and a PhD Candidate at the University of Melbourne’s Infrastructure Engineering Department. Mark has expertise in urban renewal projects and the design of sustainable precincts.    

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