Wednesday people roundup

first_img300 Club – Roger Urwin has joined the 300 Club, becoming the 15th member of the group, which consists of leading global investment professionals. Urwin is the global head of investment content at Towers Watson, where he has worked since 1989. He currently is a board member of the CFA Institute’s board of governors and is an advisory director at MSCI.HSBC Securities Services Ireland – Tony McDonnell has been appointed managing director. He was previously regional head of asset managers for Europe and North America, in sales and business development, at HSBC Securities Services. McDonnell joined HSBC Ireland in 2002. MN, Towers Watson, Pioneer Investments, 300 Club, HSBC Securities Services IrelandMN – The European fiduciary manager has appointed Paul Francis as senior client director for the UK. He joins from Hymans Robertson, where he was senior investment consultant. Prior to this he was a director at JLT, responsible for fiduciary management solutions. He has also held senior investment and management roles with Alexander Forbes and Watson Wyatt.Towers Watson – Luba Nikulina, Towers Watson’s long-standing global head of private markets, has taken over as global head of manager research following the promotion of Craig Baker. Nikulina has worked at the consultancy since 2005 in the company’s London and New York offices, and was previously deputy head of capital investment at Russian mining company Norilsk Nickel.Pioneer Investments – Dean Heaney has been appointed institutional sales director, responsible for developing Pioneer’s institutional business in the UK. He joins from Royal London Asset Management, where he was responsible for institutional business development. Before then, he held a similar position at Diawa SB Investments and also worked four years at Fidelity in London, where he held several key institutional sales and marketing roles.last_img read more

Returns roundup: Bond market rally boosts pension fund interim results

first_imgOthers Etera1.35.9 Alecta0.1/-1.877.7 PensionDanmark1.3/3.225.4 PKA5.633.6 Switzerland Varma-0.341.3 Ilmarinen-0.635.7 Nordics Government Pension Fund Norway0.421.4 KLP2.747.9 Returns in the low single-digits were common across the European pensions landscape in early 2016, as bonds rallied while equities slumped. Susanna Rust looks at the half-year performance of many large Nordic asset owners. Nordic asset owners have faced a volatile few months plagued by equity losses, as shown by the half-yearly results announced in recent weeks by pension providers and Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, Europe’s largest.Returns have ranged from a 2016 half year result of 6.7% at Denmark’s ATP to minor losses such as those seen by Finland’s Varma and Ilmarinen. Many reflect on the impact of the UK’s Brexit referendum, and the resulting uncertainty, although there was little immediate impact following the vote. Around a dozen Nordic pension providers have announced interim results, as reported by IPE.  Veritas0.92.8 AustriaPensionskassen – average0.22center_img Elo120.8 Oslo Pensjonsforsikring 1.68.6 Notes: The figures for PensionDanmark are for its two main investment fund options. The figure for Oslo Pensjonsforsikring represents value-adjusted profit on customer funds. Alecta returns are for its DB and DC products, respectively.    Sweden Finland Government Pension Fund Global1.3 (Q2)769 Norway Denmark A positive contribution to returns from the bond market was a common theme, dragging returns above zero as equities otherwise often produced a loss for many. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), announced a 2016 second quarter return of 1.3%, saying that fixed income was the best peforming asset class, and Carsten Stendevad, outgoing chief executive at Denmark’s €107bn ATP, praised the returns from alternatives and bonds – including the listing of DONG Energy – as contributing to the strong return, while Danish equities netted a loss.Selected pension scheme 2016 interim returnsCountryPension fund/provider2016 interim returns (%)Total assets €bn Pensionskasse Basel-Stadt1.5610.3 ATP6.7107 The second quarter of 2016 saw the ECB inaugurate its Corporate Sector Purchase Programme (CSPP), with Bank of America Merrill Lynch credit strategists in late June noting the “impressive speed” with which the central bank acted under the CSPP.”While we don’t think CSPP will act as a cure for credit volatility, we do see it acting as a very effective “pain killer”, just as the outperformance of IG credit relative to equities, post Brexit, has shown,” they wrote at the time.The impact of the UK voting to leave the European Union was discussed by several asset owners in their interim reports. NBIM’s Grade noted the relative market instability – and decline – brought on by the Brexit vote, with variations between sectors in the subsequent recovery. A similar analysis was given by some of the Finnish pension providers, with Stefan Björkman, chief executive at Etera, saying that Brexit “did not rattle Etera’s investment portfolio or solvency”.“The market movement caused by Brexit has not had any greater impact on our investment portfolio than normal day-to-day fluctuations,” he said.The sentiment was shared by ATP’s Stendevad: “If you had asked before Brexit, we would have expected a negative impact on our portfolio, but the opposite has been true with both stocks and bonds performing better than expected,” he explained.But not all investors were quite so positive about Brexit.NBIM cited the “increased volatility and uncertainty” as the reason for writing down the value of its sizable UK real estate portfolio. Nevertheless, the uncertainty was not enough to deter it from further exposure to the market, as it finalised a deal for a prime asset in the centre of London in the weeks after the UK’s vote.last_img read more

PRI in Person: Physical risks of climate change ‘underappreciated’

first_imgHe suggested that the Montreal Carbon Pledge – a high-profile initiative in the history of the institutional investment industry’s engagement with climate change – was no longer fit for purpose.“The Montreal pledge provided an important impetus to the Paris Agreement and I salute those at the forefront of this effort,” he said. “However, we need to move beyond carbon footprinting with a more sophisticated approach to climate risk assessment.”It was therefore positive that the PRI and its signatories were aiming to develop common stress test scenarios for climate risk, he added.Launched at PRI in Person’s Montreal conference in 2014, the pledge, according to its initiators, “allows investors to formalise their commitment to the goals of the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC), which mobilises investors to measure, disclose and reduce their portfolio carbon footprints”. Investors should focus less on carbon footprints and “so-called transition risk” and more on the physical impacts of climate change, according to the head of Deutsche Asset Management.Addressing delegates at the PRI in Person conference in Berlin, Nicolas Moreau – speaking in a personal capacity rather than on behalf of Deutsche Asset Management, at the PRI’s request – said he was encouraged by investors beginning to understand and manage their climate exposure.However, he urged investors to prioritise “pricing physical risk properly in our portfolios” instead of monitoring their carbon intensity, given that the global target of a maximum climate warming of 2°C was unlikely to be met.“I believe that the investment industry should reject the recommendation that investors disclose their carbon portfolio intensity,” he said. A joint initiative between the UN Environment Finance Initiative, Sweden’s AP4, Amundi and CDP, the PDC counts 29 investor members, who between them control over $3trn (€2.5trn) in assets and have pledged to gradually decarbonise their portfolios by a total of $600bn.The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), a high profile body running under the auspices of the Financial Stability Board, has recommended that asset owners and managers report the weighted average carbon intensity associated with their investments, although it acknowledged that “such metrics should not necessarily be interpreted as risk metrics”.Transition riskMost portfolio managers expend too much effort worrying about “so-called transition risk” and not enough about “what more actual hurricanes mean for valuations”.“That is crazy considering that new research from the academic journal Nature Climate Change estimates there is only 5% chance of keeping global warming to below two degrees centigrade,” he said.Even if carbon emissions were dramatically reduced tomorrow, stronger and more frequent extreme weather would be very likely over the next 10-20 years, he continued.Investors have “no place to hide” from the physical impacts of climate change and the disruption to property and trade flows. “If something is unavoidable you have to get organised to prepare yourself,” he said, citing how the Dutch have been building protection against rising sea levels for years.Companies need to ensure they protect themselves against the potential disruption from severe weather events, Moreau said, and investors were responsible for making sure these protections are in place to ensure their risk exposure is well managed.Moreau expressed disappointment that the TCFD had not made stronger recommendations on physical climate risk.“I believe the investment industry needs to champion the disclosure of the one in 100 years, one in 20 years as well as annual disaster risk exposures,” he said. “Such metrics helped the insurance companies in the 1990s and there’s no reason why every sector should not disclose its physical climate risk.”He highlighted Willis Towers Watson’s “1-in-100” initiative, which was launched in 2014 at a UN Climate Summit and is aimed at integrating natural disaster and climate risk into financial regulation globally, including solvency stress tests for portfolios. Moreau called for more support for this idea, “to ensure it catches on”. From policy to physical climate change risksDon’t worry so much about transition risk? Damaging climate change is unavoidable so get your house in order? This is not the loudest narrative about climate change that circles in and around the investment industry, but it was in this vein that Deutsche’s Nicolas Moreau addressed the PRI in Person conference this week.However, Moreau is not the only one in and around the investment industry to highlight the limitations of carbon footprints as a risk measure.Schroders, for example, recently presented a new carbon-at-risk tool, arguing that although carbon footprints remain the dominant measure of exposure, “at best [they] provide an incomplete and at worst a misleading picture of the risks carbon pricing presents”. Earlier this year, Schroders also presented analysis indicating the earth was on course to warm by 4° Celcius above pre-industrial levels, double the maximum set by the Paris Agreement. Zurich-based research firm Carbon Delta, meanwhile, has been offering a “Climate Value-at-Risk” measurement for several years already. And some investors are also already tuned into the need to assess and manage the risks from the physical impacts of climate change. French pension funds ERAFP and Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites last year sponsored a project designed to help financial institutions better identify the physical risks affecting their asset portfolios.Jean-Marc Jancovici, founding partner of Carbone 4, the company developing the tool, at the time told IPE that, “alas, we are now certain there will be physical consequences of global warming, even if we rapidly curb global emissions, because of the tremendous inertia of the climate system”.- Susanna Rust in Berlinlast_img read more

European Commission unveils sustainable finance legislative proposals

first_imgSpeaking at a press conference earlier this morning, Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis said: “On climate change, we are running out of time.“The Titanic could not turn to avoid the iceberg at the last minute and we will soon be in a very similar situation.” Asset managers and other institutional investors who claim to have sustainability goals will need to show how their investments are aligned with these objectives under new rules proposed by the European Commission today.The information they would have to disclose would include the sustainability or climate impact of their products and portfolios.The requirements are part of a package of legislative proposals the Commission had promised when presenting its sustainable finance action plan earlier this year, aimed at harnessing the capital markets to help implement the international agreement on climate change that was reached in Paris in 2015.The Commission today said its proposals “will allow the financial sector to throw its full weight behind the fight against climate change”. © European Union, 2018. Photo: Georges Boulougouris EC vice presidents Valdis Dombrovskis and Jyrki Katainen arrive for the press conferenceUnder the proposed disclosure requirements, according to the Commission, “all financial entities that manage investments on behalf of their clients or beneficiaries will now have to inform them about how their activities are impacting the planet or their local environment”.The proposed regulation would also require asset managers, pension funds, and insurers to report on the procedures they have in place to integrate environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) risks into their investment and advisory processes, and the extent to which these risks were expected to have an impact on financial returns.Exact requirements about the presentation and content of the information are to be set out via delegated acts, a special category of legislation that allows the Commission to specify the details of a law.European pension funds fought hard to keep delegated acts out of the revised IORP directive, arguing that EU harmonisation in the area of pension provision needed to be kept to a minimum.The Commission said its proposal for a regulation on the ESG duties of financial actors would introduce “consistency and clarity” on how institutional investors should integrate ESG factors into their investment decision-making process.It would mean “greater transparency towards end-investors, ensuring comparability between products and discouraging ‘green-washing’ or misleading information,” it added.  What is green, what is notThe Commission today also proposed a regulation “on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment”. This concerns the creation of an EU-wide classification system, or taxonomy, to designate which economic activities could be considered environmentally sustainable or not.Dombrovkis said it was about setting out “what is green, what is not”.An EU-wide classification system was “a first and essential step in efforts to channel investments into sustainable activities,” said the Commission. It would address the problems of “greenwashing” and confusing fragmentation, which undermined investor confidence.The taxonomy could eventually serve as the basis for standards and labels for sustainable financial products, according to the Commission.Under the Commission’s proposal for a sustainability classification system, an economic activity would be considered environmentally sustainable if it met the following requirements:contribute to at least one of six EU environmental objectives, such as climate change mitigation and adaptation or the sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources;not significantly harm any of the other environmental objectives;be carried out in compliance with a number of minimum social and governance safeguards; andcomply with specific “technical screening criteria”The criteria are to be set out in delegated acts and be based on advice from a technical expert group that the Commission is establishing.EU ‘positive carbon impact’ benchmarkA third proposal put forward by the Commission would create a new benchmark category for low carbon and “positive carbon impact” benchmarks. These would “foster a generally accepted market standard to measure a company’s footprint and, in consequence, an investment portfolio’s carbon footprint,” it said.The Commission said this would tackle the risk of products not living up to their touted environmental credentials. Providers would have to respect minimum EU standards for methodologies when developing any new EU carbon benchmarks. A “positive carbon impact benchmark” would be the only type of benchmark deemed compliant with the Paris agreement’s goal of capping global warming at 2°C.Benchmark providers would be free to provide a spectrum of other carbon benchmarks with “a different degree of ambition with respect to meeting climate-related objectives”, said the Commission.The European Parliament and the European Council have to review and agree on all the proposals.last_img read more

UK CDC consultation set for autumn, minister says

first_imgThe UK government plans to consult on a legislative framework for collective defined contribution (CDC) schemes in the next three months, according to pensions minister Guy Opperman.In a written statement to parliament published yesterday, Opperman laid out the government’s pension-related work, including new powers for the Pensions Regulator (TPR) and its latest thoughts on the development of a pensions dashboard . Opperman said: “Collective forms of pension saving offer interesting new possibilities, and the [Department for Work and Pensions] is currently working through proposals for the first collective defined contribution schemes in the UK. We intend to launch a formal consultation in the autumn.”A landmark agreement between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) in February has prompted a fresh debate about the practicalities of CDC in the UK. The UK passed laws in 2015 enabling CDC schemes, but secondary legislation is still required to make such pension arrangements possible. Parliament’s Work and Pensions Select Committee has been taking evidence from industry experts from the UK and the Netherlands this year to feed in to the government’s thinking.Paul Masterton, MP for the Scottish constituency of East Renfrewshire, has put forward a so-called “10-minute rule motion” for discussion in parliament on 17 October. A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “This is an important step forward in enabling us to offer a CDC scheme for our 141,000 employees as soon as possible.“As the provider of around one in every 190 jobs in the UK, Royal Mail is committed to delivering the best possible pension arrangements for our people. Royal Mail and the CWU hope the legislation required to enable CDC pensions will be introduced at the earliest opportunity.”Malcolm McLean, senior consultant at advisory firm Barnett Waddingham, added: “Given the very different views that currently exist across the industry, about the need for and value of such schemes, it will be most interesting to see what results from this.”In addition to the CDC plan, Opperman said the government would publish its conclusions from its consultation on new powers for TPR, and launch a consultation on how to facilitate consolidation of defined benefit schemes.“This is an ambitious programme of work, which has the potential to further transform the pensions landscape and benefit consumers,” he said.last_img read more

Military and railway history come together on bush block

first_imgThe old saw miller’s cottage at 31 Kildeys Rd, Cootharaba. Picture: Supplied. An acreage property with a former soldiers’ barracks from New Guinea, a railway waiting room and an old saw miller’s cottage has hit the market on the Sunshine Coast. The three dwellings sit on a private 4.05ha block at 31 Kildeys Rd, Cootharaba. Owner Mark Rollason said the buildings had plenty of character without flash. “There’s no plaster walls and the timber floors aren’t polished — it is what it is,” he said. The main building is an old saw miller’s cottage from Cooroy, which was built around 1910 and moved on the property in 1988. The rooms in the old barracks feature timber shutters. Picture: Supplied. The old waiting room from the Cooran railway station was also moved to the property in 1995. Mr Rollason said he stumped the little building and added a wraparound veranda after buying the property. “We call it the honeymoon suite because it’s just the bedroom and bathroom,” he said. “It’s good if you’ve got older kids or for when people come to visit so they’re not in your space.” The former railway waiting room now sits on stumps and has a veranda. Picture: Supplied. The property is partially-cleared and well hidden from the road. “I cleared around the house a bit after I moved in,” Mr Rollason said. “You used to walk out the door and the bush was nearly on top of you.“Now there’s a bit more space. And because it’s almost like a semi-rainforest you get cool breezes that go through the place.” The property is being marketed by Claire Reyne of Hangloosa Property Noosa for offers over $679,000. The rustic kitchen in the main cottage has satinay benchtops. The cottage has high ceilings, beech floors, VJ walls, a wood fire stove and a timber kitchen with satinay benchtops sitting on a bloodwood trunk. There is an open-plan living space, a bedroom and a bathroom, all opening to the wraparound veranda. Covered walkways lead to the barracks in one direction and the waiting room in the other. The barracks once housed soldiers in New Guinea before it was moved to the Gympie railway station to be used as sleeping quarters for staff. More from newsFor under $10m you can buy a luxurious home with a two-lane bowling alley5 Apr 2017The treehouse that’s good for mind, body and soul29 Mar 2019The old saw miller’s cottage has a light-filled living space opening to the wraparound veranda. Picture: Supplied. The timber building was moved to Kildeys Rd in 1995. It features three bedrooms, a veranda and a double carport. “It’s made out of hardwood — you can’t even hammer an nail it the timber, you have to drill into it,” Mr Rollason said. “It’s also got windows on one side and these big wooden shutters on the other and they just open up and let the breeze through.”last_img read more

New kid on the block shares her tips for home-staging

first_imgJesse Mountford, property associate Keyes & CO Property. Picture: Shae Beplate.AFTER featuring as a contestant on the hit TV series The Block, and delving into the world of home-staging by starting her local business My Handsome, Jesse Mountford is now set to make waves in real estate.She has recently joined renowned Townsville agency Keyes and Co Property as property associate.In her new role, Ms Mountford will continue to help sellers stage their homes, and learn the ropes of the realty industry directly from Keyes and Co principal and REIQ regional director, Damien Keyes. “I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity, the whole business structure is in line with what I love; they’re stylish and the aesthetic is immaculate — from branding to the office fit-out,” Ms Mountford said.RELATED: Why do longer names mean bigger sales? More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020 Labor’s policies could deter Townsville investors leaving renters to foot the bill As one of her first duties on the job, Ms Mountford has shared her top tips for home-staging.“It’s like going to an interview; you have one chance to make a good first impression,” she said.“If you think about potential buyers coming through, they’re probably viewing other properties, so if you want them to go home and remember yours, you need to make sure every box is ticked. “What buyers see on the day shows them how they could live, it sells a lifestyle, and that’s what Townsville is all about — the North Queensland lifestyle.“Doing a beautiful outdoor entertaining area is really important, and just making it feel like a warm family home is generally what people want.” A clutter-free space and inviting colours are keys to effective home-staging when selling a home. Sold home at 225 Thuringowa Drive. Picture: Evan Morgan Are these Queensland’s most ‘Aussie’ homes?last_img read more

Backyard blitz: ‘Upyards’ the new way of life for Brisbane

first_imgRachel Mann and Alexander Mundy enjoy the ‘upyard’ on the rooftop of Lucent Gasworks. Image: AAP/John Gass.UPYARDS could soon become the new backyards if Brisbane City Council pushes ahead with plans to make it easier for developers to incorporate rooftop green space in apartment projects.With more Queenslanders swapping the quarter acre block for a lower maintenance lifestyle, demand for rooftop gardens in high-rise homes is on the rise.Developers and town planners are calling on the council to prioritise making a major amendment to the City Plan, which would allow developers to incorporate a rooftop communal area in a new project without having to list it as an additional storey. RELATED: Penthouse living all about luxury “We love the fact we have what we call an ‘upyard on steroids’ in our developments — a fitness club that’s better than the local clubs and a personal trainer who can come to their rooftop and conduct a workout.”Cavcorp’s luxury development, Lucent, a 17-storey residential tower in Newstead, includes a 1600 sqm rooftop garden.It claims to have Australia’s longest infinity pool, along with a detox sauna and spa, yoga lawn, Zen gardens and even a golf green on the rooftop. Lucent Gasworks in Newstead features a 1600 sqm rooftop garden. Picture: Cieran Murphy/Supplied.Simon Caulfield of Place Estate Agents – Kangaroo Point said the trend toward low-maintenance living had increased buyer demand for ‘upyards’ in apartment buildings. “Priorities have changed a lot,” Mr Caulfield said.“People just want low maintenance living — not having to clean pools or gutters.”Mr Caulfield said green space was important to apartment buyers.“They still want to feel like they’ve got that green environment, so they don’t feel like they’re in a concrete jungle,” he said.“Some buyers won’t buy in a building if it doesn’t have good outdoor recreational space.“It’s a need now, not a want.” The ‘upyard’ at Walan in Scott St, Kangaroo Point. Photo: Christopher Frederick Jones. Walan in Kangaroo Point was designed with an emphasis on green space.Brisbane couple Rachel Mann, 24, and Alexander Mundy, 30, prefer ‘upyards’ to backyards because they better suit their active, inner-city lifestyles.“Both being young professionals, it’s good for our lifestyle to have something that’s low maintenance,” Miss Mann said.“Some people might think of it as lazy, but I think it’s smart.“It’s also a massive drawcard because friends love coming to apartments with a rooftop for social events — it does add to your social life.”Miss Mann said the couple aspired to buying an apartment in a development with an ‘upyard’ like Lucent Gasworks in Newstead. “I do think it adds value to a development at the end of the day, and it’s definitely a drawcard for buyers,” she said.Brisbane resident Ben Coombs recently bought an apartment off-the-plan in Cavcorp’s newest project, Le Bain.Mr Coombs said the ‘upyard’ featured in the development was a major drawcard.“The only drawback is you have to share it with people — and sometimes it can get a little bit busy,” Mr Coombs said. Ben Coombes on the rooftop of the apartment building in which he rents, which features an ‘upyard’. Picture: Annette Dew.Mr Coombs said he had no plans to live in a house again anytime soon, given the lifestyle and amenities that came with living in a development with an ‘upyard’.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours ago“I think it’s easy to get sucked in to this idea that you need a house, but that’s probably changing,” he said.“You only have to look overseas at places like Hong Kong and Singapore to see what you get there compared to here.”‘UPYARD’ DEVELOPMENTS IN THE PIPELINEHere are some of the apartment projects with rooftop gardens on the drawing boards in Brisbane:*Le Bain, due mid-2020, is a 128-apartment development by Cavcorp in Newstead with a private rooftop, complete with a fitness centre, sauna, yoga and training lawn, pool and barbecue area Le Bain Newstead by Cavcorp will feature an “upyard on steroids”. Photo: Supplied.*Cbus Property is building a 47-storey apartment block at 443 Queen Street in Brisbane’s CBD, which will have a rooftop garden 443 Queen Street is a new subtropical development planned for Brisbane’s CBD.*Aria Propery Group is planning a 216-apartment development for 66 Hope Street in South Brisbane that will feature a 118m high waterfall that will run the full length of the western elevation of the tower. The planned 1040 sqm rooftop recreation deck will feature indoor and outdoor residential amenities, including a 50m lap pool, gardens, outdoor gym, outdoor kitchen and barbecue area. Developer Aria has proposed a residential development with a 1040 sqm ‘upyard’.*Chester & Ella by Kokoda Property comprises two 18-storey buildings with a communal rooftop featuring lush gardens, a putting green, pool, firepit and outdoor kitchen areas Chester & Ella in Newstead will feature a communal rooftop garden.*In New Farm, the Maison project by Frank Developments will have cascading gardens on every floor of the proposed five-storey, luxury residential development An artist’s impression of the residential development, Maison, proposed for New Farm by Frank Developments. Image supplied.*A 91-storey, 732-apartment skyscraper planned for 30 Albert Street in Brisbane’s CBD is designed to include multiple levels of communal space and breaks down sections into “neighbourhoods”, complete with pools, cinemas and private dining rooms A Singapore based developer is behind this proposed, 91-storey residential project at 30 Albert Street, Brisbane.*The 270m Skytower in Margaret Street, in Brisbane’s CBD, is almost complete. At the top of each section of the development is a pool, gym and steam room, but only occupants in the top section will have access to the infinity pool. Skytower in Margaret Street, Brisbane.*Spire Residences by Consolidated Properties is a $200 million residential apartment building consisting of 340 apartments and a rooftop garden at 550 Queen Street in Brisbane’s CBD Spire is a $200 million residential apartment building consisting of 340 apartments and a rooftop garden at 550 Queen Street in Brisbane’s CBD. ‘Upyards’ like this one could soon become Brisbane’s new backyards. Image: Wild At Heart Photography.Damien Cavallucci, who is the managing director of developer Cavcorp, said it would make sense for Brisbane City Council to make rooftop gardens compulsory in all new apartment projects.“I’d like to see that because that would define Brisbane, much like Melbourne’s laneways define that city,” Mr Cavallucci said.“Brisbane’s weather allows for a community in the sky, and it would certainly take a load off the parks in the area.”Under the current rules, any roofed structure on an apartment building rooftop is considered a storey, so if a developer has planning permission for a certain number of storeys, it is not financially viable to have one as a garden instead of sellable space.Brisbane City Council planning chair Matthew Bourke said the proposed rooftop garden amendment had been referred to the state government for an interest review and approval to undertake public consultation. Following that approval, Mr Bourke said the council hoped to start consultation in mid-2020.He said the changes would not apply to low-density residential environments. Le Bain Newstead, by Cavcorp, will feature an “upyard on steroids”. Photo supplied.Town planner Mia Hickey, principal of Hickey Oatley Planning & Development, said Brisbane City Council’s lack of action on the issue to date was “definitely hampering the delivery of functional and innovative rooftops”. “Personally, I love a rooftop garden and would love to see them on top of all mid and high-rise apartment and commercial projects across Brisbane, but professionally, I understand the need for choice,” she said. “The issue isn’t about whether they should be made mandatory or not, the issue is that it is more cumbersome for developers to get an approval for a rooftop garden despite their obvious environmental and psychological benefits.“Brisbane City Council have actually known about this issue since the Plan was adopted in July 2014 and ever since the industry has been quite vocal requesting change.” An artist’s impression of the rooftop recreation deck proposed for 66 Hope Street, South Brisbane. Image supplied. An artist’s impression of the rooftop recreation deck at 66 Hope Street, South Brisbane. Image supplied.Mr Cavallucci said it was common to hear people tell him they were sick of their backyards and the time they spent maintaining them. “They just want that backyard that they don’t have to look after,” he said.“People are going; ‘We’re not really using our backyard; we love it, but we’re not using it.“The backyard is becoming more expensive — that’s the issue — and people are more time poor. MORE: How some TLC could restore these terrifying homeslast_img read more

DNV GL nets Tyra verification deal with Maersk Oil

first_imgDNV GL, a certification body and classification society, has won a contract to provide independent verification services for the Maersk Oil redevelopment of the Tyra field, off Denmark.The Tyra field in the Danish North Sea has been one of the centers of Denmark’s national energy infrastructure since 1984, providing 90 percent of the country’s gas production.DNV GL said on Wednesday that the contract would be coordinated from Denmark, with teams of experts from multiple DNV GL offices supporting the construction in fabrication yards across the world over the next five years.The scope of work includes independent verification and support services and ultimately the certification of all greenfield activities.This work will take place during the engineering, procurement, construction, installation, hook-up, and commissioning phases for two new jackets and eight topsides. These consist of one central processing facility, one accommodation platform, four wellhead modules, and two riser modules.DNV GL added that its independent third-party verification would help Maersk Oil ensure transparent package status and the real-time reporting of equipment-salient points, provide technical assurance, and enable Maersk Oil to manage project risks.Liv Hovem, Senior VP of DNV GL – Oil & Gas, said: “We’re very proud to have won the verification contract for the Tyra redevelopment and look forward to furthering our collaborative relationship with Maersk Oil.“Maersk Oil’s Tyra project is extremely complex, involves a wide range of technical disciplines and requires global support. Drawing on our global and local presence, we will utilize our worldwide network of technical experts to provide on-demand support.“Having worked with Maersk Oil on successes such as Halfdan Phase 4, Tyra Southeast B, and Culzean, we’re pleased to further our business relationship.”According to DNV GL, the major parts of the work included in the contract would only be executed given that Maersk Oil takes the final investment decision on the Tyra redevelopment project.To remind, Maersk Oil reached an agreement with the Government of Denmark in March for the full redevelopment of the Tyra offshore facilities. A decision was made to invest in the project by the end of 2017. Prior to the agreement, Maersk said that Tyra would stop producing in late 2018 and that the facilities would be decommissioned.last_img read more

WoodMac podcast: Zama field discovery ‘exciting for Mexico’

first_imgWood Mackenzie’s “Energy Alert” podcast took a closer look at this week’s big news regarding Talos’ Zama discovery and Eni’s successful appraisal offshore Mexico as well as the acquisition of Carcara interest by Statoil in Brazil.Offshore Energy Today reported on Wednesday that Talos Energy and its partners Sierra and Premier made what they claim to be a world-class, historic oil discovery of more than a billion barrels, offshore Mexico.The Zama-1 well is the first offshore exploration well drilled by the private sector in Mexico’s history.According to Premier’s statement on Wednesday, preliminary analysis indicates initial gross original oil in place estimates for the Zama-1 well are more than 1 billion barrels, which could extend into a neighboring block.The entire Zama Field is estimated to hold more than 1.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent and is considered one of the largest shallow water fields discovered in the past 20 years.On the same day, Eni announced a successful appraisal result and testing of the Amoca-3 well in the shallow waters of Mexico’s Campeche Bay.With the results of the Amoca-3 well, Eni has boosted the resource estimate of the Amoca field to 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent in place, and the Area 1 total estimated resource base to 1,3 billion barrels of oil in place, of which 90% is oil, with further upside.A very busy day news-wise for the oil industry in the Americas was topped off by Statoil signing an agreement with Queiroz Galvão Exploração e Produção (QGEP) for the acquisition of QGEP’s 10 percent interest in the BM-S-8 license in Brazil’s Santos basin.The additional equity will increase Statoil’s operated interest in the license from to 76 percent. The total consideration for the transaction is $379 million.Offshore Energy Today has shared the podcast above with permission from Wood Mackenzie, an energy intelligence group.last_img read more