Re-directive Project: Boonah 2 RIBA USA Competition 2007

An international design competition was organised by the USA Chapter of the Royal Institute of British Architects. The competition was entitled Building a Sustainable World – Life in the Balance: Global Problems, Global Solutions.

70 entries were received from seven different countries with 12 entries short-listed. Jim Gall from Gall & Medek and Tony Fry from Team DES travelled to Los Angeles in early June to make a spoken presentation to the judges. The judging panel included architects Ken Yeang and Thom Mayne.

The Gall & Medek- Team DES entry was based on the redesign of Boonah and the Boonah Shire to sustainably provide for a population of 50 000 people by the year 2050.

This proposal came second in the international ideas competition.

UK Chief Scientist, Sir David King asserted in April 2006 that a C3° warming is now
inevitable (between 2070-2100). If this projection is correct it would bring about the following:
A permanent El Nino accompanied by major changes in the weather worldwide.
The total disappearance of the Greenland ice sheet
Major increases in extreme weather events
Major changes in ocean currents will totally transform the climate of Northern Europe
Rising sea levels heading towards 5m (ratio is 1m rise : 100m ingression) this level being
reached within 100-200 years
The collapse of many rainforests (with the Amazon being especially at risk)
The death of tropic coral reefs in the next 30 years
The spread of existing deserts in Africa, Australia and Western USA
Reductions in global food production, causing an additional 400 million people to experience
World Bank and International Red Cross figures now suggest there will be up to 200 million
environmental refugees within thirty to fifty years. Bangladesh is expected to be the
source of a quarter of these.
Major water shortages in eg Western South America, Africa and Australia with a significant
increase in conflicts related to water resources
The extinction between 30-50% of global biodiversity
An increase in vector borne diseases
Increases in human and animal death from heat stress
The Boonah C3° + Outlook
Water and Rainfall
The amount of rainfall may or may not decrease dramatically, however, the availability of
water in exposed water courses, storage and biota will significantly reduce due to evaporation
from increased temperatures. Additionally, the rain that comes is likely to come less
frequently and in extreme weather events. A pattern of drought and then extreme weather
is very probable. The loss of soil moisture will be extremely serious and we can assume
that the carrying capacity of the land (stock and vegetation) will reduce by perhaps 50%
or more.
The ability to collect and store water in closed systems will become continually more
Biodiversity: Loss and Migration
Heat and reduced soil moisture will either, or both, take flora and fauna outside their zone
of temperature tolerance or deprive them of the level of water they need to survive. Major
losses of native and domesticated animals, native and introduced trees, plants, animals
and some insects will occur. What is possible is that these losses will rupture numbers of
food chains causing breakdown of ecologies with currently unrecognised consequences.
Heat, drought, reduced soil moisture and high winds will all combine to increase fire dangers
Extreme Weather Events
Storms will become more intense in the area, this implies: high, even cyclonic, winds; flash
flood, hail and droughts will intensify. The biggest continual problem will be heat.
The Positives
The greater the ability to adapt, the greater the quality of the new life.
The altitude and seasonal variations of the town make geothermal design strategies for
building design and energy a real possibility.

Re-directive Project: Boonah 2 Re-directive Project: Boonah 2 Re-directive Project: Boonah 2 Re-directive Project: Boonah 2 Re-directive Project: Boonah 2