Thursday, 29 January 2015

Australian business, trade to increase presence in PH

Pick the only guy wearing a tie?



Australian business, trade to increase presence in PH



Australian business, trade to increase presence in PH

Australia notes though that mining is a missed opportunity for the Philippines, an industry that significantly contributes to the former's growth
Chris Schnabel
Updated 9:11 AM, Jan 29, 2015
BULLISH. Firms from "Down Under" are bullish about their growth prospects in the Philippines, says Australia senior trade commissioner Anthony Weymouth (4th from left) with representatives from Australian businesses. Photo by Chris Schnabel / Rappler
BULLISH. Firms from "Down Under" are bullish about their growth prospects in the Philippines, says Australia senior trade commissioner Anthony Weymouth (4th from left) with representatives from Australian businesses. Photo by Chris Schnabel / Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – Australia is more bullish in their business and trade growth prospects in the country, firms from Down Under said.
Anthony Weymouth, Australian senior trade commissioner to the country, said that it is time for Australia to increase its trade presence in the Philippines.
Two-way trade between the two countries is at AU$3 billion ($2.40 billion) and an estimated 200 Australian companies now have a significant presence in the Philippines, employing 15,000 to18,000 Filipinos, Weymouth said.
These include ANZ Bank and Macquarie, two of the major Australian locators in the country.
The landmark ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZ) also now allows for 95% of Australian products to enter the Philippines duty free while 97% of Philippine-made products can enter Australia with the same benefit.
An increased popularity of Australian products is also seen due to the recent fall of the Aussie dollar.
“It’s basically a 20% price reduction in 3 months,” Weymouth said.
About 15,000 Australians currently reside in the Philippines while about 250,000 Filipinos now call Australia home, Weymouth shared.
Increased investment
Other Australian firms, meanwhile, praised the government efforts to improve the overall environment in doing business in the country.
“We see a country that is really getting its act together,” James Young, country director for Cardno, said. Cardno, a professional infrastructure and environmental services company is involved in some of the important public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects planned for the next few years.
Michael Banak, director of Crone Partners, an architectural firm, confirmed that it is looking for a partner to set up a permanent base in the country.
The firm has been in the Philippines since 2006 and is notable for designing Arya Residences, the country’s first residential building receiving the “green” certifications of Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED). Crone Partners is also designing a 20 hectare master-planned project.
Meanwhile, Sight Skills based in Clark, Pampanga, is providing training services for construction, gas, mining, and oil. The company is behind Asia’s only simulated underground mine and an offshore platform which it uses to train workers involved in the Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project.
Telstra, a business process outsourcing (BPO) company, is also among locators that employs the highest number of Filipinos in the industry.
Mining a ‘missed opportunity’
When asked about the problems Australian firms face in the country, Weymouth singled out mining as a great “missed opportunity,” saying with significant investment in mining the Philippines could achieve an 8% or 9% gross domestic product (GDP) growth instead of 6%.
The Philippines is one of the most mineral-rich country in the world, but only about 2% of the resources are being extracted, Weymouth said. On the other hand, mining is a significant industry and major contributor to the Australia economy.
“The bottom line is that there are mining projects in places like Mindanao that have the potential for billions of dollars in investment that can raise the GDP by 2% for the next 40 years,” Weymouth said.
The trade commissioner added that Australia would like to see the issues addressed, as it is a big challenge facing Australian mining firms.
Australian mining firm Indophil Resources has a significant stake in the controversial Tampakan project.
The firm is set to be taken over by local firm Alson. – Rappler.com
(AU$1 = US$0.80)

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

arya at the fort | michael banak architect

arya at the fort | michael banak architect


What a great feeling! Finally sitting on the right side of the plane, camera at the ready, capturing on film, our towers at the end of the Manila American Memorial, Fort Bonifacio Global City. I was also lucky to have the opportunity to walk around the development, whose concept was visioned in 2010 and now nearly complete. Arya Residences is a premier grade, mixed use development designed by Crone Architects, for Arthaland and boasting dual green certification, LEED Gold and BERDE. These photos were taken in the Philippines earlier this week. Tonight its flying back home to Sydney. Marimang Salamat Po my Filipino friends, thanks for the hospitality!




















































Wednesday, 21 January 2015

garden towers grows fast | michael banak architect

garden towers grows fast | michael banak architect

Below, a photograph taken today of our project for AYALA Land Premier named Garden Towers. The basements are well underway for the twin tower condominium development, showcasing green design and smart living. Garden towers is located in the heart of Makati, in the Philippines.


Monday, 12 January 2015

Pavilion at Architect’s Residence / Kythreotis Architects | ArchDaily

Pavilion at Architect’s Residence / Kythreotis Architects | ArchDaily

this is why I love my office | michael banak architect

this is why I love my office | michael banak architect

how do you put a super-graphic on the facade of a 34 level tower? | michael banak architect

how do you put a super-graphic on the facade of a 34 level tower? | michael banak architect



So you've come up with this great idea to superimpose an image of the Brisbane River on the facade of a 34 level tower. Now.....how the hell do you do it?



Not that easily actually. During Design Development, we decided we would use a ceramic frit pattern on the glass to create the image. The frit pattern would give a solid appearance to the glass panels, these combined over the face of the building to form a large pixelated image of the river. To further emphasize the image we changed the colour of the glass to be clear, contrasting with the green DGU (Double Glazed Unit) panels adjacent to it. The final touch was to remove our horizontal sunshading devices where the graphic was to appear, to let the river pattern flow across the facade.



Now the tricky bit. A Double Glazed Facade Unit is made up of 2 sheets of glass with an air gap. The numbering of surfaces goes from 1 to 4. 1 being the outside surface (exterior of the building) and 4 the inside surface (Interior of the building) . Typically the Ceramic Frit pattern is applied to surface 2 or 3. The problem with this, is the pattern gets lost behind the glass, it becomes green in appearance due to the natural colour of glass. What we ended up doing is something a lot more sophisticated and expensive. It's called a Triple Glazed Unit. Two sheets of glass make up a laminated panel using low iron glass, there is an air gap and then a 4th sheet of glass. Confused yet? I would be too if I was reading this. I'm hoping my crude little sketch will explain things better. Low iron glass is an ultra clear glass and because of this the pattern appears clear on the facade. We will see over the next few months if our assumptions are correct, but what we have reviewed of mock-up panels and the panels on site, everything is looking good!




Wednesday, 7 January 2015

5 Of The Best Sydney Developments Of 2014 - TheUrbanDeveloper.com

2 of our buildings were featured in the Urban Developer end of last year as the 5 best Buildings in Sydney. Yeehar! The project names are 333 George Street and 20 Martin Place.


5 Of The Best Sydney Developments Of 2014 - TheUrbanDeveloper.com