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Ground-Breaking Eco-Tourism Research by ICMS Property Head

Ground-Breaking Eco-Tourism Research by ICMS Property Head

August 20, 2018

An experimental resort to be constructed in the Sunshine Coast hinterland as part of a research project undertaken by ICMS property head John Powrie could provide the blueprint for companies looking to pay more than lip service to eco-tourism as a way to combat global warming.

This is the basis of Powrie’s research into sustainable, profitable and responsible eco-tourism as a model for other business sectors to follow.

Powrie, ICMS Academic Head of Program: Property, is reading his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) through Sunshine Coast University. The full title of his research is Environmental impact reduction on ecotourism facilities through improved sustainability considerations in design, construction and management in the Queensland Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

“My research is into how we can make tourism more eco-friendly and, eventually, 100% sustainable. This should be able to be achieved so that the industry is profitable, environmentally aware and aesthetically beautiful. The principles should be able to be applied to most business sectors,” Powrie said.

A critical part of Powrie’s doctoral research will be the construction of a small, fully functioning resort located in virgin tropical rainforest purchased in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

The area was chosen for its plentiful and dependable clean rainfall, high degree of sunlight saturation, low industrial pollution factor, subtropical climate and lush rainforest vegetation. The resort will consist of a main building/function centre/reception and six to eight guest residences.

“The whole site will be an experimental lab into sustainable building techniques,” Powrie explained.

“The buildings will be primarily made of earth from the site itself, in the form of several versions of adobe, cob or rammed earth construction. There will be no plastic, concrete or metal unless it has been recycled; and timber will be sourced from trees on the site as far as possible. Each building will have its own unique solar passive design to suit its own particular site.”

Designs on the resort will include Hobbit houses, tree houses and In-ground dwellings, without sacrificing any drop in standards of living, with bathrooms and kitchens tiled and fitted with all the latest washing and cooking necessities.

“The rational for the research is that the overwhelming evidence from countries around the planet is that global warming is a reality and the main cause of it is due to man’s lack of consideration for the environment and its sustainable resources,” Powrie said.

“In my experience, I have found that most current ‘eco-resorts’ are generally only paying lip service to the term ‘eco’… The eco movement is, in many ways, still in its industrial infancy but it is becoming a juggernaut on many fronts and its full implementation in all industries is only a matter of time.”

Powrie’s research and passion for the property industry – in which he has been working for the past 25 years as an architect and construction company owner – spills over into the ICMS Bachelor of Property course offered at the higher education institution located in Northern Beaches, NSW, Sydney.

In the 10 years he has been with ICMS, Powrie has seen the college grow into an educational force to be reckoned with, particularly in his area of expertise. Among other contributions, Powrie initiated the four ICMS property tours to Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia, and he believes the ICMS Bachelor of Property degree “is the best of its kind. It has several unique features that other higher education institutions are unable to offer”.

“What sets it apart is the industry training in real and relevant jobs, the current industry relevance of every property lecturer, the hands on practical nature of the subjects and, of course, the brilliant campus buildings, grounds and location on the headland at Manly overlooking several beaches.”

For more information on the ICMS Bachelor of Property, and other degrees offered at ICMS, click here


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