Over the past decade, I have worked on projects in the Pacific, Indonesia and on remote mining infrastructure and villages, remote and independent resorts, and for the remotest communities in central Australia.

Too often, specifying and selecting appropriate technology has been a hit-and-miss affair. In one instance, air-conditioning units were quickly destroyed in tropical Queensland by small geckos nesting in the heat exchanger, insects which blocked air intakes, frogs and toads which blocked drainage, swarms of grasshoppers and flies which eventually covered…