Raise energy bar: experts
Two leading sustainable built environment groups are urging a rethink of building guidelines in the North West in an effort to reduce emissions and power bills.
The Built to Perform in Northern Australia report by the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council and ClimateWorks Australia recommended development of a new national construction code with stronger energy performance standards.
Modelling of various buildings found energy savings of up to 27 per cent in residential, 38 per cent in commercial and 56 per cent in public sector buildings could be found if stronger construction guidelines were implemented.
ClimateWorks project manager Michael Li said changes to the code could save $4 billion and reduce emissions by 10 million tonnes in WA.
ASBEC executive director Suzanne Toumbourou said government action was needed to create change.
“Improved energy performance of buildings presents a win-winwin opportunity by reducing stress on the electricity network, offering bill savings and supporting a leastcost pathway to a zero carbon built environment, while improving health and resilience outcomes for households and businesses,” she said.
“Right now, industry leaders are delivering buildings that perform far better than the code’s minimum standards but increased minimum energy requirements in the 2022 revisions to the code will deliver industry the certainty to roll this out nationwide and drive down costs.
“At the same time, State and Territory governments should encourage building materials and designs which are best suited to specific local environments.” Environment Minister Melissa Price said the Council of Australian Governments would consider building energy efficiency reforms at the end of the year.
“This work has been informed by key stakeholder inputs, including the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council’s Built to Perform reports,” she said.
Ms Price said this would include proposing cost-effective improvements for the National Construction Code in 2022.
A home under construction on the Exmouth canals.