With a high level of focus on climate change both in the media and in politics over the past few years, it’s little wonder a call for greater gains in building energy efficiency has been heralded by both consumers and regulatory bodies as we move into a new decade.
Australia has, for many years ridden on the coattails of its pleasant climate and comparatively cheap energy prices so historically, energy-efficient buildings haven’t been overly high on the priority list for many builders, construction companies, architects and building surveyors. We are quickly seeing this landscape changing and consumers, regulatory bodies and construction companies all calling for change.
Whilst climate change has really only seen the illumination of heavy media attention in the past few years (much of the Australian 2019 political campaign was run using the environment as the platform for many parties) as far back as 2015 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council announced it’s intention to enhance Australia’s energy productivity by up to 40 per cent in the next decade with a particular focus on the building industry.
These measures include possible code changes and better access to technology that helps ‘achieve better energy efficiency outcomes’ for buildings constructed in Australia within the next 10 years. The recent NCC BCA2019 changed the requirements for new Building Energy Efficiency design. However these become mandatory on the 1st May 2020, allowing a 1 year period for designers to come to grips with the newer systems and provisions. It’s a bold plan to be sure, but with the coordination and cooperation of local, state and federal governments along with the involvement of the different unions and organisations that involve the wide range of professions in the building industry, this bold plan can become a reality.
Change is coming
We’re seeing this change already take shape within the industry with Austalia’s property sector topping the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark for the past seven years and no signs of slowing down. The technology for better-performing buildings is surprisingly readily available within Australia and we’re seeing more and more green building materials enter the market each year so there’s an opportunity for anyone with a commercial building project on the horizon to utilise both energy-efficient building materials and tech to help improve the carbon footprint of their buildings.
It’s important to note that with the introduction of energy-efficient building materials and technologies into building projects the focus is still on ensuring all buildings are up to standard when it comes to meeting all appropriate building standards. This is where a building surveyor with knowledge and experience in the ‘green sector’ of energy-efficient buildings (like Formiga1) is an invaluable partner.
Here’s what Formiga1 CEO Shawn Brosnan recently had to say about the changes in the industry:-
“Personally I think it’s great we’re looking at environmental factors in the construction of our buildings moving forward into the next decade. We’re seeing lots of focus on this in the residential and commercial sectors and it makes sense. We spend so much time and effort making our businesses run smoothly, our cars run properly or sports teams work together cohesively, as a society we could turn that focus on the energy efficiency of our buildings and make some real inroads towards change. It might not be as exciting as seeing your favourite sports team get that winning goal but it’s going to do so much more for our environment and the future of our country. That’s something worth doing.”