PIA Conference

“Shout It Out” Abstract

“Zero carbon building development is easy… with the right planning”

The built form is responsible for approximately 30% to 50% of Australia’s total carbon footprint.

Globally and now in Australia there are many examples of buildings that produce more energy than they consume and are theoretically “zero emission” buildings. These range from everyday mums and dads with standard 4×2 houses through to high rise commercial buildings. We now have the technology to be energy efficient and produce renewable energy at a cost effective rate to offset the buildings “operational energy”.

The largest component of a buildings carbon footprint is fast becoming “embodied energy” – the energy used to manufacture the materials, transport, assemble and then maintain them. The best way to reduce this embodied energy impact is through intelligent planning.

Plan for the future – the average Australian residential building is lucky to get much past its 50th birthday. The single biggest reason for a building to be knocked down in Australia is for redevelopment.

Plan for functionality – in the past 20 years our houses have grown in size by 40% while occupancy has dropped by 10%.

Intelligent planning ensures buildings last longer while increasing their functionality. The great news is once you are able to quantify these impacts (which eTool LCA can) it’s pretty easy to get the planning right.

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