A new project led by the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) and ClimateWorks Australia will develop a long-term industry-led vision for how the National Construction Code can deliver energy and emissions savings alongside financial benefits for building owners and occupants.

In an Issues Paper published yesterday, the project notes that buildings contribute more than half of the country’s electricity consumption and almost a quarter of emissions in Australia. 

ASBEC executive director, Suzanne Toumbourou, said that at a time when energy prices are skyrocketing and energy policies are under critical review, better buildings can ease the strain on wallets and take the pressure off ageing infrastructure.

Australia’s building standards are governed by the National Construction Code. The Code is updated every three years. The next changes will be implemented in 2019.

The chair of ASBEC's National Construction Code working group and global director of sustainability at Norman Disney & Young, Tony Arnel, said it is vital for Australia’s energy future that the changes to the NCC help to drive more affordable and more widespread energy efficient buildings.

“By 2030, buildings built after the next Code changes could make up more than a quarter of all Australia’s building stock,” he said.

“By 2050, this could increase to more than half of the total stock. There’s great potential to take the pressure off our power stations and power lines, save money and lower emissions – but we need the right standards in place.”

ASBEC and ClimateWorks will publish an interim report on project findings in November 2017 and a final report on cost benefit analyses and a policy pathway in March 2018.


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