Garnaut on the built environment

12 March, 2008

The Garnaut Review today released Issues Paper 5 – Transport, planning and the built environment

The information contained therein seems to be generally sensible, and I think it is particularly worthwhile for the architecture profession to take note of the fact that buildings are responsible for 23% of Australia’s GHG emissions. This figure does not however include the emissions from the construction and renovation of said buildings. This also compares to transport being responsible for 14% of Australia’s GHG emissions (private cars are responsible for 7%, though this is rising).

What I do find interesting, in fact somewhat worrying, is the fact that 5.5 pages are dedicated to transport and planning, whilst 2.5 are dedicated to buildings, which seems out of whack with their respective emissions impact.

Something I’m surprised wasn’t mentioned (given the market focus of the report) as a  way to reduce built environment emissions was the disclosure of  a building’s energy rating when it is sold or leased. How are people supposed to make rational spending choices without all of the relevant information?

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5 star treatment for everyone

26 October, 2007

it was announced today by the Building Commission that from May next year, all domestic renovation and extension work will include bringing the house up to a 5 star energy efficiency rating, press release here.

this is really a much more important step than introducing 5 star for new homes, simply because the vast majority of homes in Victoria are not new, but we do love to renovate. though it will still be pretty hard to make the argument for energy efficiency on the basis that it will save you money when greenhouse gas emissions are free and thus coal fired electricity remains so amazingly cheap.