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50 ways to boost building performance

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has teamed up with consultants Norman Disney & Young to produce a guide of 50 “best-practice initiatives” new and existing building owners can implement in order to cut energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

CEFC property sector lead Chris Wade said buildings could be a key driver of CO2 reductions, currently accounting for about a quarter of the country’s emissions.

“Through this report, we are highlighting a wide range of clean energy technologies that currently aren’t prescribed by the National Construction Code, but which are proven, readily available and can be deployed immediately,” Mr Wade said.

“Importantly, these clean energy solutions offer property owners the potential to unlock billions of dollars in ongoing energy savings, and deliver positive investment returns.”

The guide breaks down the 50 actions into upfront cost, payback, which climate zones it would be effective in, and which sector it would be feasible in. Sectors covered include office, retail, hotel, industrial, healthcare, residential, common living and education.

For example, enhanced daylighting has a typical upfront cost premium of between 0.1-0.3 per cent of asset value ($$ out of a $-$$$$ scale), a medium payback period of under 10 years (scale of <5 to 20+), and is suitable for all climate zones and all covered market sectors, except for hotels.

Other initiatives include green roofs and walls, double-skin facades, mixed-mode ventilation, internal blinds, solar PV, LED lighting, cogeneration and trigeneration, power factor correction, BMS analytics and demand-controlled ventilation.

“Two-thirds of the initiatives have a payback period of less than 10 years, demonstrating the very strong commercial benefits of clean energy,” Mr Wade said.

NDY global director of sustainability Tony Arnel said greater availability of practical information on energy efficiency measures could accelerate the move to low carbon buildings.

“It’s also important to recognise that buildings designed now, for completion in two or three years, will enter a market where they will be competing with an increasing volume of higher performance building stock,” he said.

“This handbook will help guide investment decision making, drive the uptake of lower carbon and renewable energy solutions, and deliver real savings for asset owners and end users.”

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has recently increased its built environment funding, as part of its Sustainable Cities investment program. On top of announced commitments, there are currently 20 potential projects in the investment pipeline seeking an estimated $1.5 billion for projects valued at over $5.5 billion.

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