Unlocking the big barriers to an “efficiency first” approach

In Europe the top barriers to implementing the decision-making principle of “efficiency first” in energy system planning and policymaking turn out to be lack of political will, lack of expertise and awareness, professional cultures, die-hard personal habits, and overarching regulatory structure.

New Zealand unveils revolutionary green building program to fight climate change

The New Zealand government is making a bold climate commitment with a plan to transform the building sector, which includes aggressive new efficiency standards for energy and water use and mandatory reporting requirements on construction materials and waste. On Friday, the New Zealand government announced its Building for Climate Change Programme, setting out plans to […]

Alan Pears: Submission on the federal government’s Technology Investment Roadmap

The Technology Investment Roadmap discussion paper provides a useful review of a range of technologies that could contribute to management of Australia’s climate impact. But this is just one (important) element of the actions required for Australia to build a successful clean energy-based economy.

Online NABERS + CBD Conference 2020

Clear your diary on 16 July for the online NABERS + CBD Conference, with a speaker lineup that’s packed with the leaders driving sustainability in the built environment such as the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor, NSW minister for energy and environment Matt Kean, Green Building Council of Australia’s Davina Rooney and host […]

On how the all-electric, net zero horse has already bolted

News from the front desk, Issue 483: Last week, the Morrison government unleashed its technology roadmap on Australia, starring natural gas in a leading role. It didn’t take long for people to start protesting the pro-gas sentiment pushed by the government and its friends in the gas industry. Atlassian chief executive and renewables advocate Mike […]

Ventilation might help slow COVID-19 spread but let’s not forget energy use

While the evidence so far indicates that increasing outside air circulation may help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in buildings, some common sense goes a long way for facility managers looking to keep occupants safe without wasting energy on overzealous air circulation. 

Looking for savings? Energy efficiency is the best place to start 

It’s great to see property companies setting themselves ambitious emissions reduction targets, says Buildings Alive chief executive officer Craig Roussac, but are they making the most of the easiest, cheapest tactic to cut emissions: using less energy?

Guess what? Building a better world will also speed economic recovery

As we emerge from this global crisis we have an unprecedented opportunity to create a better world, a healthier world, a happier and fairer world, and a low carbon world. It turns out this also represents better value for money than not doing so.

Keeping an eye on the energy efficiency ball is crucial

What happens to energy efficiency when people desert the CBDs because of the COVID-19 pandemic to work from home, and then send energy consumption through the roof with their domestic consumption?

Why energy efficient buildings should be a top climate policy priority

The UK needs a rating scheme like NABERS to bring down building energy use, writes Dr Peter Mallaburn, who was in Sydney last year to conduct a peer reviewed study of this rating tool. In a meeting with The Fifth Estate at the time he said some people believe Australia is 15 years ahead of the UK in energy efficiency.

Green Gigs: Brisbane Metro, energy-efficiency, cycle safety and new silica dust research

Brisbane Metro makes tracks Brisbane is one step closer to joining Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra as low-carbon transport fans, with the $944 million Brisbane Metro project gaining momentum. The tender for constructing the depot for the project’s fleet of fully-electric vehicles is expected to be released mid this year, with early works at the Rochedale […]

So you’ve declared a climate emergency? Now architects need to walk the talk

Every Australian (and many people beyond) are now feeling the fear that Greta enunciated just one year ago in her speech at Davos. Much to the surprise of the hopeful, hope has not delivered so let’s assume we need to actually do something now. After all, if not now, then when?

Mainstreaming low carbon design

Low carbon design provides a cost-effective way of improving performance that can be adopted for all buildings. Now, clear guidance on how to achieve such designs is available in a series of free, technical guides.

Energy efficient HVAC future on show at AIRAH Awards 2019

A Passive House student accommodation development and a 6 Star Green Star masterplanned community were among the winners at this year’s AIRAH Awards, held in Sydney on November 15. The awards showcase the innovation and technical excellence happening in the heating, airconditioning, refrigeration and ventilation space across all sectors including commercial buildings, residential, products, facilities […]

HVAC’s evolution and why it needs to look to the next generation

In the past three decades, Australia’s HVAC industry has seen a quantum evolution, but according to University of Wollongong professor Paul Cooper, there’s a real risk of a talent deficit looming in the near future.

How is your government agency performing on NABERS Energy?

Would you lease office space with a zero Star NABERS rating? We couldn’t help but wonder who would, when last week we spotted an office in the Brisbane Club Tower being offered for lease by Colliers in Brisbane with a zero NABERS rating.

England’s first new garden town in 100 years is blossoming

Garden towns and cities are an idea from the past that could help us in the present prepare for the climate-changed future. A new one is rising from green fields near Oxford, England, that is about creating not just homes but a healthy, low carbon community. Last month, delegates from 15 councils across England converged […]

Every building counts – time to tackle the laggards

It seems building energy efficiency is even palatable enough for federal energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor as an emissions abatement opportunity.