Property Australia

Making every building count

PROPERTY AUSTRALIA October 29, 2019

Every building counts, a policy toolkit developed by the Property Council and Green Building Council of Australia, sets a practical pathway to low-carbon, high-performance buildings.

Buildings currently account for more than 50 per cent of Australia’s electricity use and almost a quarter of our carbon emissions.

But a new policy toolkit, Every building counts: A practical plan for emissions reduction, outlines 75 recommendations to transform Australia’s built environment and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Launched on Tuesday by the federal minister for energy and emissions reduction, Angus Taylor, the toolkit covers all building types across the full building lifecycle. Recommendations are shaped around seven key themes:

  1. Set out a long-term vision for net zero buildings by extending the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings to 2050
  2. Accelerate the shift to high-performance buildings with targeted financial incentives
  3. Deliver a Zero Carbon Ready building code
  4. Establish an Energy Productivity Authority to ramp up energy performance across the economy
  5. Expand City Deals to drive cost-effective emissions reductions
  6. Empower buyers and renters with a single national rating scheme for home energy performance
  7. Make Australia a global leader in high-performance building products.

Ken Morrison, chief executive of the Property Council, says the recommendations could be implemented immediately.

“The property industry is already the nation’s biggest employer. With the right policy frameworks in place, we can minimise the costs of transition, create economic opportunities across all parts of industry, from sole traders and homeowners to large businesses,” Morrison says.

“We urge the federal government to seize the unique opportunity the built environment offers to dramatically reduce carbon emissions in highly cost-effective ways that will also stimulate the economy.”

Davina Rooney, chief executive officer of the GBCA, says the solutions identified in the toolkit will drive real improvement across the sector, and all have a “proven track record of reducing emissions”.

“As Australia heads towards a low emissions economy, governments must provide a clear pathway of policies that give certainty to industry and create economic opportunities for Australian businesses,” Rooney concludes.

The toolkit was sponsored by Low Carbon Living CRC with support of steering group partners, the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council and the Energy Efficiency Council.

Download Every building counts: A practical plan for emissions reduction.