Epping, Victoria -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/18/2018 --Insulation Australia strongly supports the call for a national plan to be established that will see net zero carbon emissions in the Australian building sector by 2050. Australia signed off on the Paris Climate Change Agreement in April this year, which confirmed the nation's commitment to reduce carbon emissions.
The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) has now developed a national plan to achieve net zero emissions across the building sector, which is currently responsible for approximately one quarter of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. This means that although the construction industry is highly accountable, it also has the potential to make a huge difference to the environment.
Insulation Australasia Chairman Scott Gibson advocates for the plan and says that the report clearly describes solutions that will enable Australia to meets its obligations by 2050.
"The building sector can reduce emissions right now by more than half with the introduction of improved levels of energy efficiency and an 'envelope first' path to net zero. This path starts with improved envelope insulation and glazing. After which the optimisation of services and appliances, coupled with the decarbonisation of the grid via renewable energy closes the gap to a net zero building," Mr Gibson says.
Solutions specified in the report include improving air tightness, double glazed windows, higher levels of insulation and adjustable outdoor shading or larger eaves. Paul van Oord, managing director of Australian insulation retailer, Pricewise Insulation, welcomes the report.
"Insulation suppliers have known for a long time, for example, how much potential ceiling insulation batts have in minimising energy consumption and reducing carbon emissions. Now it's time to take action on a large scale, and this can be achieved through an upgraded Building Code which includes greater requirements for high performing ceiling batts and other kinds of insulation."
According to the ASBEC, energy standards in Australia's National Construction Code are in need of desperate reform if new buildings are to be fit for a zero carbon future, according to the report.
ASBEC Executive Director Suzanne Toumbourou stated that "All of the buildings being built today will still be operating in 2050, at a time when we will need to be at or near net zero emissions. Our Building Code needs to be 'zero carbon ready', ensuring that today's new builds are prepared to operate in a zero carbon future."
"We welcome proposed improvements to the 2019 National Construction Code to advance energy performance in commercial buildings and adjust the requirements for residential buildings," said Ms Toumbourou. "However, to meet the full potential of the Code, we need to shift away from ad-hoc, periodic updates. Governments must agree to a longer-term plan with targets and a clear, regulated and transparent process for Code updates out to 2030, starting with a step-change in residential standards in 2022."
Built to Perform, prepared by the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) and ClimateWorks Australia, shows just how much setting the bar higher for energy standards in new buildings in the Code could achieve. It estimates that energy bills could be reduced by up to $27 billion, energy network costs could be slashed by up to $7 billion and at least 78 million tonnes of cumulative emissions savings delivered between now and 2050.
Pricewise Insulation has years of experience in the insulation sector and offers expert advice to its customers all over Australia along with quality insulation products.