Organisation offers challenge to housing industry's 'green' efforts

An environmental organisation aimed at increasing the number of eco-friendly homes in Australia has issued a challenge to government and the residential housing industry



The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) has challenged industry to consider how the residential sector can be made climate friendly, with lower emissions and improved resilience to the impacts of climate change.

With the release of two key papers, ASBEC is encouraging the industry to develop its own pathway toward delivering ‘net zero’ residential housing.

ASBEC president, Tom Roper, says the industry 'roadmap' sets forward a proactive plan for making Australia’s housing stock ‘net zero carbon’.

“In order to ensure a net zero emissions housing future, we must be clear on the key deliverables that will drive change and introduce a stepped approach to achieving this goal.”

The plan is built on the report Net Zero Emission Homes, An examination of leading practice and pathways forward, commissioned by ASBEC and undertaken by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology, Sydney.

This report compares leading Australian and international practice in the delivery of zero carbon homes. It also assesses how applicable these initiatives are to the broader Australian market.

“Australia’s housing stock accounts for 10% of Australia’s total emissions. If we are to meet the needs of a low carbon future, it is vital that we learn from our international counterparts and bring together government, industry and the community to improve the sustainability of our homes.”

The roadmap outlines seven key deliverables for governments and industry:

  • Agree on a target for zero carbon residential buildings.
  • Deliver an industry-endorsed and government adopted definition of zero carbon homes.
  • Identify and build the skills capacity of the building sector.
  • Develop voluntary standards and support incentive programs to drive and reward innovation.
  • Align voluntary standards with mandatory requirements and compliance mechanisms.
  • Support the development and adoption of a single national rating tool.
  • Develop and deliver a consumer education and engagement campaign.

“This is not just about new housing but also a major retrofitting exercise for existing buildings. This roadmap is a starting place for a conversation that we hope will lead to Australia having a majority of net zero carbon homes in the coming decades.”

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