New energy efficiency performance tool
Energy efficiency is a hot trend for a reason. Not only can homes and businesses help the environment and cut down on harmful carbon emissions, they can save a substantial amount of money on electricity prices too. This can happen simply by finding ways to enhance a building's performance.
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) announced on October 10 that it is releasing a rating tool named Green Star - Performance.
This will be a way of measuring how to improve the efficiency, financial and environmental sustainability of Australia's existing buildings.
The GBCA has been working in conjunction with Australia's property and facility management industries in order to create a consistent method for measuring efficiency in existing structures.
Green Star - Performance was officially launched at the Sydney Opera House, which is aiming to be one of the first buildings to achieve the rating. Romilly Madew, the GBCA's chief executive, says that this is going to be a "game changer" for the industry.
Ins and outs of a performance rating
She said that the GBCA has spent over ten years focusing on design and construction of both new and retrofitted buildings, but now is time to take the next step. Many households are already taking steps to lower their bills through increased efficiency, so why shouldn't larger-scale buildings?
"While we are very proud of each and every one of these buildings, Green Star – Performance will help us tackle the far greater challenge of improving the efficiency of our existing building stock," she said.
The average age of Australia's office stock buildings is 27 years, built when energy efficiency wasn't a concern.
"Most of Australia’s buildings were built at a time when little thought was given to issues such as energy efficiency, water use or indoor environment quality. Green Star - Performance will enable us to transform these ‘brown’ buildings into the green buildings we need, and reduce their operating costs."
Features of the Performance rating include the potential for between one and six stars, so that even if a building doesn't reach a six rating, its improvements in efficiency can be recognised with another rating.
The rating tools will be accessible online and criteria will be straightforward to understand, so it will be cost-effective for building owners to get involved. All building types, from hospitals to hotels, shopping centres to schools, will be able to find ways to upgrade building performance for energy, environment quality, water and waste reduction.
Posted by Charlie Moore