With the accelerating pace of urbanisation around the world, the planning, development and operation of buildings and precincts have become increasingly important with respect to energy use and the associated carbon footprint of the modern built environment.
The building sector is the largest contributor to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Over the years, sound tools have been developed to support the life-cycle assessment of building carbon emissions performance.
Office buildings constitute a significant proportion of the non-residential building stock. In recent years, various rating tools have been developed to foster green office building development. The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has developed the Green Star - Office rating tools for this purpose.
Buildings are major contributors to global energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. There has been increasing effort and attention from industry and academia towards improving the energy efficiency of buildings and lowering the carbon footprint of this sector in the context of urban development.
As the largest consumer of resources globally, the construction industry faces significant challenges due to future changes in resource availability. How might this complex industry achieve reduction of resource consumption and waste given the disconnections existing between stakeholders in the building procurement process and the persistence of discipline based knowledge?
Climate change predictions indicate more extremes in weather conditions in the coming decades with more frequent and severe heat waves in certain locations including Australia. It is likely that the more vulnerable members of the community will be at risk during heat waves in the future from both health and financial perspectives.
Heat waves have significant impacts on both ecosystems and human beings. This is compounded by future climate scenarios which indicate more frequent and severe heat waves in certain locations. There are members of communities that are more vulnerable to the effects of heat waves such as the elderly and infants and this presents particular challenges for the future.
Climate change is leading to an increased frequency and severity of heat waves. Spells of several consecutive days of unusually high temperatures have led to increased mortality rates for the more vulnerable in the community. The problem is compounded by the escalating energy costs and increasing peak electrical demand as people become more reliant on air conditioning.
It is well recognized that the construction industry is one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. This research investigates achieving carbon neutrality in commercial developments. A case study approach was adopted to gain an in-depth analysis of the first commercial building claimed to be carbon neutral in Australia.