Foreword: The Architectural Science Association (ASA), formally known as the Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA), was established in 1963 with the goal of promoting architectural science, theory, education and practice. A particular focus of ASA is the development, documentation and application of innovative approaches to environmentally sustainable design.
As global population and urbanization increase, so do the direct and indirect environmental impacts of construction around the world. Low-impact products, buildings, precincts and cities are needed to mitigate the effects of building construction and use. Analysis of embodied energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across these scales is becoming more important to support this direction.
Energy efficient houses are often thought to be a promising way to reduce our environmental footprint by using less energy and producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, surprisingly, if you consider the whole life cycle of a house, it turns out that sometimes a new home designed to save energy can end up using more than an average house.