Comfortable, affordable and low-carbon housing is possible, but according to experts at Wednesday’s National Forum on Low Carbon Housing for Low Income Households, there are multiple challenges that need tackling to get there.
Organised by the CRC for Low Carbon Living, ASBEC and the University of Wollongong (UOW), the forum brought together representatives from the not-for-profit sector, community housing, government agencies, architecture, energy providers, researchers and tenant advocacy groups to unpack barriers to delivering housing that is both affordable and sustainable. Other sessions explored potential pathways to achieving the goal, including policy approaches, strategies for retrofits, how to improve performance of new builds, and the challenges of introducing mandatory minimum standards for energy efficiency in rental dwellings. UOW Sustainable Buildings Research Centre director Professor Paul Cooper told The Fifth Estate that while mandatory minimum standards were needed, there were some potential negatives. Read the full article on the Fifth Estate.
Industry misconceptions around high cost and poor market interest in energy efficient homes continue to obstruct the mass adoption of low carbon housing. Josh’s House demonstrates that low carbon housing is accessible and cost effective. The Star Performers series showcases how...Read more
Research identifies that home design needs to considers both energy efficiency and heat stress resistance. Currently, NatHERS only focuses on energy efficiency. If the building codes are not modified, then house designs which only focus on NatHERS could adversely impact people's...Read more
Many established homes (most Australian homes) perform quite poorly in terms of energy efficiency and other resource use. Home renovation is a key point at which sustainability could be improved as people have already decided to spend money on renovation (some $32b a year...Read more
Addressing energy use in the built environment is just one aspect of the carbon reduction challenge, according to The Footprint Company chief executive Dr Caroline Noller. Addressing the embodied carbon in building materials is also vital.
An abundance of scientific studies points to evidence that indoor environmental quality (IEQ) has a direct effect on health, comfort, wellbeing and productivity. Considering that people spend a large amount of their time indoors, it is crucial that building legislation ensures sufficient levels of IEQ to promote healthy and comfortable indoor environments.
The European Union is facing a double challenge: increasing building renovation rates while aiming at achieving “deep renovations”. Increasing the current EU renovation rate from 1.2% per annum to 2-3% is essential to meet both the EU 2020 targets and the commitment undertaken in Paris in December 2015.
Covering roofs and walls of buildings with vegetation is a good way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And these green roofs and walls make cities look nicer. Toronto’s central business district adopted a policy of establishing green roofs on around half of all city buildings in 2009. Research shows this could reduce maximum city temperatures by up to 5℃.