The buildings sector is responsible for approximately 23% of Australia’s carbon emissions. The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC), the peak body for sustainability in the built environment, has identified that improving the minimum standards for energy efficiency of new buildings can assist in delivering carbon emissions reductions. One of the key tools in delivering improved building efficiency is the National Construction Code (NCC), which sets the minimum standards for new building work in Australia. The goal of the analysis undertaken for this project is to assess the contribution that the Code could make towards achieving GHG emissions reductions in line with overarching zero carbon targets.
This report is the Final Technical Report for the Building Code Energy Performance Trajectory Project accompanying the Built to Perform report. The intent of this report is to provide more details on the underlying assumptions and results from the modelling work performed. The study sought to identify energy efficiency measures for which the capital cost is outweighed by financial benefits (‘cost-beneficial’) from a societal perspective over a 40 year lifetime of the technology. In both residential and commercial buildings, a range of measures were found to individually achieve a benefit-tocost ratio (BCR) of between 1.0 and 1.5 (where, a BCR of 1 brings the same lifetime value as cost and a BCR of 1.5 brings 1.5 times the value, e.g. $15,000 for $10,000 cost) and when measures were combined there was increased potential to implement more measures together while remaining cost beneficial.
The target range of BCR was chosen so as to be consistent with the Australian Government’s Best Practice Regulation guidelines and Guidance Note on Cost-Benefit Analysis. The study examined multiple building archetypes located in four climate zones, covering Australia’s largest population centres (climate zones 2, 5, 6 and 7). Further to the examination of energy efficiency measures, on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) systems were considered, with standard panel-based systems on both residential and commercial archetypes and building integrated PV (roof tiles, wall systems, glazing, etc.) on commercial archetypes only. Alternative generation systems such as photovoltaic thermal systems, micro wind turbines and geothermal systems have not been included in this study.
A rapid review on green-rated office buildings, and their operational energy use, found that the conclusions of six studies ranged from the certified buildings performing worse, similarly or much better than the non-certified buildings in terms of energy usage intensity. Two...Read more
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
Australia's Chief Scientist Alan Finkel points out, in this interview, the need for Australia to develop better storage systems and reflects on the recent report from ACOLA. California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister, also warns Australia to pursue demand side...Read more
Cool roof technology is known to reduce the cooling energy consumption of conditioned buildings during hot periods, and widespread implementation of such roofs in a neighbourhood or precinct can mitigate the urban heat island effect.
Conventionally in building performance simulations (BPS), it is assumed that air entering outdoor HVAC equipment is at the outdoor ‘ambient’ temperature, obtained from a weather file. However, significant spatial variations exist in outdoor air temperature fields, especially within the thermal boundary layers that form near exposed surfaces like roofs.