A building is responsible for the emission of a significant amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the various stages of its life cycle. Industry and government have been primarily focused on assessing and implementing mitigation measures related to the operational GHG emissions of buildings, leaving the emissions related to other life cycle stages, such as raw material extraction and maintenance, largely ignored. However, the uptake of assessments, such as life cycle assessment (LCA), and mitigation measures that consider buildings’ emissions from a life cycle perspective has been slow due to various barriers. One such barrier that has not been as widely documented yet is the uncertainty towards the financial cost of life cycle GHG emission reduction. There has been an increase in studies that have included both the environmental and financial assessment of a building or building systems over its expected lifetime. These studies often use the economic methodology called life cycle costing (LCC), that complements the life cycle approach of LCA, to help quantify the financial impact of a project. However most of these studies either base their results on exemplary low energy buildings, not traditional buildings that dominate the built fabric. In addition there is a trend to primarily focus on residential buildings, leaving other building typologies neglected. Other aspects to notice from these studies include the fact that most present findings of the life cycle energy impact, not life cycle GHG impact. There is also a need to use more comprehensive life cycle inventory data, such as hybrid, not just process data, to provide more comprehensive results. And lastly, most studies consider at new buildings, not refurbished or existing buildings. LCA and LCC support each other from a life cycle perspective however there is still a need to further develop an approach to concurrently balance both economic and environmental performance to create a more sustainable built environment.
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
In response to feedback, high-income households can reduce their energy use to a larger degree than low-income households (17% vs 3% reduction). This and other insights were gained by two rapid reviews into research, both Australian and International, on digital services and...Read more
This project interim report presents the initial outcomes of the research that consist of:
PART 1: Recruitment of participants from single dwellings and multi-unit dwellings, and initial data analysis of the stage 1 survey;
PART 2: Analysis of the BASIX assessment model, key variables and methods of data collection for the stage 2 energy performance monitoring.
The building sector is responsible for a significant proportion of a nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. In an attempt to mitigate these emissions, industry and government have been mainly focussed on reducing operational emissions associated with buildings, leaving the embodied emissions largely ignored.
Evaluating building design options with a focus on simultaneously minimising life cycle greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and life cycle cost (LCC) is difficult due to a lack of comprehensive and accessible tools. An integrated approach where life cycle GHG and LCC performance can be balanced is essential in order to optimise a building's overall life cycle performance.
While relocatable, prefabricated learning environments have formed an important component of school infrastructure in Australia, prefabrication for permanent school buildings is a new and emerging field. This review of prefabrication for schools is timely. In 2017, Australia’s two largest state education departments committed to prefabrication programs for permanent school infrastructure. In this paper we examine the recent history of prefabrication for Australian school buildings in the context of prefabrication internationally.