Australia’s public and private sector created a new policy framework, which aims to modernise several ‘mid-tier’ office buildings in the country and make them more energy efficient.
Jonathan Cartledge, Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) head of public affairs, said that mid-tier office towers comprise an estimated 80% of the total number of offices nationwide. These properties also take up half of the total floor space.
The prevalence of mid-tier buildings in Australia makes them a good choice for energy-efficiency initiatives. According to the Opportunity Knocks: Accelerating energy efficiency for mid-tier buildings framework, as much as 80,000 towers are considered to be non-grade A or non-prime property.
Cartledge said that sustainable buildings in Australia save around one-third of power consumption. These also emit lesser greenhouse gas emissions compared to the average mid-tier tower. By modernising these mid-tier buildings, there is a ‘massive opportunity’ for fewer emissions and better performance, Cartledge added. In terms of HVAC systems, some companies have improved their line of products like hydraulic separators and other ancillary resources to support energy efficiency.
Year in Review
While the new framework aims to enhance mid-tier buildings, the recent National Energy Efficiency Conference reviewed some of the achievements in the energy-efficiency sector for 2017. State governments have been more active in funding sustainable projects.
These include a $112 million funding package in New South Wales, a $31 million budget for energy-efficiency projects of businesses in South Australia and Victoria’s additional $20 million funding for the Greener Government Buildings programme. The Queensland government also launched the Climate Transition Strategy, which integrated demand side opportunities into its environmental policies.
Sustainable buildings have become more relevant in Australia, as evidenced by many initiatives among the public and private sector. How would you rate the importance of energy efficiency in buildings?