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The road towards a low carbon future for construction

By: Green Council Building Australia
27 November, 2009

With the Copenhagen climate change negotiations looming large, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has been working closely with the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) to map out a route to a low carbon future that both reduces our greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and ensures continued economic development.

Buildings are one of the most cost-effective target areas for climate change action. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that, with proven and commercially available technologies, the energy consumption in both new and old buildings could be cut by an estimated 30-50 per cent without significantly increasing investment costs.

However, this potential is not yet reflected in international priorities. For example, as of April 2009, only 12 of the 4,500 projects in the Clean Development Mechanism pipeline were seeking to reduce energy demand in buildings.

Given that green buildings not only reduce GHG emissions but can also support economic growth, reduce operating costs and improve urban environments, this platform has the potential to bring together the twin agendas of action on global warming and alleviation of urban poverty.

The member nations of the WorldGBC are undertaking a number of initiatives to highlight the effectiveness of green building policies and the use of green building tools in reducing GHG emissions. These include:

  • Promotion, support and training for new green building councils in 40 countries, including the adoption or development of building rating tools appropriate to their country
  • Development of common carbon metrics between the leading green building rating tools to enable consistent measurement of carbon savings from green buildings
  • Evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of government policies and regulations to support the sustainable transformation of the property and building industries
  • Development of a comprehensive range of case studies on successful green buildings and green building policies.

The message is clear: green building is here to stay. The WorldGBC and green building councils around the world will continue to provide leadership on this critical issue for the sake of the survival of the planet.

Source: Green Council Building Australia

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