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Net-Zero Carbon Buildings – The New Normal

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Earlier this month the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) in New Zealand revealed The Building for Climate Change Programme. This exciting new programme will set targets around energy use and carbon emissions focused on getting New Zealand on track with its Paris Climate Agreement commitment. This programme focuses on operational emissions, embodied carbon and resilience to climate change in new buildings.

“New Zealand Green Building Council and our members have been calling for this change for some time. We support the direction and the language of that initial conversation…we call on you to get in and have your say if you believe in better buildings and homes for New Zealand”,  Andrew Eagles, CEO, NZGBC

These changes, reflected in New Zealand’s Building Code and Building Act, will bring about reduced operational emissions for New Zealand.

Change is also afoot on the other side of the Tasman. As of the 1st of May 2020, the new Australian National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 Section J requirements come into regulatory effect. Section J specifies the energy efficiency provisions of the Code with the objective to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is a step-change for the design and construction industry in terms of compliance and assessment approaches. Read more in the latest CIBSE ANZ Journal here. Now all eyes are on the 2022 edition.

It is well known that the building and construction sector is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions through material production, buildings construction and operational energy use. Accordingly, our sector has a large role and responsibility to reduce these levels. Corporate responsibility for climate change is already having a profound impact on the way businesses deal with this issue.

Many of the region’s largest property owners, developers and managers have pledged their own targets to net-zero carbon emissions.

Mirvac was one of the first, in 2014, making an industry-leading commitment to achieve net positive carbon emissions by 2030, and in 2019 released a plan on how they will reach their target. The key steps they have taken include continuing to maximise energy efficiency and developing all-electric buildings powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.

"We’ve already made excellent progress, signing new energy agreements that see the majority of our office and retail assets in NSW, ACT and Victoria supplied with 100 per cent renewable electricity, reducing our carbon footprint by 65 per cent", Mirvac Sustainability manager, Davin Palin.

In September 2019 Net Zero Momentum Tracker, developed by Monash University and ClimateWorks, reported that almost half [43%] of Australia’s largest listed property companies have made commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that closely align with the Paris Climate Agreement. 

NABERS Energy is responding to the decarbonising of the grid and rise in net-zero emission targets with the Future of NABERS Energy Project that was open for consultation earlier this year. The results will be released shortly.

What property owners, operators and building services consultants need to know

The reality is that net-zero carbon emission buildings are the future. Building owners, managers and services engineers can ill afford to not understand the changes and impact this will have on design and operation of new and existing buildings.

On Wednesday, 9 September, CIBSE presents 2020 Vision for a 2030 Reality, a one-day, online seminar with a knowledgeable panel of speakers focused on what property owners, operators and building services consultants need to know to navigate towards net-zero and regenerative building practices. Including policy changes and a glimpse into world-first case studies.

Andrew Eagles, CEO of NZGBC will address the changes to the Building Code and Building Act in New Zealand in his presentation The transformation of New Zealand’s buildings.

National Policy Manager at Property Council, Francesca Muskovic is across all changes to Section J in the NCC and will speak to the opportunities these present to increase building standards and make our buildings more resilient.

The findings from The Future of NABERS Energy Project consultation report will be revealed at the seminar by NABERS Technical Projects Manager, Corine Mulet.

Now with up to 8 hours of CPD, live and to take away, this event covers more than 10 critical presentations delivered by some of the best and most informed speakers in our region. It includes thought leadership deep-dive sessions with speakers and other experts, case studies on net-zero buildings from around the world and other interactive experiences.

Register here before 31 July to take advantage of an early bird saving.
www.cibse.org/anz-virtual-seminar/programme





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