The Green Building Council of Australia with the Property Council of Australia, Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH), Energy Efficiency Council, Facilities Management Association of Australia, City of Sydney and CitySwitch have released a policy framework addressing the potential opportunities presented by increasing the energy efficiency requirements for mid-tier buildings. The policy framework, Opportunity knocks: Accelerating energy efficiency for mid-tier buildings, quantifies the number of mid-tier buildings as accounting for about 80% of office buildings and 50% of floor space in Australia.
Five immediate actions are identified in the policy framework for governments:
- Reduce the threshold required to disclose the energy performance of buildings
- Expand disclosure requirements to new sectors with a focus on tenants
- Support business through targeted tax incentives for building upgrades
- Governments to lead by example through higher efficiency requirements for their own tenancies and offices
- Invest in research to improve our understanding of energy opportunities across the building sector
Current issues in mid-tier buildings include outdated or inefficient technologies in the buildings, varied ownership structures, split incentives between owners and tenants and an absence of information between building owners and operators. These issues, or market failures, offer governments an opportunity to make mid-tier buildings a priority that can achieve significant economic benefits.