Research and Releases
- ASBEC Submission: Direct Action Emissions Reduction Fund Design
- Policy Position Paper: A Better National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS)
- Six-point plan for more productive, liveable and sustainable cities
- ASBEC Policy Platform for 2013 – A Sustainable and Resilient Built Environment
- Cities Snapshot – Background briefing on ASBEC Cities work – 2013
- ASBEC Senate Submission re. Recent trends in and preparedness for extreme weather event – 2013
- Net Zero Homes: An Industry Roadmap – 2012
- Net Zero Emission Homes: An Examination of Leading Practice And Pathways Forward – 2012
- Drivers of Demand for Zero Emissions Retrofits – 2012
- A Climate Change Adaptation Framework for the Built Environment – 2012
- Defining Zero Emission Buildings – Review and Recommendations report- 2011
- The Second Plank Update Report – 2010
- Cities for the Future: Transport Baseline Report – 2010
- The Second Plank – Building a Low Carbon Economy with Energy Efficient Buildings – 2008
- Capitalising on the building sector’s potential to lessen the costs of a broad based GHG emissions cut – 2007
The ASBEC submission on the design of the Direct Action Emissions Reduction Fund includes two key elements:
Principles that should guide the Emissions Reduction Fund
Operational demand for energy in the buildings sector (commercial and residential, not including construction) amounts to 23% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. There is significant potential to reduce the sector’s GHG through investment in energy efficiency. The following policies are key to unlocking this GHG reduction via long term structural change:
- Accelerated green depreciation for buildings,
- A national white certificate scheme,
- Public funding for energy efficient buildings retrofit,
- Modernisation of the Building Code of Australia with higher energy efficiency standards, and
- Enhancing performance standards in the minimum energy performance standards for
ASBEC submits that there are some guiding principles which ought to be considered for the ERF. These include;
- A clear focus on maximising abatement to achieve Australia’s 2020 abatement target
- Preference to be given to abatement which has certainty of being achieved
- Independent verification of abatement
- Weighting to be given to abatement which continues beyond 2020
- Transparency (eg, disclosure of bid prices and report on ERF abatement outcomes)
- Certainty for participants and government
- Minimise transaction costs
- Fairness and equity
And that in addition to the ERF there is still a need for complementary measures to realise the full abatement potential within the buildings sector. Complementary measures, both financial and non-financial incentives, to encourage the built environment towards better practice and reduced emissions such as; discounts for lower emissions properties, training opportunities to upskill the workforce, R&D incentives to support innovation, community education to change occupant behaviour etc.
Endorsed by ASBEC membership, this report Delivering Abatement Through Direct Actions – Emissions Reduction Fund, concept design and practice offers a detailed exploration of how the ERF might work across all industries. Commissioned by the Property Council of Australia, and carried out by Acil Allen Consulting, it incorporates input from a range of ASBEC members and has been endorsed by the Council.
ASBEC strongly supports the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS). This support dates back to the involvement of individual ASBEC members in developing and launching the initial NABERS program. It is because of this support that ASBEC is committed to the continual improvement of NABERS and its underlying tools.
This Position Paper is the consolidation of our members’ ideas for a better NABERS.
Recommendations cover the following elements:
- Governance and oversight
- Engagement with industry
- Tool development
- Technical improvements
- Training and accreditation
- Metrics and data
- Customer service
ASBEC believes a rigorous and nationally consistent rating tool is pivotal to fostering a more sustainable built environment.
ASBEC will continue to partner with Government to recommend practical and technical improvements to NABERS, and provide a conduit for key stakeholders.
Click HERE to download the ASBEC Policy Position Paper on NABERS.
ASBEC has released a six-point plan for Australia’s cities to ensure they are globally competitive, productive, sustainable, liveable, socially inclusive and able to meet our future challenges, calling on all political parties to support the following actions:
- Adopt a national approach to our cities with a strong governance framework
- Establish an Urban Infrastructure Fund
- Align Infrastructure Australia with National Urban Policy
- Deliver a quantum leap in sustainable, affordable housing
- Focus on climate change adaptation and resilience.
Click HERE to download ASBEC’s Call to Action for productive, liveable and sustainable cities.
Click HERE to download the ASBEC Media Release.
ASBEC’s 2013 policy platform calls for a sustainable, innovative, productive and resilient built environment in Australia through the following measures:
- A Coordinated and Accountable Approach to Cities: Ensure our cities are productive, sustainable, liveable, resilient and adaptable by measuring performance through indicators; broadening the role of Infrastructure Australia, and strengthening the Major Cities Unit.
- A Framework to Improve Resilience: Improve the resilience of the built environment in the face of climate change, with government working with industry to improve engagement, leadership, research, access to information and education, incentives, regulation, building codes and standards, planning systems and insurance and financial services.
- Reduction of Energy Costs and Emissions: Support households and businesses to unlock the full potential of a more efficient, productive building sector through tax incentives for green building retrofits; a national white certificate scheme; public investment in retrofits; modernisation and updating of standards in the Building Code of Australia; and enhancing Minimum Energy Performance (MEPs) standards.
- A Framework for Sustainable Buildings: Support a framework for improving the sustainability of buildings that includes measurable performance targets, with the aim of significantly improving economic and social value while simultaneously preserving natural capital.
- A Roadmap for Net Zero Emission Homes: In partnership with industry and stakeholders, develop a shared vision, policy, skills and a business case for Net Zero Emission Homes.
Click HERE to download ASBEC’s policy brochure.
ASBEC’s Cities and Regions Policy Task Group has compiled a briefing document to help inform members and stakeholders about the Task Groups work and relevant Government policy and programs.
This document is an ongoing work in progress. We invite updated information to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration of inclusion.
Click HERE to download the Cities Snapshot.
In January 2013, ASBEC provided a submission to the Senate Inquiry into Recent trends in and preparedness for extreme weather events.
This submission is drawn from ASBEC’s ‘Built Environment Adaptation Framework’ and the supporting ‘Preparing for Change’ report.
Click HERE for information on the inquiry and submissions received by the Committee.
Click HERE to download ASBEC’s submission.
ASBEC’s Sustainable Housing Task Group has undertaken to start a conversation with government, the building sector and the Australian community about the steps toward a low carbon future for housing, through their release of Net Zero Homes: An Industry Roadmap.
The Roadmap outlines the following pathways for stakeholders to achieve Net Zero Carbon Housing:
- Delivering a Vision – a clear and consistent framework
- Setting the Policy – the alignment of voluntary, incentive based and regulatory levers
- Building Industry Skills – the identification of gaps and capacity building opportunities
- Developing the Business Case – improving the feasibility to build and deliver
- Build a Brand – engage with consumers and deliver understanding through information sharing
The Roadmap is part of a package, the first part of which is Defining Zero Emission Buildings: Review and Recommendations; the second of which is the Net Zero Emission Homes: An Examination of Leading Practice And Pathways Forward.
Click HERE to download Net Zero Homes: An Industry Roadmap.
ASBEC commissioned the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) to undertake a global snapshot of pathways to delivering zero carbon homes.
This report, entitled Net Zero Emission Homes: An Examination of Leading Practice And Pathways Forward assesses leading Australian and international practice in the delivery of zero carbon homes. It seeks to examine the lessons learned from lead practitioners and considers the applicability of international initiatives in the Australian context.
This report specifically focuses on a zero carbon goal while recognising that many of the proposed actions will be equally relevant to low carbon or beyond zero carbon goals. This report should be read together with its sister document released by ASBEC, Net Zero Emission Homes: An Industry Roadmap.
This project builds on an earlier project for ASBEC looking at definitions of zero carbon buildings and uses the definitions proposed in that report and complements work undertaken to examine the challenges of retrofitting residential homes.
Click HERE to download Net Zero Emission Homes: An Examination of Leading Practice And Pathways Forward.
The Zero Emissions Residential Task Group (ZERTG) has released a report on the drivers of demand for zero and towards zero emissions residential retrofits.
This report is a reference document for upcoming ZERTG reports outlining an industry roadmap to Net Zero Emissions Homes and also a marketing study.
This ‘Retrofit’ report finds that the strongest factors influencing the uptake of energy efficient refurbishments include the age and condition of the building, rising energy prices, short payback times and increased property value, appearance and visibility of the measures, householder income group and the desire for increased comfort and convenience.
For a widespread adoption of energy efficient refurbishments this report recommends a range of initiatives which address professional practice, social practice and changing concepts of ‘home’. Simple mechanisms including choice, price, technical solutions or voluntary codes will not sufficiently mobilise homeowners towards to high energy efficiency standards. The most effective strategy will need to build on broader understandings of the correlations between decision-makers’ motives, the skills and expertise of building professionals, technical solutions, regulations and householder practices.
This report is based on a desktop study undertaken by RMIT’s Centre for Design and made possible with the generous funding of Sustainability Victoria
Click HERE to download the full report.
In response to the impacts of climate change on the built environment, the ASBEC Climate Change Task Group have launched a ten-point framework aimed at improving the resilience of our urban communities against extreme weather events and predicted future climate change.
The Built Environment Adaptation Framework proposes solutions to facilitate adaptation.
It has been informed by surveys of ASBEC’s membership about the gaps in policy and the specific needs of the built environment, and will help governments capture the significant potential benefits of early action.
The intention of this document is to propose a clear and comprehensive policy approach, by:
- starting a constructive discussion about the risks, impacts, and implications of climate change associated with the built environment;
- providing information on climate change risks and adaptation policy options, to improve understanding around the issues;
- creating a basis for governments and others across the built environment to implement a strategic public policy approach to adaptation; and
- establishing a dialogue and potential platform for joint action by industry and government on adaptation.
Click HERE to download the Built Environment Adaptation Framework.
Click HERE to download the “Preparing for Change – A Climate Change Adaptation Framework for the Built Environment” Report.
Click HERE to download the media release.
For more information on the Climate Change Task Group, click HERE to visit the Task Group page.
The work of the Net Zero Energy Homes initiative is now being carried out by the ASBEC Zero Emissions Residential Task Group, created in early 2010.
On November 15th 2011, the Task Group released the first component of its extensive action plan, in the form of the Defining Zero Emission Buildings – Review and Recommendations Report. With support from Sustainability Victoria, the Task Group commissioned the Institute of Sustainable Futures at UTS to conduct research into the local and international landscape around zero emission and low carbon buildings. The report proposes a comprehensive set of definitions, in support of the development of a common language for use across the built environment sector.
“Acknowledging the lack of clarity in this area, ASBEC’s Zero Emissions Residential Task Group has been working closely with ISF to produce a strong set of recommendations relating to a common language for low-emissions housing,” said Mark Allan, Task Group Chair, representing the Green Building Council of Australia.
Click HERE to download the Defining Zero Emission Buildings – Review and Recommendations report.
Click HERE to download the associated Media Release
For more information on the Zero Emissions Residential Task Group, click HERE to visit the Task Group page
This report updates the findings from ASBEC’s The Second Plank Report: Building a Low Carbon Economy with Energy Efficient Buildings.
The update report provides an economic analysis of the potential role the building sector can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) through additional energy efficiency measures. It takes into account the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET), policy measures and programs, and forecasts energy efficiency savings under both a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and a non-CPRS scenario.
Download the Second Plank Update 2010 Report here.
The ASBEC Cities for the Future Task Group commissioned the Cities for the Future Report that considered the relationship between GHG emissions, land use and transport. The report is stage one of a long-term project for the Task Group and it was launched at the Green Cities 2010 conference in Melbourne.
To be re-directed to the Cities for the Future Report, click here.
The ASBEC Climate Change Task Group (CCTG) commissioned economic analysis by the Centre for International Economics (CIE) to assist in stimulating discussion about the complementary role that energy efficiency can play in supporting the Australian Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).
The report produced, ‘The Second Plank – Building a Low Carbon Economy with Energy Efficient Buildings’ responds to the fact that residential and commercial buildings (the building sector) are responsible for almost a quarter (23%) of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions. It estimates that the Government’s proposed CPRS will result in the building sector saving eight mega tonnes per annum of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)– far short of the building sector’s full GHG abatement potential.
Download full report The second plank – building a low carbon economy with energy efficient buildings pdf file 1.5MB
Download Summary ASBEC @ work 2nd plank report
This study commissioned by the ASBEC Climate Change Task Group extended the Australian Business Roundtable on Climate Change (BRCC) analysis to include a more detailed analysis of the significant energy efficiency potential of the building sector.
Key Research Findings:
- The building sector is responsible for 23 per cent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and energy use in buildings is rapidly growing.
- Electricity demand in residential and commercial buildings can be halved by 2030, and reduced by more than 70 per cent by 2050 through energy efficiency.
- Energy efficiency alone could deliver savings of 30-35 per cent across the whole building sector including the growth in the overall number of buildings out to 2050.
- Energy savings in the building sector (which accounts for 60 per cent of GDP and 23 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions) could reduce the costs of greenhouse gas abatement across the whole economy by $30 per tonne, or 14 per cent, by 2050.
- By 2050, GDP could be improved by around $38 billion per year if building sector energy efficiency is adopted, compared to previous economy-wide estimates of the 60 % deep cuts scenario.
Australia’s ability to achieve at least 60 per cent deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 will be significantly enhanced by transforming buildings to deliver energy savings.
Download Report – Building Sector Potential – Sept13 pdf | 353 kB