There is an urgent need for stronger energy standards for residential housing and buildings under Australia’s National Construction Code (NCC). So says Australia’s insulation industry, claiming that tougher standards are critical to ensuring they are ready for and committed to a zero-carbon future.
“We need certainty for the industry now, with a building code that is geared towards a zero net emissions economy in 2050,” says Insulation Australasia Chair Scott Gibson. “Slight increases in construction costs will be more than offset by the long-term energy savings.
“The path to net zero starts with more airtight buildings and improving the building envelope. The insulation industry is ready to play its part in meeting this critical challenge.”
A recently released report prepared by the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) and ClimateWorks Australia, calls on the Building Ministers Forum and the COAG Energy Council to commit to a “Zero Carbon Ready” Code to be implemented across the building sector.
The report calls for greater stringency in energy regulations to be introduced in the 2022 Code, with a strong focus on residential. Further incremental increases are noted for non-residential buildings.
The report, Built to Perform, also calls on governments to broaden the Code to meet future sustainability challenges and to provide certainty to industry via clear targets and processes. This, the report says, will encourage investment in more energy-efficient buildings. The changes would be a crucial part of meeting Australia’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.
“We need to see immediate action from government; most of the buildings being built now will still be operating in 2050,” Gibson says.
“What we build now needs to operate in a zero-carbon future.”