Work harder, commit more to decarbonising public assets

29 January 2020 by Jason Quinn

Some interesting analysis here, although you have to read carefully to see the high-performance building connection.

Of the $12 billion in infrastructure spending announced last week, $200 million has been allocated for “decarbonisation” of some public assets. That’s only 1.6 % and I and others would argue that we need to work harder on reducing the carbon footprint of existing as well as new infrastructure.

The first barrier to overcome in creating buildings that need less energy and emit less carbon is that of the additional first costs. But for large buildings—think apartment blocks or commercial buildings—the extra cost to build and certify to the Passive House standard can be as low as nil. Meanwhile, the reduction in carbon emissions goes on for the life of the building. A Passive House building will use 90% less energy for heating specifically and typically 70% less energy overall.

We must reduce the carbon emissions generated by buildings in order to meet our Zero Carbon Act targets. With enough political will, we can build warm healthy buildings in which to work, sleep and play, and which also decarbonise our society.

—29 Jan 2020

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