Missing the opportunity for sustainable buildings

31st July 2014

It costs about the same to build a good building - achieving a high degree of sustainability - as it does to build a poor building, particularly when you take into account the running cost of that building over its life.  

The problem is that many of our buildings are built or owned by those who will not be occupying the spaces. The former group strives to reduce construction costs – often by deleting devices that can produce renewable energy and/or reduce energy consumption and therefore save money – because they don’t have to bear the building running costs. But in the long run this (failure of the market) is not good for anyone and this is where governments need to step in.  Willow Aliento in the Fifth Estate (29/7/14) writes:

“But why is the Victorian state government, which controls approval for the biggest towers, ignoring the City of Melbourne’s Green Star minimum standards? Especially when so much can be done to make these tall buildings as sustainable as their commercial neighbours.

“According to Tony Arnel, global head of sustainability for Norman Disney & Young, Melbourne’s new crop of tall buildings could be in a race to the bottom. ‘All these buildings are being built to minimum code standards, and those aren’t very high’, Arnel says. ‘The building code only eliminates worst practice. When you only do the minimum you are delivering a project that is going to be at the bottom of the market’.”

Read the full article at:  http://www.thefifthestate.com.au/archives/65227/