Property industry challenged to build first ‘net zero’ building

Shane Rattenbury, MLA

The ACT property development industry has today been challenged to build the ACT’s first ‘net zero’ emissions commercial or large scale residential building by Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury.

“Across the board we need to continue to raise the standard of environmental performance in our buildings. In this context, we need someone to step up and deliver the ACT’s first ‘net zero’ emissions large scale building, which will be an iconic achievement and a lasting legacy for our city,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The ACT is already a leader when it comes to energy and we’re on track to have 100% renewable electricity by 2020. But to reduce the ACT’s greenhouse gas emissions to our target of net zero by mid-century, we now need to focus on other sources of emissions, and the built environment is a key area.

“Net zero buildings are highly efficient and consume less energy in total than the amount of renewable energy they produce. Recent research commissioned by the City of Sydney also shows that in Australia today these buildings are technically feasible and highly cost effective.

“In Canberra, high density residential or commercial net zero buildings would bring many benefits, including reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, providing high-quality urban living and work spaces and increasing density for a more liveable city.

“The Government is keen to ensure our planning system allows for these types of best practice environmental developments in Canberra, which is why we are also progressing a key Parliamentary Agreement item with the Demonstration Housing project,” Mr Rattenbury concluded.

Research commissioned by the City of Sydney can be found here. It reveals that net zero buildings are cost effective just on the energy savings and avoided infrastructure costs, before even taking account of the broader benefits such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions.