Office buildings and the environment : the increasing importance of ESD
Wilkinson, Sara J. and Reed, Richard G. 2006, Office buildings and the environment : the increasing importance of ESD, in PRRES 2006 : Proceedings of the 12th Annual Conference of the Pacific Rim Real Estate Society, Pacific Rim Real Estate Society, [Auckland, New Zealand], pp. 1-13.
The links between the built environment and sustainability issues such as fossil fuel consumption and climate change is clear. In developed countries buildings contribute around half of all carbon dioxide emissions and offer considerable scope for a significant contribution to sustainability through ecologically aware design and increased energy efficiency (BRE, 1996). The Australian commercial stock emits 12% of all greenhouse gas emissions however the commercial property market has some inherent barriers to sustainability (DSE, 2005). A substantial proportion of the stock is owned by institutional investors who are unconvinced by the need to improve their stock and pass on running costs to tenants (Callender & Key, 1997). As capital values are not greatly affected by sustainability, owners react by doing little or nothing and the effect is to limit sustainability related investment and undermine efforts to deliver sustainability in the sector.
Furthermore the efficiency of buildings declines over time and whilst energy efficiency is important to new design, the existing stock must be improved if urban built environment greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced. Much of the property and surveying research has previously adopted an illustrative case study approach advocating the benefits of ESD and energy efficiency in existing buildings. This research adopts a radically different approach and profiles the entire office stock of a global CBD, namely Melbourne, which is seeking to become a carbon neutral city by 2020. The research also employs scenario forecasting to model future changes to the stock over a fifteen year period. This paper sets out the rationale for the research and establishes the methodological approach adopted by the research team.
Field of Research
120104 Architectural Science and Technology (incl Acoustics, Lighting, Structure and Ecologically Sustainable Design)
Socio Economic Objective
970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design
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