Office buildings and the environment : the increasing role of facility managers
Reed, R. G. and Wilkinson, S. J. 2007, Office buildings and the environment : the increasing role of facility managers, in Ideaction 2007 : Proceedings of the 18th Facility Management Association of Australia Annual Conference, FMA, [Sydney, N.S.W.].
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). 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). 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. Facility managers are in an influential position to help address sustainability issues via an increased awareness of energy efficiency and CO2 emissions.
Even though the efficiency of buildings is primarily focused on new stock, with an existing churn replacement rate of approximately 2-3% the existing stock must be improved if urban built environment greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced – clearly the management of existing stock must therefore contribute to substantial savings in energy use. 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 (City of Melbourne, 2003). 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. The results provides a unique insight into the variations between different building types and grades of office buildings, which in turn will allow facility managers to gain a better understanding of where gains in energy efficiency can be made.
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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