Business Sustainability in theBuilding and Construction Industry Presentation Prepared for: Environment Australia Cert IV in Business Sustainability Assessment Prepared by: Jessica Osborne www.joshdevelop.com.au
Building & Construction IndustryThere are a number of unsustainable activities in the Buildingand Construction Industry namely:• Tree Clearing• Product Solutions & Design• Council Costs Inflation with no end game• New Land Estate DesignThe industry talks of ‘sustainability’ as a dirty word, either as afear based objective or simply as an unknown.The lack of knowledge and information is preventing theindustry from moving forward. While there are examples ofexcellent initiatives, the industry still has a long way to go.
FOR EXAMPLEBuilders & Developerstend to think in What is thesmaller terms best way to make a An enormous amount of tree clearing profit? occurs in designing a new land estate. By clicking the news article picture you can see, while EPA goes to an extent of protecting the established ecosystems, big business always seems to win over. It is the responsibility of the new generationWithout first understanding what of developers to consider ways to integratebuyers want, rather designing a and enhance environmental considerations.home with profit in mind, oftencreates wasted space, which It is of great wonder, when standing in ain turn puts pressure on wasted cleared land space, grasping the enormityproduct. Clever design can of what has just occurred and why we havehelp to minimise waste. not yet come up with other solutions or initiatives.
Councils impact by using the building and construction industry as a fundraising activity.The inflationary costs of tax and contributions in a land development, gives noincentive for a developer to think outside the box. Council requirements continueto put emphasis on ‘cost’ as a development tool rather than innovative solutions toreduce costs and enhance innovative development.Only up until recently for example, councils and developers would not approve a designof a home if it did not meet a set of aesthetics (ie: gabled or skillion roof, dark colouredpaint etc). It was on the introduction of the Building and Other Legislation AmendmentAct 2009 , that allows a home to be built within reason, as a function for sustainabledesign rather than aesthetics .While it is developers social responsibility to continue to revolutionise the currentplaying fields, it is also the Councils role to foster this and support innovation.Current climates would suggest somewhat of a stand off between bothparties in this regard.
Legislation• Building and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2009 - The “ban the banners” policy aims to stop bodies corporate and developers from restricting the use of sustainable building elements and features.• Sustainable Planning Act 2009 – managing the effects of development on the environment and ensuring delivers sustainable outcomes.• Environmental Protection Act 1994 - protect Queensland’s environment while allowing for development that improves the total quality of life, both now and in the future, in a way that maintains the ecological processes on which life depends (ecologically sustainable development).• Building Act 1975 – regulates building development approvals, water catchment, sustainable functions
Builder Best Practice / Initiative Developer Best Practice / Initiative All homes within The Ecovillage includeInsulLiving was conceived and constructed complete water autonomy and energyas the next phase in the journey towards self-sufficiency. Smart design and topzero energy housing. A revolutionary energy rating assist the homes to bebuilding system, builds 34% faster, reduces comforable all year round with lowtrades and materials, simplifies design environmental impact. The estate hasand construction, improves energy grid connected solar power, edibleefficiencies and savings. (click picture to landscapes, permaculture, waste minimisationLink) and recycling. (click picture to link)
Moving Forward- While most builders are ‘stuck in their ways’ there are a chosen few who are pioneering new technologies as shown on last slide. This must continue .- Councils should see the benefit in treating each development as a closed loop system, giving back contribution costs to the developer, who is now responsible for these aspects (ie: parks, water, sewerage & electricity).- Environmental Responsibility means taking the dollar figure out of the equation. Design land estates to incorporate the existing environment rather than see it as an objection.- Any environmental feature withdrawn, such as tree clearing must be replaced in other areas. If 6000 trees are knocked down then they must be replanted and replenished elsewhere.
Benefits & Barriers- Builders may experience trial and error phases infinding new building systems that work. In order tosupport new products/technologies, governmentfunding needs to open up and recognise ‘buildingconstruction’ to promote the transformation of priorityIndustries.- In doing so, the cost of building goes down and we increase our economical future. HomeBuyer activity will flourish and perhaps the housing sector ‘correction’ lies in lowering buildcost with new tech rather than ‘valuation’.- Government departments are over compartmentalised and moving forward tends tohappen at a snails pace. In order for it move quicker, the sooner they can let go of financialrealisation and pass this responsibility on to the developer, the developer is then forced toenact efficient methodology or closed loop systems. Council’s role then inherits back toa local level, enhancing knowledge and initiatives to communities, leveraging through thesenew systems.
Improving Environmental OutcomesWhile we find a lacklustre of initiativeswithin the land development industry, andrecent council reports that infrastructuresubsidy will no longer be available after(any extensions or) Dec 2011, implementationof sustainable features on new and existing buildings still flourish withincentives such as:- Feed in tariff on PV up to 44c per KW for PV systems up to 5KW- Free native plants to households and community groups- Consideration of sustainable housing projects in Queensland
In SummaryWith the increased noise on being green continues, sifting out the junk is not atask for the faint hearted.Numerous schemes and programs are currently available through local and statecouncils, however a shift in focus is required. Reminding governments that anecological sustainable development is not the way in which an economic paper ishanded down from one to another. At some point natural environmentalprocesses need to be enhanced both for stability in the market place and toprotect our future.Control mechanisms are currently focused through financial gains. Let’s dilutethis focus and encompass:- environmental abilities through technologies that give back,- educate builders & support next generation of builders to create sustainable homes and- fund and recognise trial and error processes both for builders and developers,The environment will actually support this process, if we work with it, not againstit.