Australian Construction Needs To Move To Energy Efficient Materials

New government commissioned reports have claimed that the Australian building industry is suffering on the world stage when it comes to energy performance. 

The National Energy Efficiency Building Project examined entrenched problems with compliance with the National Construction Code’s energy performance demands.

According to the review this negligent attitude towards compliance is the result of indifference and a widespread focus on superficial appearance.

Currently, residential and commercial buildings account for almost half of the annual worldwide energy consumption and greenhouse gases. In fact, the average Australian household will produce enough carbon dioxide (CO2) to entirely replace the atmosphere above it with greenhouse gas. These current levels of greenhouse gas emissions are unsustainable.

The design and building of energy efficient residential and commercial buildings needs to be a priority for Australia. Australia is currently lagging behind the rest of the world. The move to energy efficient building happened overseas over 30 years ago.

Double glazed windows are seen to be a key material in helping with thermal and energy efficiency in Australian construction. In 2012, double glazed windows accounted for 55 percent of all new and replaced windows in the US. However, in Australia the double glazed market is only 5 percent, even though our climate is similar to parts of the US. Research has shown that windows are the single most important source of heat loss from an insulated building and this ordinary glass loses almost 10 times more heat than an insulated wall.

The common misconception that double glazing and insulation is only for cold climates is irrelevant as these simple measures can also keep the heat out. In fact, single glazed windows contribute to 87 percent heat gain in Australian homes. By simply double glazing the windows you can save 40 percent on your energy bills. 

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