GBCA pushes for 'net zero' buildings

The new industry label will be introduced following a new global agreement to end the fossil fuel-driven economy

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has pledged to drive the property industry towards ‘net zero’ buildings, with a new label to recognise properties with no impact on energy, carbon and water.

The announcement was made to mark the inaugural Buildings Day, and also comes in the wake of the global climate change conference in Paris, where a new global accord was struck to transform the world’s fossil fuel-driven economy and slow the pace of global warming as of 2020.

The new label will be introduced in 2016, and will also recognise buildings that go beyond net zero to make positive contributions to the environment, such as generating more renewable energy than is consumed, according to GBCA’s chief executive, Romilly Madew.

The GBCA will also introduce an advanced curriculum to educate professionals on how to deliver net zero buildings, promote net zero as an achievable goal, and create resources that can be used internationally to drive the uptake of net zero building worldwide.

Ms Madew said the GBCA will continue collaborating with local, state and federal governments to develop policies and initiatives that lead to greener buildings, sustainable communities and productive cities, including a recent initiative to tackle the energy production of up to 80,000 mid-tier commercial office buildings around Australia.

“The Australian market is already leading the world in terms of sustainability in some sectors – and we have five years at the top of the GRESB table to prove it,” said Ms Madew.

“Our next challenge is to embrace a net zero philosophy. The GBCA’s vision is to recognise and reward projects that make a positive contribution to the environment.”