The Australian Institute of Architects has commended state and territory Building Ministers for their decision to raise accessibility and energy-efficiency standards for housing.
Yesterday’s decision from the Building Minister’s Meeting to improve National Construction Code standards to increase the minimum energy efficiency standard from 6 to 7 stars* and incorporate an energy budget will see occupants save money on their bills, enjoy a comfortable home, and help reduce greenhouse gases.
The Institute’s National President Shannon Battisson said the energy-efficiency changes would support national efforts to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, given residential buildings were responsible for about 24% of overall electricity use and 12% of total carbon emissions.
“These practical improvements to Australia’s building code will support national efforts to reduce carbon emissions and builds a stronger legacy for residents, communities and the environment,” she said.
The positive outcome from the Building Ministers followed a call from the Institute, along with more than 100 property, community, health and environment organisations, for improvements to the National Construction Code.
The Institute is now calling on state and territory governments to adopt the changes into law as soon as possible, and to provide industry with the training and support they need to transition to the new standards.
Likewise, the Institute commended the move to deliver new livability design standards to increase the stock of accessible homes. This is required to provide choice in housing for Australians of all abilities, including more than half a million Australians who require assistance with their mobility.
“It will give confidence to people as they age that they will be able age in place, especially if they decide to build or buy a new home or undertake renovations,” Ms Battisson said. “This represents an important generational shift in respect for the right of people living with a disability to have choices about where they live.”
The Institute also noted the positive step that Ministers were progressing consideration of a Building Product Assurance Framework stemming from the Building Confidence Report. This will help deal with the problem of substandard products.
The Institute is very pleased to see that Ministers have asked state and territory senior building officials, the Department of Industry, Science and Resources, and the ABCB, to investigate factors constraining market capacity including supply chains and workforce, to determine improvements. The Institute has called for a dedicated supply chain strategy for the Australia’s building sector.
*A CPD program to assist architects with Designing for 7 Star and Beyond Series (architecture.com.au) is now live. The 4 Formal CPD point webinar will be split into two sessions each worth 2 Formal CPD points. All sessions will be recorded and made available for viewing if attendees cannot make the live sessions.
For media enquiries contact:
Rosanne Barrett on behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects
M: 0425 420 024 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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