BVN has joined the #ArchitectsDeclare movement, as a number of built environment entities make a push for Net Zero Emissions to be mandated for all new homes.
With a week left for the community to weigh in on potential changes to the National Construction Code, the practice believes a shift towards net zero for all new homes is extremely beneficial moving forward.
The proposed changes to the code include a slight increase to the minimum standard of carbon emissions allowed for new houses, moving from six stars to seven. BVN argues this isn’t a significant enough change, believing all new houses should be net zero.
This standard would require that all new homes be designed as energy efficient, have roofs oriented for solar access, include photovoltaics and batteries, and no gas. This will enable homes to run entirely on self-generated renewable solar power. Despite these changes, it would only cost approximately 2 percent extra in construction and installation costs, making it a wise investment moving forward considering the cost is offset by savings to energy costs, as well as the ongoing climate crisis.
BVN has called upon the Federal Government to update the National Construction Code to mandate net zero emissions for new housing. With Australian homes contributing 13-20 percent of our national carbon emissions, the practice believes this doesn’t need to be the case. BVN makes the point that Australia’s built environment industry can easily create net zero emission homes cost effectively.
Under the current proposal, the government indicates each average sized home will still be allowed to cause five tonnes of carbon emissions per year. To offset this, 3000 new trees per house would be needed. By making all new homes net zero emissions, the need to plant potentially millions of trees is alleviated.
BVN cites the recent report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that shows climate catastrophe can be avoided through immediate, deep and sustained emissions reductions. If the building code is changed to ensure all new houses are net zero emissions, the practice believes change will come.
BVN has created a GetUp petition to drum up support. To view and/or sign the petition, click here.
Image: BVN project zero