SEE talks deep with CSR Viridian
In this edition we talk with CSR Viridian. Theresa Tyrrell has provided the responses.
Q1: Who is responsible for the creation of a sustainable building – the building owner or the building industry?
The building industry has to represents legislation which outlines performance requirements and maximum energy consumption of energy for buildings. The government is responsible to create legislations and police the implementation of it. I believe all stakeholders carry a part of responsibility for the support of sustainably design practices and the development of sustainable building products.
Q2: Comment on the following: Sustainability is still relatively young in Australia, whereby we don’t know what our individual or collective role is to achieve it.
Sustainability might be younger to Australia than other developed countries, yet the awareness is growing and the responsibility for overall growing consciousness and participation should be more supported or even enforced by the government. Current decision makers are obliged to educate young people as well as consumers and change behaviour patterns in order to sustain this environment and make it worthwhile for the following generation. The government’s investment in renewable energy and sustainably building practices should encourage and dictate changes towards a sustainable future. Australia can benefit from other countries’ experiences and put practised into place which have proven efficient and effective. The Australian environment calls to utilise environmental conditions as, use nature to generate energy, put recycling practises in place as well as construct sustainable products.
Q3: Regulation, standardisation of energy efficiency plus innovation of new materials and building systems have been positive drivers changing our old school ways of constructing buildings. Are we ready now to up the ante to provide the best sustainable outcome, inside and out? Who and what will it take?
The industry is motivated and actively working on new innovative products and practices. Unfortunately, the Australian government has a long way to go in order to show its support and relieve some of the very frustrating feelings in regards to regulations, codes and assessment methods which are put in place currently. A more user-friendly and transparent system will have to regulate the building industry to make noticeable changes. The focus has to change to overall building performance, human comfort and energy consumption and less emphasis should be given on keeping building cost as low as possible. In other words building performance should become the largest selling point. Lowering the buildings operational cost as well as improving its functionality can be achieved very effectively by communicating and seeking expert advice all through the design and construction process. Only the utilisation of knowledgeable professionals in every field can assure the desired best possible outcome. Well-resourced advice and services within the industry will result in significant cost savings in time and work load.