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Image: Zero Carbon Australia buildings live retrofit show at Sustainable Living Festival
The Zero Carbon Australia (ZCA) Buildings Plan demonstrates that there are no technical barriers to zero emissions buildings in Australia. This is achieved through a planned energy efficiency retrofit of the existing building stock onsite renewable energy generation, and electrifying current gas appliances. (For an explanation of why we’re recommending the removal discontinuation of the use of gas, please see our fact sheet)
This report does not aim to make individual buildings energy self-sufficient (i.e. zero net energy consumption) as each building is planned to be connect to a 100% renewable energy grid as outlined in the ZCA Stationary Energy Plan. However, it identifies the maximum feasible contribution from distributed onsite electricity generation using solar photovoltaic technology and some small wind turbines.
The Buildings Plan comprises of the following components:
- The most comprehensive compilation and assessment of all categories of Australia’s existing building stock across all climate zones.
- Review of multiple case studies of successful building retrofits and characterise energy savings, cost and efficacy of each method applied.
- Review and judgement of commercially available technologies and methods for achieving energy efficiencies and for onsite heat and electricity generation.
- Proposed viable blueprint for energy efficient retrofits on each building sub-category in each climate zone.
- Quantification of required resources to implement plan and capacity to roll out process, including timeline.
- Estimated investment costs and expected savings from implementing the Buildings Plan.
We’re a Project Supporter of the 5x4 Hayes Lane Project. The motivation for the 5x4 Hayes Lane Project is to construct a dwelling utilizing a small foot print of land. The space is to be liveable, functional and aesthetically grounded in a contemporary design. The engineering and materials in this project should be celebrated and on show. 5x4 Hayes Lane Project focus is to do all this in an environmentally responsible manner, looking at the whole life cycle of the dwelling from conception to decommission. For more information check out their website.
The report is a collaboration between individuals, relevant businesses, industry bodies, all levels of government, and academic institutions to draw upon existing knowledge, experience, research, and data. The ZCA Buildings Plan has, to date, received generous support from over 80 volunteers. It was also received pro-bono assistance from a range of organisations and companies including: WSP Built Ecology; Energy Efficient Strategies; Sustainability Victoria; Entura; GHD; Melbourne University’s Department of Building, Planning and Architecture; Solem Consulting; Investa; and VIPAC, just to name a few.
Image: Some of the BZE Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan team
Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
This project is funded by the Consumer Advocacy Panel as part of its grants process for consumer advocacy projects and research projects for the benefit of consumers of electricity and natural gas.
The views expressed in the Zero Carbon Australia 2020 Buildings Plan do not necessarily reflect the views of the Consumer Advocacy Panel of the Australian Energy Market Commission.