Zero emissions buildings are good for your health
Common wisdom has it that gas is the best for cooking and it’s the most efficient for heating.
This thinking is out of date, as will be demonstrated in a talk at the Healthy Buildings Symposium by Trent Hawkins, Buildings Plan project director for renewable energy think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE).
The health risks from gas are sadly well known. Gas leaks from old hot-water systems have asphyxiated people. Leaky gas pipes have caused explosions. Old gas heaters and stoves may produce toxic carbon monoxide gas, and often start fires.
But is there a responsible, environmentally friendly alternative?
Modern reverse-cycle airconditioners can provide heating at a high level of efficiency. This is because they don’t try to create heat – they just concentrate heat in the air, and move it into (or out of) buildings with a heat pump. It’s the same way a refrigerator works.
The best performing units can now deliver 5 joules of heat for every joule of electricity they consume. Heat pumps can also provide hot water efficiently without using gas.
The most efficient electric stoves avaliable are induction cooktops, which are the standard in Europe. The induction process means the stovetop doesn’t heat up like a gas or electric element stove – another health bonus when you consider the risk of burns and fire.
Of course, gas is also a fossil fuel, and increasingly dirty as we move into coal-seam gas production.
BZE’s Zero Carbon Australia buildings plan will be released in September this year.
The plan will show how to get a massive reduction in the amount of energy used to heat, light and cool our homes and commercial buildings. This is consistent with the recommendations of the previously published stationary energy plan, which outlined a realistic way to a 100% renewable electricity grid.
The buildings plan doesn’t only advocate replacing gas with modern appliances. It also proposes to insulate buildings and reduce air-infiltration. This means less exposure to extreme temperatures, increasing health and comfort.
Trent will speak from 11:45AM to 12:45PM on Monday July 9, at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Plaza Terrace auditorium. This talk is free –for more information or to reserve a place, visit: http://zcabuildings.eventbrite.com/
For info on the Healthy Buildings Symposium http://hb2012.org/registration/
For more information contact Trent Hawkins on 407 070 841
or Emma Carton (BZE QLD general manager)416 584 769