Energy prices deemed obstacle to sustainable construction goals

Regional green build codes need further development according to experts

Artificially low-energy costs in the region have been cited by a number of industry commentators as the greatest obstacle in the sustainable building industry.

Despite the introduction of a number of codes and regulations, the benefits are being undermined by energy prices which make it “very difficult to get a return on many green investments.”

Presenting at The Big 5 seminar, ‘Is making an existing building green really effective?’, AECOM’s regional vice president for building and engineering Andrew Schofield recommended that authorities should address building green by looking specifically at power generation and price tariffs.”

Commenting on the range of benchmarks and rating systems now in use, Schofield also said that existing green-build codes required further development, particularly in relation to indoor air quality.

“There is a range of benchmarks and rating systems and you can debate all day whether these are relevant. While I think they can be, they are also somewhat limited in scope,” he asserted.

“Some of the codes simply say the more outside air you use, the higher the indoor air quality. But in this region the air is a high temperature, has high moisture content and is dusty so therefore it requires more energy to make it good-quality air.”

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