Retrofit : Retrofit Volume 2 Issue 1 2013
10 • RETROFIT AUSTRALIA • VOLUME 2 NUMBER 1 2013 | Procurement W e should have (and typically believe we do have) all the information at hand to make the decisions that need to be made to get the right answers. When it comes to building performance issues, we have NABERS and sophisticated thermal and other simulation programs for benchmarking. When it comes to equipment, we have well accepted performance coefficients, and other rating and energy efficiency data. We even have greenhouse factors that, according to the federal government's Greenhouse and Energy Data Officer (in a personal interview), are all that is needed to get the right answer when it comes to greenhouse emissions. In many instances, he would be right, and all the strategies above used properly would be enough; however, there are many instances in which the answers derived from these approaches are inadequate, for various reasons. Current approaches will often be single-system focused, whether that is air conditioning, lighting, façade, or vertical transportation, et cetera. The answers derived from the traditional approaches end up only looking at energy consumption and/or carbon emissions from operational inputs and outcomes. In focusing only on carbon and only at the operational stage, we are ignoring major impacts, such as carbon embodied in the products and materials within the building and fit-out, as well as all other non-carbon impacts. By focusing on carbon alone, we run the very real risk of transferring the environmental loads of carbon avoidance into other impact areas, whether that is biodiversity, toxics or other resources. Blindly moving down a path solely focused on operational carbon emissions to the exclusion of everything else is like taking a blinkered horse out onto an inner-city freeway. From a planetary point of view, we are likely to create scenarios in which we actually dramatically increase other impacts, only to find some sort How life cycle assessment can add value to retrofit valuation DAVID BAGGS, PRESIDENT, THE AUSTRALIAN LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT SOCIETY (ALCAS) Retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency is an extremely topical subject at the moment, given the carbon tax, climate change worries, major funding programs for energy efficiency initiatives from the federal government, and the emergence of Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs). With everything we collectively know, as an industry used to doing building and energy upgrades as business as usual, it should be plain sailing.
Retrofit Volume 1 Issue 2 2012
Retrofit Volume 2 Issue 2 2013