Sustainability in the built environment; a Government perspective

  • YEAR
    Kluske, R
    2007 Conference Papers
    Built Environment


Abstract: The current and emerging policy initiatives in Government are aimed at making
Victoria a sustainable state. The extended drought, melting icecaps and extreme weather
conditions have solidified public awareness. The built environment should be an easy win
in the war on climate change but there seems a reluctance to act from the private sector
and a public campaign aimed at diffusing Government initiatives from some lobby groups.
The government has ensured all new office buildings and houses in Victoria have to meet
minimum energy and water standards. Further development of environmental standards
for existing buildings are the next step and are necessary, however this must be carried
out with high levels of consultation and in a spirit of cooperation.

The paper examines green buildings, links staff productivity and indoor environment
quality, building selection, corporate citizenship and strategies for building owners to
adopt “defensive mechanisms”. By far the best scenario will be to encourage the private
sector to act without the need for regulation.

Rating tools are very important in creating long term sustainability. The Green Building
Council of Australia’s “Green Star” rating tool, energy house rating software such as
FirstRate5, developed by Sustainability Victoria, leads the field. ABGR and NABERS are
both Government designed and supported rating tools – both are viral to drive the existing
commercial building market.

Government is a major purchaser of goods and services and a major owner of property.
The paper looks at a number of governments owned or leased buildings and their
sustainable features. The guidelines Government set for their own operations are


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