Our Australian building sector contributes approximately 23% of all greenhouse gas emissions and these are predicted to increase by 110% by 2050. And yet we continue to ignore the absolute necessity of future proofing our buildings.
It is estimated that our houses have an average life of 50 years, so change needs to occur quickly. Not in 5 or 10 years time, but right now as each year we build around 150,000 new homes. Our existing legislation measures the performance of our houses based on historical weather data, which is absolute lunacy. We know sea levels will rise, severe weather events will increase, weather patterns will change, and yet our legislation continues to beat around the edges of the problem, similar to placing one little band aid on a bucket with twenty holes in it and expecting to stop the leaks. The costs of retrofitting our buildings in future will greatly exceed that of efficient solutions incorporated now.
As a passionate climate realist with extensive knowledge in design, assessment and construction of ecologically sustainable buildings I call on our governments to ensure catastrophic consequences are avoided by setting goals that industry can readily achieve affordably and practically. We need additional support and investment for research and development and sharing of knowledge and skills to ensure the building and manufacturing industries transition from catch up to stand out as a proud example of what is realistically achievable.