Resilience, Residential Buildings and Rating Tools In Australia

University of Melbourne
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Issue Date:
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Resilience is emerging as an important component of building and urban design. The Rockefeller Foundation has established the 100RC (Resilient Cities) to demonstrate the scope of issues and the ways in which different cities globally are addressing their issues and challenges. Sixty-eight resilience issues have been identified; some are social, economic, governance or environmental in nature. Our ability to be resilient to chronic and acute resilience issues such as overpopulation and flooding, and to cope with resilience challenges such as heatwaves or lack of affordable housing, increasingly concern city authorities. Rating tools provide benchmark and objective indications of sustainability within buildings or precincts. Since 1990 many have been launched, for example BREEAM, BASIX, and NatHERS. They are developed by government and/or private bodies and can focus on a limited issues such as energy and water, or a wide range of metrics including social and environmental criteria. Some are mandatory, imposed by government, such as the European Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) others are voluntary. Some measure design and construction sustainability, whereas others focus on operational or in use sustainability. A number of questions arise with respect to rating tools used to evaluate building sustainability. For example, what choices are available to people in respect of new build and adaptive reuse for housing? And, given the focus here; do any of the tools, explicitly or implicitly, adopt resilience issues? This paper reviews two Australian sustainable building tools in the residential sector and evaluates their potential contribution to increasing resilience in the two 100RC cities; Melbourne and Sydney.
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