The mandatory and voluntary approaches to sustainability: BASIX vs BEAM Plus

Queensland University of Technology
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 19th CIB World Building Congress, Brisbane 2013: Construction and Society, 2013, pp. 1 - 14
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Many assessment systems have been introduced to measure the environmental sustainability of buildings that aim to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions over the last decade. Examples are the BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) in the UK, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in the US and Canada, the Green Star and Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) in Australia, and the Building Environmental Assessment Method (BEAM) Plus in Hong Kong. Some of the systems, such as BASIX, apply a mandatory approach for implementation; others, such as BEAM Plus, are voluntary with incentives. This paper aims to compare the difference between BASIX and BEAM Plus and discuss their different approaches to building sustainability. The comparison is important because it would then be possible to evaluate the implications of the environmental assessment policy tools in which two different approaches are used. The paper will first study and compare both the BASIX and BEAM Plus assessment systems. Second, the advantages and pitfalls of the mandatory and voluntary approaches will be identified and discussed. The paper is based on desk research. The impacts of the environmental policy tools, determined through case studies that will be conducted, should reveal if a voluntary-with-incentives approach is the stronger motivation for the building industry to improve its environmental performance.
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