Using building adaptation to deliver sustainability in Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Structural Survey, 2009, 27 (1), pp. 46 - 61
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Purpose: This paper seeks to establish the rationale for existing office building adaptation within Melbourne, Australia, as the city strives to become carbon neutral by 2020. The problems faced by policy makers to determine which buildings have the optimum adaptation potential are to be identified and discussed. Design/methodology/approach: This research adopts the approach of creating a database of all the buildings in the Melbourne CBD including details of physical, social, economic and technological attributes. This approach will determine whether relationships exist between attributes and the frequency of building adaptation or whether triggers to adaptation can be determined. Findings: This research provided evidence that a much faster rate of office building adaptation is necessary to meet the targets already set for carbon neutrality. The findings demonstrate that a retrospective comprehensive examination of previous adaptation in the CBD is a unique and original approach to determining the building characteristics associated with adaptation and whether triggers can be identified based on previous practices. The implication is that a decision-making tool should be developed to allow policy makers to target sectors of the office building stock to deliver carbon neutrality within the 2020 timeframe. Practical implications: Drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are required to mitigate global warming and climate change and all stakeholders should be looking at ways of reducing emissions from existing stock. Originality/value: This paper adds to the existing body of knowledge by raising awareness of the way in which the adaptation of large amounts of existing stock can be fast tracked to mitigate the impact of climate change and warming associated with the built environment, and in addition it establishes a framework for a decision-making tool for policy makers. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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