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REIQ Journal : September 2008
Commercial & Industrial 45 Green light for grey buildings: NEW HOPE FOR OLDER OFFICE BUILDINGS By Paul Sloman, Arup Australia has lagged behind the rest of the world in regulating energy efficiency and building performance; California, for example, legislated efficiency requirements in the mid 1970s. HOWEVER, OVER THE past five to 10 years, the Building Code of Australia (BCA) has steadily tightened its rules and everyone is now poised to benefit from the experiences of those quicker off the mark. Even when efficiency is the topic, the throw-away mentality applies – even to major structures like office buildings. Many of us are attracted to the glamour of the new and innovative, and are less inclined to value what’s already there. This modern phenomenon has been described as “conspicuous conservationism”; or, even more harshly as “ostentatious eco-design”, which values status over environmental good. But, in the words of prominent American architect Carl Elphante, “the greenest building is the one that’s already built”. REIQ Journal September 2008