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REIQ Journal : September 2008
COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL 47 Forgetting to calculate the costs associated with demolition and new construction is a common energy accounting omission, according to Flinders University economist Owen Covick, who chairs the Energy Consumers’ Council of South Australia. The pitfall, he says, is to start the energy stopwatch from the beginning of normal use, ignoring the relative impact of the costs before the point when monthly energy savings start to show up. The energy accounting for both options should factor in everything on both sides of the column: the costs associated with tearing down a building and starting afresh with new materials, and the energy costs of retain and revamp improvements. When deciding whether to demolish and rebuild – or retain and revamp – it is important to start from a baseline against which targets can be set and ultimately measured. A study by the United Kingdom’s BRE Trust in 2002 showed that refurbishment solutions are generally lower, both in environmental impact and whole life costs (over 60 years) than comparative site redevelopments. The exception was where significant low energy features such as natural ventilation could not be introduced to the existing building, but could be incorporated into a new development. A new, energy efficient office building will not save any energy for some decades. Indeed, a replacement building may never reach the energy break-even point. Older buildings tend to fall into two categories: the first category is pre-World War II, when resources were relatively scarce. When their operating systems are brought up to speed, these buildings can be remarkably energy efficient. In Sydney, a seven-level office building constructed in 1916 at 39 Hunter Street, achieved a 6 Star Green Star Office Design rating and is the first heritage-listed building in Australia to do so. Its refurbishment included cutting out an atrium, adding high efficiency lighting, putting in displacement air conditioning and using the sprinkler tank for thermal storage, which helped to reduce peak load energy consumption. The second category includes buildings from the 1950s to the 1970s, which were constructed at a time when resources seemed unlimited. While there can be problems with these structures, they’re not necessarily insoluble. Creative solutions include adding triple skins and incorporating functional adaptations as design elements. Wanted Specialising in Real-Estate & Property Development Marketing Looking to Sell your Sales Agency or Rent Roll? If you are interested in buying or selling your business – please contact Paul Brooks, Agency Broker, 0419 731 390 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.realestatedynamics.com.au Friendly & Professional Service One Stop Multi Media Shop Web Development Marketing Plans Design Services Copy Shop Suite 19c, Pavilion Arcade 287 Shute Harbour Road Airlie Beach P: 07 4946 5555 F: 07 4946 5522 email@example.com www.kippinmedia.com REIQ Journal September 2008