Productivity Commission findings shattered by Glass Association

The Australian Glass & Glazing Association has hit back at suggestions in a Productivity Commission report that energy efficiency in new residential and commercial developments is not an issue.

The Association says that itself and other leaders in the industry are of the view that the Productivity Commission has it “completely wrong”.“This controversial report is proving to be contrary to latest scientific data and a complete reversal of international sustainable building trends,” the Association says in a press release.It says the report questions the impact of insulating the building fabric, and the need to review insulation of wall, ceiling, floor and window areas.This is at odds with the wide acknowledgement of global warming as a problem, and with growing scientific and industry support for sustainable building as a “key component to slowing down this irreversible and disastrous trend”.

The Association claims that in Australia residential housing alone contributes to 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Minimising the consumption of energy usage nation-wide, reducing the necessary energy to heat and cool in all climates is recognised world-wide as the first step.

The Association goes on to say that from an energy efficient viewpoint, Australian homes and commercial buildings have lagged behind for many years. As an example, Australian windows are the worst in the developed world, in fact, what is accepted andinstalled in Australian homes and commercial buildings would be illegal in California. “Apart from the abysmal waste of energy, the production of that energy is creating unnecessary and unwanted green house gas emissions, equivalent to one tonne per annum per dwelling and substantially more for commercial buildings,” the Association says.

It adds that of the heat entering a building, 85 per cent does so through the windows, while of the heat lost from a building, 55 per cent is lost through the windows. As a consequence, households and commercial buildings throughout Australia are using 60 per cent more energy to heat and cool than otherwise necessary.

The Australian Glass & Glazing argues that if left to market forces, “this damaging situation will not change quickly”.

“Throughout Australia, there has been little regard by users for unnecessary energy usage, little regard for unnecessary production of greenhouse gas emissions and little regard for creating buildings with superior energy performance.

“The importance of minimising energy usage, conserving our natural resources, building better residential and commercial properties, insulating the window areas are recognised in every developed country as being critical steps.”

600450 Productivity Commission findings shattered by Glass Association
Date: 24 June 2005

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