A guide to help building owners, managers and tenants to operate buildings more sustainably
A collaborative effort involving government, industry and the research community, 2009
The environmental footprint of our buildings is a key sustainability challenge – both for Australia and the world.
The decisions we make about building design are important. It is at the design stage that we have the opportunity to make some of the cheapest and most effective interventions in the environmental performance of a building such as an office over its life cycle. But we also need to address the performance of buildings over their operating lives – while they are full of people working, communicating, innovating and producing.
In Australia, only about two per cent of our office building stock is demolished and rebuilt each year. Existing buildings offer some of our most cost-effective pathways to environmental gain, especially in areas such as energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. While these benefits are there, the property market involves building owners, managers and tenants – interests that do not always coincide.
This publication, the ESD Operations Guide, introduces the key environmental issues relevant to operating existing buildings. Importantly, the guide covers the opportunities available to owners, managers and tenants for better environmental performance, and how they can collaborate on common objectives. Facility managers have a particularly important role to play here, and the guide outlines (particularly through detailed case studies) the value of owners and tenants investing in skilled and effective facilities management services.
The guide uses examples from the private and public sector to show what has already been achieved in the Australian marketplace on issues including energy, greenhouse, water, waste, indoor environment quality, transport, materials, and land use.
This guide is the product of a partnership between the Australian Government, the New South Wales Government, and key industry associations, including the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating. All the partners should be congratulated for their contributions.
The ESD Operations Guide is part of a developing suite of guidance publications, developed with agencies and industry, including three editions of the ESD Design Guide, the Water efficiency guide – office and public buildings and guidance on green leasing.
The Australian Government has released Your Building – a comprehensive best practice guide for commercial buildings at all phases of their life-cycles. This online guide will be a companion to the well-known guide for residential buildings called Your Home.
The ESD Operations Guide shows owners, managers, and tenants how to get started on more sustainable operation of office and public buildings. The challenge is now for each of these groups, across the diversity of Australia’s built environment, to implement local solutions.