UniSA calls for building code rethink

The country’s building stock is entirely unfit for purpose and is exacerbating climate change, one of the nation’s top environmental experts has claimed.

University of South Australia’s Professor of Environmental Mathematics, John Boland, claims that poorly designed homes are both ill-equipped to deal with the worsening heat of a future effected by climate change, but are to badly insulated that they lead to the worsening of climate change.

“Our increasing reliance on air conditioning is causing untold damage to the environment, emitting greenhouse gases and warming the globe even more,” Prof Boland says.

“What’s needed are brand new building codes which make things like wall insulation, double glazing and restrictions on window placement mandatory for all new homes.

“Simply complying with a 6-star rating (the current requirement) is useless because not only is that energy rating rarely checked; it does not consider climate change.

“Moreover, since the star rating is done on total energy use over the year, a design can be highly rated based on its energy use in winter. The house can still cause a lot of heat stress in summer.

“We need to get away from this idea that everything is voluntary in relation to building codes. Alternative energy sources like solar are great, but nothing beats a good design. We should be designing homes which use the least amount of energy rather than desperately searching for options which allow us to use more energy for less money.”

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