Net zero buildings

Nov 7, 2018 Other

Did you know that in Greater Sydney, the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions is energy use in buildings?

Greenhouse gas emissions by source (2015-16) Source: Greater Sydney Commission, 2017, Exploring Net Zero Emissions for Greater Sydney, report prepared by Kinesis for the Greater Sydney Commission

Learning about how we plan for a net-zero emissions future was the subject of a forum run by the City of Sydney last week. Attended by local council planners, construction industry representatives and other stakeholders, the forum canvassed ideas about how the NSW planning framework could accommodate changes to support the aspirational objective of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Strategic plans such as the North District Plan include planning priorities to address a reduction in carbon emissions. As Sydney grows, improvements in the way buildings and precincts are planned and designed, and the way water and energy infrastructure is delivered, can support the more efficient use of resources and lower carbon emissions.

At the local level what options are available in the planning system through local environmental plans (LEPs) and development contribution plans? Some LEPs such as Bankstown and Parramatta (draft) include provisions relating to high performance buildings. While these are good initiatives they are not necessarily transferrable across Sydney as not all areas are building developed at higher densities.

This is a challenging planning problem requiring a joint effort by Government.