With COP27 underway and increasingly urgent warnings being regularly issued by the IPCC and other scientific organisations, there is increasing pressure on built environment professionals to produce ‘low carbon’, ‘net zero’ or even ‘net positive’ buildings.  Before getting too excited (or terrified) by the immediate future, it might be worthwhile to step back a little and examine which parts of the built environment’s lifecycle are producing the most impacts.  This approach might provide a few suggestions about how we could get to net zero emissions by 2050.

This seminar will present some very general models of the environmental impact of residential buildings in Australia through their complete physical lifespans, as well as the results of a detailed life cycle assessment of a single building that is broadly representative of a large group of older apartment buildings in Brisbane.  It will discuss the effectiveness of Australia’s current energy efficiency regulations in general, as well examine how effectively the environmental impacts of older apartment buildings in Brisbane could be reduced.


School of Architecture
Zelman Cowen Building (51)
51-323 Exhibition Space