Development of the sustainable building and construction products industry in Australia

Rose, Timothy M. & Manley, Karen (2011) Development of the sustainable building and construction products industry in Australia. In Wamelink, J.W.F., Geraedts, R.P., & Volker, L. (Eds.) MISBE2011 : Proceedings of the International Conference on Management and Innovation for a Sustainable Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam, pp. 1-9.

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This paper draws on a major study the authors conducted for the Australian Government in 2009. It focuses on the diffusion issues surrounding the uptake of sustainable building and construction products in Australia. Innovative sustainable products can minimise the environmental impact during construction, while maximising asset performance, durability and re-use. However, there are significant challenges faced by designers and clients in the selection of appropriate sustainable products in consideration of the integrated design solution, including overall energy efficiency, water conservation, maintenance and durability, low-impact use and consumption. The paper is a review of the current state of sustainable energy and material product innovations in Australia. It examines the system dynamics surrounding these innovations as well as the drivers and obstacles to their diffusion throughout the Australian construction industry. The case product types reviewed comprise: solar energy technology, small wind turbines, advanced concrete technology, and warm-mixed asphalt.

The conclusions highlight the important role played by Australian governments in facilitating improved adoption rates. This applies to governments in their various roles, but particularly as clients/owners, regulators, and investors in education, training, research and development. In their role as clients/owners, the paper suggests that government can better facilitate innovation within the construction industry by adjusting specification policies to encourage the uptake of sustainable products. In the role as regulators, findings suggest governments should be encouraging the application of innovative finance options and positive end-user incentives to promote sustainable product uptake. Also, further education for project-based firms and the client/end users about the long-term financial and environmental benefits of innovative sustainable products is required. As more of the economy’s resources are diverted away from business-as-usual and into the use of sustainable products, some project-based firms may face short-term financial pain in re-shaping their businesses. Government policy initiatives can encourage firms make the necessary adjustments to improve innovative sustainable product diffusion throughout the industry.

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ID Code: 46225
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Sustainable Products, Innovation, Construction Industry, Australia
ISBN: 9789052693958
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > BUILDING (120200) > Building Construction Management and Project Planning (120201)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Urban Development
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 The Authors
Deposited On: 18 Oct 2011 22:19
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2011 13:29

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