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Code change needed to reduce energy bills and carbon footprint

Leading timber expert, Duncan Mayes, is calling for a national code change to tackle rising energy bills and make a dent in reducing Australia’s carbon footprint.  Mr Mayes, Timberlink Australia’s EGM Innovation and Emerging Business, says Australia’s building practices need to step up to international standards and become more energy efficient. He believes timber is a big part of the answer. Source: Timberbiz

The widespread use of aluminium window and door frames, when compared with wood, is ineffective in keeping the heat out of buildings in summer. Aluminium generates additional heating, and energy is used unnecessarily to keep buildings cool – adding dollars to a consumers’ energy bill and bumping up a building’s carbon footprint.

“We need to make sure we build to accommodate the environment and climate. In Australia, we’d be looking at designing to keep the heat out in the hot summers and the cold out in the winters, which requires multi-functional layers and structures,” said Mr Mayes.

“The methods of construction in Australia, as compared to Europe for instance, are not always conducive to high-performance and energy efficiency.”

Ahead of his presentation “Wood – The sustainable solution to tackle global challenges” at the Timber Offsite Construction conference on Monday 17 June, Mr Mayes proposes thermal conductivity of windows and door frames should be the focus of the next code change, making it more difficult to build using aluminium.

“Encouraging the use of timber will help to ensure optimal conditions are maintained within buildings, increasing the building’s energy efficiency and creating an environment that is better suited to maintaining internal temperature, air flow and air-tightness,” Mr Mayes said.

“A note-worthy approach is the combination of internal timber and high-thermal mass materials, such as concrete or stones, fitted externally to slow the transfer of external heat.”

Timber Offsite Construction’s Conference Director, Kevin Ezard, said the event has a strong focus on the industry’s future.

“We’ve assembled the world’s leading experts, along with highly respected local specialists, to provide an overview on the global development and innovation required for timber and offsite systems to disrupt the construction industry to be more productive and sustainable,” Mr Ezard said.

With around one week left to register, the Timber Offsite Construction Conference and Exhibition will take place on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 June, at Melbourne’s Crown Promenade.