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  BRANZ recommendations for climate action

BRANZ is playing a key role in examining how climate change will impact on our built environment and has made three recommendations for climate action:

Strategy 1: Increase energy efficiency

Our research recommends that, for buildings (whether new or existing), there is a need to improve energy efficiency, decrease the energy supply carbon footprint and manage peak demand. These measures could be taken up by government and industry in a number of ways, such as:

  • encouraging passive solar design in all new builds
  • providing incentives to improve thermal performance in existing buildings
  • reviewing Building Code clause H1 Energy efficiency alongside clauses E3 Internal moisture and G4 Ventilation
  • encouraging low-carbon fuel options for space and water heating
  • increasing renewables supplying grid electricity
  • investigating the feasibility of incorporating carbon performance into the Building Code
  • providing ongoing tracking of building carbon performance
  • providing additional, practical education resources to help consumers and the building industry better understand the implications of design choices from a carbon perspective over the building's lifetime.

Strategy 2: Reduce embodied carbon

The research also found a need to reduce the embodied carbon in construction materials, which could be done through measures such as:  

  • greater application of environmental rating tools such as NABERSNZ and Green Star, and tools that facilitate the evaluation of building environmental impacts, such as BRANZ's LCAQuick tool
  • increasing opportunities for reuse, recycling or recovery of construction waste
  • incentivising use of materials that provide lower embodied and life cycle greenhouse gas impacts.

Strategy 3: Strategic leadership for climate action

Four key areas of climate action that should be the focus of the transition to a net-zero carbon built environment are: 

  • coordinated climate change action
  • climate change literacy
  • actualising change
  • changing beliefs and practice.

Other pages in this web resource

Climate change

Climate change and the built environment

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the construction industry

Transition to a net-zero carbon built environment

BRANZ tools and resources for climate action