This note, originally published in August 2000, was reviewed by Stephen Pupilli in June 2005. Energy consumption related to Australia's non-residential buildings is expected to double between 1990 and 2010, unless a comprehensive program of energy efficiency improvement is implemented in this sector of the building industry. Recent studies have shown that significant potential for efficiency improvements exists for non-residential buildings.
This paper highlights a number of key areas where improvements can be made during the initial design of a new building, and outlines how the performance of existing buildings can be improved through refurbishments in management and maintenance techniques. The paper also identifies some of the financial disbenefits and gaps in education and awareness within the sector, which need to be addressed if a significant level of improvement is to be achieved and sustained.