Home of the REB Top 100 Agents

Building ministers eye off net-zero commercial agenda

By Staff Reporter
27 June 2024 | 11 minute read
sydney construction site reb ajtpaz

It’s hoped a new nationally consistent approach will provide “the right foundations to reaching net-zero carbon in the construction of new commercial buildings”.

The ACT’s Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction, Rebecca Vassarotti, was one of the first to tout the securing of agreement between Australia’s building ministers to act on net zero in commercial building.

She said “tackling the climate crisis head-on demands a spotlight on every part of our economy contributing to the ongoing destruction of the planet”.


Flagging that across the country, new buildings represent 10 per cent of overall carbon emissions, Minister Vassarotti said “most of these emissions come from the materials, transport and construction associated with new buildings”.

At present, there is no national standard for measuring “embodied carbon”, which the minister outlined as “the emissions that come from building materials, transport, construction, repairs, and renovations”.

She said: “Establishing a nationally consistent approach to measuring emissions is the first step to empowering governments across the nation to develop robust action plans to effectively combat and reduce emissions within the sector.”

She also believes the setting of a new single national approach will aid the industry by removing the confusion and administrative costs associated with multiple schemes.

“As the climate gets hotter and as our energy demands increase, a building’s ability to withstand extreme weather events will become paramount to the health and safety of the people in it,” she warned.

It comes after the federal Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Jenny McAllister, announced the government would be consulting on the expansion of the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) program, which requires owners to report their National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) when selling or leasing office space over 1,000 square metres.

At the time of the reveal, Property Council chief executive Mike Zorbas said “expanding the CBD program to cover more commercial office spaces and types of commercial building is a no-brainer that will lead to savings in emissions and energy bills”.

“It is an opportunity to rethink the program’s role in encouraging electrification, the procurement of renewable electricity and a focus on embodied carbon of buildings,” he stated.

Never miss a beat with

Stay across what’s happening in the Australian commercial property market by signing up to receive industry-specific news and policy alerts, agency updates, and insights from reb.

Subscribe to reb Commercial:

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member for free today!

Do you have an industry update?