Tony Arnel” “China is presently building 2 billion square metres of new buildings each year. According to the United National Environment Program, UNEP, more than 80 per cent of the construction in China is categorised as high-energy buildings”

27 September 2010 – A delegation from the China Green Building Council was in Melbourne last week to view some of Victoria’s best green buildings.

On the agenda were inspections of Lend Lease headquarters, The Gauge, Melbourne City Council headquarters, CH2, 500 Collins Street, the Convention Centre, Royal Children’s Hospital and the Grocon zero carbon office building, Pixel.

Chair of the World Green Building Council, Tony Arnel, said the six China GBC members were interested in examining best practice examples of green building designs and technologies

Victoria was leading the way in the green building space, he said.

“Victoria has more green office space than any other Australian state.  Not only is Victoria leading the way in terms of quantity but many of the buildings are demonstrating innovative technology and designs that are dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of the building,” Mr Arnel said.

In China an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings would have huge impact, he said.

“China is presently building 2 billion square metres of new buildings each year. According to the United National Environment Program, UNEP, more than 80 per cent of the construction in China is categorised as high-energy buildings.

“By 2050, 73 per cent of China’s population is expected to live in cities. Today, less than 45 per cent do. That equates to moving 371 million people in the next 40 years, based on China’s current population figures.

“Buildings represent the largest source of emissions in many countries and account for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions globally.  The building sector has the greatest potential for delivering greenhouse gas emissions cuts, at the least cost, using technology that is available today.”

Grocon chief executive officer, Daniel Grollo, said Pixel had recently achieved the highest ever Green Star rating in Australia.

“We’ve received a perfect score of 100, plus five bonus innovation points, from the Green Building Council, which makes Pixel the greenest building in the country,” he said.

“We are very excited about the technologies that have been used at Pixel, from the green concrete with 50 per cent less embodied carbon, to the wind turbines and solar panels on the roof.

“Pixel is now being rated by the international tools of the UK and US and we believe is at the forefront of green buildings globally and we look forward to sharing this with the delegation.”

Mr Arnel said the visit takes place under a Memorandum of Understanding between the Green Building Council of Australia and China’s Green Building Council involving collaboration on green building research, skills development and business exchanges.