Flick the Switch is a guide to achieving Net Zero and all-electric buildings.

It’s a wrap of our 2020 symposium on this topic plus deep-dive additional interviews and features on the people and topics that are driving change and helping the property industry head in the right direction.

Nearly two dozen panellists and speakers generously shared their insights and knowledge at the event. Many more in subsequent interviews.

The book also has great case studies that detail how investors have happily bought secondary buildings, maybe with a “stigma” attached, and transformed them into clean green assets, with nice rewards that they’ve taken to the bank.

The handy resource guide at the end of the book lists the businesses and services that can help you achieve similar results.

All of this activity in underscored with a sense of growing urgency that we have barely a decade left, if that, to minimise the climate change underway.

At 127 pages this tome is well worth the read, cover to cover, or periodic dives on a need to know basis.

Huge thanks to all the panellists.

A massive thanks to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, which supported the early fledgling ideas for this event and an equally heartfelt thanks to our sponsors.

Co-lead sponsors

AECOM and Stiebel-Eltron

Supporting sponsors

A.G. Coombs and Mirvac

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  1. What were once derided by the big end of town as the loony left are now the mainstream… what next, more bicycle paths?
    Scavenging heat and cooling is possible with heat pumps, they pump out cool air that could be recycled through buildings. Scavenging heat to generate electricity is possible at low cost with Stirling (Carnot) Cycle generators. Instead of promoting the use of electricity, it should be penalised and/or reductions in electricity usage rewarded with credits and incentives. Make thermal envelopes for buildings that actively heat and cool like ant hills. Biophilia, biomimicry and Natural Capitalism. There is no “waste” in nature.

  2. Great contribution. Will read with interest. Quick flick and two questions come to mind – the promotion of instantaneous hot water systems for apartments. (i) Wondering if heat pump hot water systems were considered (centralised or de-centralised) as they are 3-6 times more efficient than instant. (ii) A barrier experienced for developers (in WA at least) is instant hot water can add significantly to network connection fees given their use can align with peak demand for a development. Interested to hear how these two issues have been considered by the authors/approached by others.

  3. Going “All-Electric Buildings” is unnecessary to de-fossilise our energy sector. Biomethane (upgraded biogas) can supply renewable heat (and power via CHP) 24/7. There are multiple Biomethane projects being developed in Australia. If buildings are looking to reduce CHG emissions and de-fossilise, they can do that with their existing gas infrastructure (or better still, add a CHP system). No need to replace the boilers with heat pumps.

  4. What’s in the digital book?
    • How the major developers are getting to net zero. Well no they are not and not even going close to net zero emissions. Even a modest 2 bedroom building creates 80 tonne of CO2e in its construction and that doesn’t include the emissions form the infrastructure needed for every household which makes construction our largest CO2 polluter. .

    1. WA might be lacking a target for renewable energy, but there are some ambitious initiatives in the right direction. Take the recent call for Expressions of Interest for Renewable Hydrogen and the OAKAJEE Strategic Industrial Area: “assessments indicate… Oakajee… has the potential to provide up to 270MW of wind generation or 1250MW of solar PV renewable energy”.