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Energy diversification approach to optimise buildings' energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions beyond green ratings
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 01:47 authored by Xiaofeng Li
The conflict between lowering ecological footprints of the building sector and its rapidly growing energy demand due to accommodating growth in population, increasing demand for building services and comfort levels, as well as the prolonged time spent inside buildings exacerbates the concerns over sustainable development. The energy supply difficulties and depletion of energy resources, coupled with mounting evidence regarding climate change, makes it imperative for reshaping the design, construction and operation of buildings to use our resources efficiently without the compromise of reducing our living standard. Sustainable building, otherwise referred to as “green building”, is believed to be one of the promising solutions to help alleviate the depletion of energy resources and the deterioration of our environment. In Australia, more than 600 green buildings were constructed since the first green building was built in 2004. A rapid growth of green buildings in universities and higher institutions was also identified. Up to the first half of 2011, the educational green projects have reached a ratio of 15% of the total green building project applications. Through a comparison study of 24 educational green buildings in Australian university campuses, the motivations and expectations of the university decision makers to invest in green facilities were investigated using a qualitative analytical approach based on grounded theory. The results revealed that the green buildings provide the universities diverse benefits, such as enhancing university's reputation and meeting the specific needs for education and research, as well as ensuring environmental protection and strengthening the university's financial condition, apart from the reduction in building's energy consumption.