In the last few years, eco-friendly construction projects as well as the number of sustainable buildings in Australia is increasing and becoming more and more common. The industry itself is changing, as “green” methods and environmental impacts are now top priority starting from the very first phases of a construction project. Perth, Australia’s famous western capital city, is leading the way with innovative and environmentally sustainable construction techniques, creating green buildings across the city. The Green Building Council, a regulator of ‘Green Star’ environmental certifications, has even created a walking tour of ‘Sustainable Perth’, which consists of a 2-kilometre walk where visitors can admire the city’s environmental-friendly buildings.
A key example of Perth’s green buildings is the Green Skills Training Centre: a public building that currently holds the title of the greenest in Western Australia. Incredibly, all of the building’s energy, heating and air-conditioning facilities are powered by solar power. This is just one of many buildings in Perth that has been built using sustainable techniques and with the ‘green’ component very much in the forefront of its planning and construction. This trend follows in Australia as a whole; in fact the country now has its own “Green Star” rating system, thanks to which buildings receive a rating from 1 to 6 stars depending on how green they are. Perth has numerous highly rated green buildings and even has an annual “Green Buildings Day” where government representatives, construction workers, architects and other professionals of the sector attend.
Perth’s city government has committed to making the city as green as possible, and last year launched a two-year program that offers financial help to landlords and owners of small businesses who commit to following a list of green criteria. The city has also created a strategic community plan: a more long-term development plan aimed at improving both sustainability and the already fairly high quality of life in Perth. This plan will also help improve the city’s energy usage and water consumption and in the long run, help battle climate change.
Perth is the focus of a very rich infrastructure program, which has been the main cause of huge construction developments in the city; amongst these, also the famous Elizabeth Quay waterfront, which has cost over 2 billion dollars. Another billion is also being spent on improving the city’s airport as well as a light railway link that will allow easy access to the airport for visitors and citizens alike. But the spending does not end here: almost five hundred million dollars will be spent to improve the history museum. In the near future there will be more projects to modernize and make Perth Australia’s leading green city.
As of today over twenty per cent of Perth’s office buildings hold a green certification, this means that they are more environmentally friendly and sustainable than those without. Of course, green buildings can also be found outside of Perth and across the country. Actually this is a continuing trend all around Australia, but it can definitely be said that Perth is the one leading the way.