AUSTRALIAN architect members of the global organisation Architects Declare are having their say on the National Construction Code updates to make sure every new home – without costing more – will raise the required standards of sustainability. 

Submissions to the National Construction Code close this month, and Architects Declare is proposing to mandate nothing less than net zero emission for new homes and major alterations and additions. 

Their submission emphasises “the twin crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss as the most serious issues of our time”.

Globally, buildings and construction play a major part, accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while also having a significant impact on natural habitats.

“Meeting the needs of communities and staying within our ecological limits will require a shift in behaviour as well as the design, delivery and performance of buildings,” the submission emphasises.

Together with their clients, architects will need to commission and design buildings, cities and infrastructures as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system.

The architects added: “The research and technologies exist to begin that transformation now, but what has been lacking is collective will. Recognising this, we are committing to strengthen our working practices to create architecture and urbanism that has a more positive impact on the world around us.”

Timber Offsite Construction 2022 conference keynote speaker Andrew Waugh is a founding member of Architects Declare in UK and Europe, with a practice dedicated to designing buildings and places of the highest architectural quality that acknowledge their impact on the environment. 

He is a world-renowned spokesman for low-impact materials and a regenerative approach to architecture.

A pivotal player in the global uptake of engineered timber, he was responsible for the design and delivery of Murray Grove, the project that spearheaded the international movement in tall timber buildings.

Believing that engineered timber on a global scale can make a vital difference to our planet, Mr Waugh lobbies and lectures internationally, communicating the urgent need for change to mitigate the climate crisis.