The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government is set to establish a unified strategy for carbon measurement across the country’s commercial construction sector.  

At a recent national meeting of building ministers, consensus was reached to implement a standardised method for gauging emissions. 

Australia Sustainable Building and Construction Minister Rebecca Vassarotti emphasised the importance of this agreement, highlighting that a consistent national framework is crucial for the construction of new commercial buildings to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.  

Vassarotti said: “Across Australia, new buildings represent 10% of overall carbon emissions. Most of these emissions come from the materials, transport and construction associated with new buildings. 

“Currently, there is no national standard for measuring what we call ‘embodied carbon’, that is, the emissions that come from building materials, transport, construction, repairs, and renovations.” 

She also noted that this move is expected to eliminate the complexity and cost associated with adhering to multiple regulatory systems. 

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The ACT is already at the forefront of sustainable building practices, with a ten-year strategy in development aimed at setting a global benchmark for eco-friendly construction. 

The significance of resilient buildings is becoming increasingly apparent as climate change exacerbates extreme weather conditions, underscoring the need for structures that can safeguard the well-being of their occupants, noted Vassarotti. 

She added: “That’s why I have proposed updates to the National Construction Code to bring every state and territory under the same system to start measuring carbon emissions in construction of commercial buildings. 

“Establishing a nationally consistent approach to measuring emissions is the first step to empowering governments across the nation to develop robust action plans to effectively combat and reduce emissions within the sector.”  

The 2025 National Construction Code is set to use the National Australian Built Environment Rating System to incorporate a standard metric for carbon measurement in the construction industry. 

Further details on the ACT’s Sustainable Construction Pathway are anticipated to be released before the current government’s term concludes.