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Building performance and the role of energy efficiency in reducing carbon emission within the built environment

Chege, Matthew (2013) Building performance and the role of energy efficiency in reducing carbon emission within the built environment. Internship Report, Murdoch University.



Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and its effect on the global climate has over the years become a growing concern especially in developed countries such as Australia. With an ambitious target of reducing its GHG emissions to 25% compared to 2000 levels by 2020, this study looks at ways of improving commercial building performance through energy efficiency to reduce the net overall emissions of the country.

The study begins with a comprehensive literature review of various government initiatives, legislation and sustainability rating tools used within the industry to benchmark buildings against the amount of GHG released to the atmosphere. Chapters 3 gives a detailed look into the various methods used to determine the rating tool as well as highlighting the importance of an energy management plan which is can be considered a blueprint on how to reduce carbon emissions within a commercial building. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning system which contributes to approximately 63% of GHG emissions within a commercial building is discussed in chapter 4 where various components of the system are investigated to identify potential areas where efficiency could be improved. Chapter 5 gives an overall energy efficiency assessment focussing on savings that can be made within artificial lighting, the heating ventilation system and building insulation and glazing.

A case study looking at how some aspects of this study were implemented within a commercial office tower is discussed in Chapter 7 and lastly, recommendations for further studies to be undertaken such as implementing renewable energy sources within commercial buildings once they are performing at optimum efficiency, integrating synergy systems between building owners and tenants, research on improving water efficiency and incorporating building management systems to ensure optimum performance.

Item Type: Internship Report (Bachelor of Engineering)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
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