Australia’s property industry is constantly changing and evolving. In recent years, we saw more of a focus on sustainability and the integration of technology both in our buildings and on our job sites. These trends are likely to continue this year, as more advancements will change construction and project management techniques to become more efficient and environmentally-conscious. Let’s look ahead at the exciting and innovative advancements to come in the year 2020.
For several years now, building regulations have been placing more pressure on building design to reduce environmental impact and adopt sustainable design. The essence of green design and construction is the effort to create resource-efficient and environmentally responsible construction projects. It includes every aspect of construction, including planning and design, demolition, and cleanup. With 20 percent of global emissions directly attributable to the construction industry, green building practices can go a long way toward supporting, rather than harming, the environment—especially at a time when ageing buildings make new construction so critical.
The rise of Solar
Australia is already a world leader in rooftop solar, with more than 2 million of the nation’s 13 million homes fitted with panels, and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) forecasts households and businesses will supply a quarter of the country’s energy needs by 2040.
Installations between 100 kW and 5 MW continue to grow strongly, with the number of medium to large scale solar systems growing by 80 per cent in the past 2 years. The rapid growth has been due to shopping centres, hospitals, schools, and commercial buildings installing solar to take back control of their rising electricity costs and increasing their focus on sustainability.
State government programs are also supporting renewable electricity growth. The ACT has completed contracts for 100% renewable electricity. Victoria and Queensland both have renewable energy targets of 50% renewable electricity by 2030 and South Australia is expecting to reach 100% by 2025.
In this new era of intelligence, we can now create personalised experiences, improve power analytics, anticipate system malfunctions, and ultimately, save time, money and energy. This emerging technology is best known as the Internet of Things (IoT) Simply put, IoT is the concept of basically connecting any device to the Internet and/or to each other. This includes everything from lights and washing machines to the mechanical and electrical systems used in buildings.
This technology will dominate 2020 and beyond, influencing how building owners, operators, occupants, and visitors interact with office, education, retail, hospital, hospitality and city environments. IoT technology embedded within building infrastructures will change the way energy, water, heating, ventilation, maintenance, and security are supplied. These solutions are emerging in the areas of workforce management, zero waste and carbon neutrality, and electric vehicle infrastructure. With IoT technology, building managers will be able to improve operational performance and lower costs by monitoring smart lighting and temperature systems, smart metering, intelligent sensors, and detect and avoid possible failures.