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FM Innovations discuss Green Building Fund programme

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FM Innovations , makers of software solutions that support sustainable and healthy environments, reveal that Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, launched the Australian Government's Green Building Fund programme. The Green Building Fund programme aims to reduce the green house gas emissions from the day-to-day running of commercial office buildings.

The Green Building Fund programme is the third and final part of the Australian Government's Clean Business Australia initiative, announced in the budget. Clean Business Australia initiative is about the Rudd Government working with business to tackle the challenge of climate change.

The Green Building Fund programme will provide grants to owners of existing commercial office buildings for retro-fitting and retro-commissioning projects that reduce energy consumption and emissions. Eligible projects can include upgrades to office lighting and heating, and ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

Improved glazing and shading or investment in monitoring equipment and control systems to improve the commercial office building's energy efficiency may also be covered.

According to Senator Kim Carr, the Green Building Fund programme is designed to support projects that involve small and low grade buildings. Grants are also available to develop knowledge, skills or capability of those involved in operating commercial office buildings, to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions.

The Green Building Fund programme is one of the three elements of the Clean Business Australia initiative. The other elements are the Climate Ready programme and the Retooling for Climate Change programme.

The Green Building Fund programme aims to reduce the impact of Australia's built environment on green house gas emissions, by reducing the energy consumed in the operation of existing commercial office buildings.

The Green Building Fund programme will provide grants through two streams of activity.

Stream A targets owners of existing commercial office buildings. It supports retro-fitting and retro-commissioning of these buildings, to reduce base building energy consumption.

Stream B targets industry associations. It provides a limited number of grants to develop knowledge, skills or capability of those involved in the operation of commercial office buildings, to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions.

According to the Australian Institute of Building (AIB), the Green Building Fund programme provides the incentives to encourage building owners to retrofit the existing commercial office building stock.

The Green Building Fund programme provides the financial incentives necessary to ensure that both new and existing commercial office buildings have improved energy efficiency. The grants are competitive and applications from eligible entities are assessed against three criteria:

  • Potential green house gas emissions reduction (worth 60% of total rating)
  • Demonstration potential (20% of total rating)
  • Project design and management (20% of total rating)

Eligible projects could include:

  • Common area lighting
  • Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • The building fabric, for example, glazing and shading
  • Monitoring equipment, building automation systems and control systems linked to improving the energy efficiency of the building.

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