Evergen Targets Recyclable Buildings

Australian scientists have launched a new project to galvanise Australia's property, building and construction industry to embrace sustainability.

Evergen is an idea with a tangible outcome - commercial buildings, which are built faster, perform better, sell for more, and which ultimately, are recyclable and have a zero net cost to the environment.

Dr Greg Foliente of CSIRO Infrastructure Systems Engineering says, "Evergen promises to make Australian history as the first project of its kind but even more importantly it is the public face of a strategy to place Australian design, manufacturing and construction 'expertise' ahead of the best in the world".

Evergen is founded on achieving this while embracing ecologically sustainable principles.

Dr Foliente says, "Evergen is a collaborative programme founded on the vision that all innovation in the property, building and construction industry should be directed to facilitate and support ecological, social and economic sustainability, in a holistic and integrated fashion".

Evergen's long-term economic goals for Australia promise commercial buildings that:

  • Are built 30% faster
  • Use 50% less water than the commercial building of today
  • Have zero net energy use
  • Produce zero waste
  • Are worth 20% more in value

Mr John Castles, principal of Melbourne-based architectural firm Castles, Stephenson and Turner says, "Evergen plans to eventually produce a best-of-breed concept building that embodies Evergen's ideals and showcases Australian skills and capabilities".

Mr Bruce Kean, a former managing director of Boral, and Chair of the Evergen Advisory Committee says, "Such a building, which demonstrates many innovative products and processes, has the potential to open global markets for Australian companies".

"Evergen seeks to change the focus of the building industry to recognise that sustainable buildings are the buildings of the future," says Dr Robert Vale, a leading expert on environmentally sensitive design, based at the University of Auckland, and award-winning architect and book author.

Dr Foliente says, "Evergen will be unique because of its 'whole performance' approach to design. This approach aligns the goals and motivation of both clients and the project team, while committing to people-friendly, eco-friendly and commercially viable facilities".

"In other words, all aspects of a facility's design, use and reuse will be optimised as a system."

An Evergen project is one that will provide a fast track to adopting innovative concepts and technologies into tangible facilities for individual clients or whole communities.

Evergen's 'open building' design will make a building that is fit for third-generation use.

This means it will provide a solution to the disruptive and expensive refurbishment of commercial building of the past.

Dr Foliente says, "In other words, Evergen design will be an integrated process in which nearly every conceivable problem facing conventional buildings will be anticipated and provided for at the planning and conceptual design stage".

An Evergen building will be environmentally friendly, and meet or exceed client, health, lifestyle, energy, maintenance, waste, acoustic, lighting, climate, safety and other requirements concurrently.

Office workers can expect to enjoy natural light and fresh air supplied by new-generation hybrid ventilation systems.

Anyone who might have cause to visit or be in the building will have their needs anticipated and met. Evergen means easy access for the elderly, the disabled, the blind, office workers and trades.

Dr Foliente says, "Evergen is a next-generation building, not one for the far distant future, but an example to the world of the way buildings will be constructed within the next decade. It might be one building or several, in different locations in Australia".

"Right now Evergen is an idea looking for the support of stakeholders in the industry," says Dr Foliente.

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