Leading building products company CSR says Australia is lagging behind Europe and North America in creating high performance buildings. According to the company, building practices need to change for Australia to catch up with the rest of the developed world.

Scott Clarkson, Project Manager Innovation at CSR notes that Australia is at least twenty years behind Europe and North America when it comes to high performance buildings. Building performance is not just about the environment; the building’s durability, lifecycle and occupant productivity as well as energy, water and lighting efficiencies also come into play.

CSR’s innovation team has been investigating ways to improve Australian building knowledge and processes to produce better performing homes. Clarkson comments that there is growing demand for comfort and efficiency in buildings across both commercial and residential sectors as occupants and homeowners seek buildings that suit their lifestyle while using fewer resources. Such buildings are generally healthier, more energy efficient, well-lit and properly ventilated.

CSR organised several seminars over the past few months across Australia as part of its first ‘Building Knowledge’ seminar series to provide architects and builders with the latest thinking in building performance. Participants heard how they could improve their design and construction practices to build higher performance buildings that achieved better results.

These seminars provided CSR a platform to start practical conversations with professionals about current challenges relating to the building and construction industries and how they could be addressed. Seminar participants evinced interest in moisture management and condensation in highly insulated and energy efficient buildings. Discussions also highlighted the introduction of higher performance insulation products in Australia and how installation practices across the trades needed to adapt to meet these changes.

The seminars covered a wide scope of topics outlining some of the research undertaken by the CSR Innovation team as well as learnings gained from the CSR House. Topics included ‘Reality Stars: Performance Beyond Energy Star Ratings’; ‘Don’t Be Outflanked: Air Tightness & Acoustics’; and, ‘Know Your Cavity: Moisture Management’

Clarkson believes the industry needs to start taking a more holistic approach to building design as well as initiate better communication not only between industry professionals but also with end users by guiding them on how to operate their new home so that they can continue to maintain a comfortable and healthy living environment.

CSR’s ‘Building Knowledge’ seminars took place in twelve locations throughout Australia and were attended by over 700 building and construction industry professionals.

The CSR ‘Building Knowledge’ seminars partnered with several industry organisations including the AIA, BDA and HIA. Members of the AIA, AIBS, Engineers Australia, GBCA and HIA, who attended the seminars, were eligible to earn CPD points on completion of the full seminar program