The Australian Catholic University (ACU) became the first university in the world to issue a bond for sustainable building projects, following the National Australia Bank’s (NAB) placement of a $200 million bond.
ACU will use the green bonds to further its environmental causes for construction projects, such as those equipped with a building sunscreen. With the new bond, it also became the pioneer issuer of such notes in Australia.
Aside from funding renewable energy projects, the green bond will help advance research and development work for sustainable projects. The ACU hopes to use the bonds in promoting clean energy in the country as well. It began to start with its own plan of being energy-efficient by conserving water, reusing and recycling waste, among other initiatives.
For the NAB, the bond placement forms part of a broader public offshore green bond issuance worth €500 million. Mike Baird, NAB chief customer officer, said that the company has issued the notes in response to more investors that want address environmental concerns, as well as support projects that have a significantly positive impact on society.
Building Code Updates
As sustainable building gains traction in the country, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) proposed certain changes to the National Construction Code. The updates include new fire safety standards for high-rise buildings.
The new standards would require a new system of testing for external wall assemblies and their combustibility. The proposed use of the new AS 5113 standard would involve the use of a better sprinkler system. ABCB floated the proposal following the Grenfell Tower incident in London, which led the Australian government to look into its own regulatory policies for building safety.
Construction projects in Australia have evolved beyond the aesthetics of design, amid the growing relevance of sustainability and improved safety for buildings.