The Architecture of Zero Emissions

The Architecture of Zero Emissions

The Architecture of Zero Emissions

2 Formal CPD Points

Available on demand


The world faces an urgent challenge in creating a living future that is “culturally rich, socially just and ecologically restorative”. How can we ensure good standards of living for all, while having a positive rather than a negative impact on the world? The architectural profession can have a crucial role in this opportunity, with good, smart housing a great place to start. Caroline Pidcock will address the leading approaches to zero-emission housing around the world and how this could affect Australian directions in the future.

This seminar will also explore how integrated design teams and responses are integral to achieving these goals.


This presentation is equivalent to 2 hours/points of formal CPD and will deliver outcomes related to the following Competencies from the National Standard of Competency for Architects:

2015 Competencies:

Design: Conceptual Design
3.3 Design response incorporates assessment of the physical location and relevant wider regional, contextual and environmental issues.

Design: Schematic Design
4.6 Investigation and integration of appropriate material selection for the project design.
4.7 Coordination and integration of appropriate environmental systems, including for thermal comfort, lighting and acoustics.

Documentation: Detailed Design 
5.3 Evaluation and integration of regulatory requirements.
5.5 Integration of materials and components based upon an understanding of their physical properties.
5.6 Integration of relevant technical services, environmental and transportation systems.

2021 Competencies:

Practice Management and Professional Conduct:

PC 3 Apply principles of project planning, considering implications for Country, environmental sustainability, communities, stakeholders and project costs. 
PC 10 Demonstrate understanding of the whole life carbon implications of procurement methods, materials, components and construction systems. 
PC 16 Be able to apply risk management and mitigation strategies – including safety in design, project risk, requirement for resilience from the impacts of climate change and appropriate insurances – across architectural services. 

Project Initiation and Conceptual Design:

PC 31 Be able to identify, analyse and integrate information relevant to environmental sustainability – such as energy and water consumption, resources depletion, waste, embodied carbon and carbon emissions – over the lifecycle of a project. 
PC 24 Be able to prepare and analyse project development options in response to a project brief – its objectives, budget, user intent and built purpose, risk and timeframes, including environmental sustainability considerations. 
PC 33 Be able to investigate, coordinate and integrate sustainable environmental systems – including water, thermal, lighting and acoustics – in response to consultants’ advice. 

Detailed Design and Construction Documentation:

PC 45 Be able to nominate and integrate quality and performance standards with regard to selected materials, finishes, fittings, components and systems, considering the impact on Country and the environment, and the whole life carbon impact of the project. This includes integrating life cycle assessments and other expertise and advice from consultants."

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this session participants should be able to:

  • Describe the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council's (ASBEC) definition of zero emission buildings
  • Identify some of the leading approaches to zero emission buildings around the world
  • Discuss the likely Australian regulations that might be developed
  • Discuss the importance of an integrated team approach
  • Describe the process in selecting the most appropriate materials
  • Assess some of the important attributes detailing needs to achieve



    Caroline Pidcock is the passionate force who started PIDCOCK. She has genuine interest and experience in sustainable built environments which has been developed and enhanced through her involvement in a wide range of professional, academic and other commitments. She’s also a member of the CRCLCL Node of Excellence Steering Committee, Living Futures Institute Australia (LFIA) and Sacred Heart Education Ministry Boards, member of the Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA) Design Review Panel and ambassador for both the Al Gore Climate Change and 1 Million Women projects.






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