16 Oct How does travel affect your build?
Travel, who doesn’t love a good holiday? Unfortunately I’m not talking about a getaway to Indonesia or two weeks in Paris; I’m talking product miles. The travel some construction materials undertake before they arrive on site.
Overseas manufacturers have an array of products available for delivery into our marketplace, some incredibly advanced and high performing, others unfortunately fall short. Regardless of product quality or performance, all imported merchandise has one thing in common – a higher transport embodied energy, compared to locally sourced ranges. Sometimes importation is unavoidable, but if we are capable of locally manufacturing quality products at economically viable prices – there seems to be no argument as to why sticking with Australian made is the better choice.
Every build, residential or commercial must take into account the sustainability of products; as part of this assessment, source to site needs to be considered. Energy consumed in the import of international product could be significantly reduced by specifying Australian made alternatives.
Shipping product from Europe to Australia can use an estimate of 1.443 metric tons of CO2, by comparison, shipping from Victoria to Western Australia, uses an estimate of 0.278 metric tons of CO2.
While European and American building materials have always held prestige, with sustainability the new architectural king, the lure and mystic of foreign products has faded in favour of well made, well designed, locally produced materials.
The trouble with imported product
- May not be designed to meet Australian building codes
- Lead times are longer
- Energy consumption increases with air or sea freight
- If product is incorrect or not as envisaged, construction may be held up, waiting for product to arrive
- Not designed for an Australian climate
- Not designed for an Australian design aesthetic
The benefits of staying local
- Quick turnaround and local lead times
- Designed to meet or exceed building code requirements
- Less money and energy used to deliver product from supplier to site
- Designed for Australian architectural aesthetic
- Local warranties
- Local support
- Keep jobs in Australia