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ASBEC announces new president

The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) has appointed a new president, Tanya Cox, as  architect Professor Ken Maher AO steps down after seven years in the role.

Cox is a non-executive director of various ASX-listed and unlisted boards, is the former chair of the Green Building Council of Australia and World Green Building Council and was previously chief operating officer of Dexus Property Group for 11 years.

The appointment was made at the ASBEC Annual General Meeting on 1 December 2022 after a lengthy executive search.

Speaking on the role of ASBEC and the appointment, Cox said that the environment they are working to provide is one where buildings are sustainable and climate resistant and that the challenges in front of the industry can only be overcome through collaboration.

“ASBEC plays a unique role as the peak collaborative forum for organisations that champion sustainable, productive and resilient buildings, communities and cities,” Cox said.

“I am honoured to take on the position of chair as ASBEC pursues an ambitious agenda. Supporting the transition to an integrated, sustainable and climate resilient built environment, strengthening regulations and ensuring all Australians have healthy and comfortable homes, offices and buildings are big challenges.

“These challenges will only be achieved through collaboration, and ASBEC’s role has never been more central to Australia’s future as a low-emissions nation.”

Cox has paid tribute to the “extraordinary” work of the outgoing president Maher, who was appointed to the role in February 2015.

“Ken has been a strong and steady voice for sustainability in the built environment,” Cox said, “under Ken’s wise council, ASBEC’s influence and impact has steadily grown.”

“Ken’s commitment to collaboration has expanded ASBEC’s membership into new areas, bringing together an array of industry sectors with community advocates to push for stronger building standards, champion net zero targets and lay the foundations for sustainable homes.”

Among ASBEC’s achievements during the presidency of Maher, are ground-breaking research and reports that strengthened the case for net zero buildings, including Low Carbon High Performance (2016), Built to Perform (2018) and Every Building Counts (2019).

Under the guidance from Maher, ASBEC’s advocacy informed the national Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings and helped upgrade energy efficiency standards in the National Construction Code. Maher also forged a strong research partnership between ASBEC and the CRC for Low Carbon Living.

“Ken leaves ASBEC in a position of strength, with an engaged board of industry leaders, a growing network of members and a clear strategy as we drive change in the decade of decarbonisation,” Cox said.

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