GBCA chief Davina Rooney on sustainable homes tipping point
Several volume builders are currently piloting Green Star Homes which is expected to go live next month. They include Chatham Homes, Delos, Development Victoria, HEZ Development, Ingenia Communities, c, New South Homes, Rawson Homes and Stockland.
Australia’s residential sector is finally reaching a sustainability tipping point, said Davina Rooney, CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia.
Rooney says the show, intended to harness the power of “edutainment” in accordance with CRC’s behavioral science knowledge for Low Carbon Living, is a “golden opportunity.”
“Just think of the popularity of the butler’s pantry after it was featured on The block. “
Rooney also says that, for the record, sustainable homes are selling better than conventional homes, with a net zero home in southwest Sydney selling for around 10% more than expected.
Proving this is a national trend is tricky when only the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is required to disclose home energy efficiency ratings (EERs) at point of sale or rental, says it. Without this information, it is impossible to know how buyers react to different reviews.
Internationally, some studies have been published that suggest people pay more for green, including a 2021 Bank of England study that found carbon-intensive homes in England and the country of Wales were £ 5,000 (A9276) to £ 9,000 (A16,700) less valuable.
The bank also recently released research that showed people with more energy efficient homes were less likely to default on their mortgages due to lower bills, which Rooney says helps strengthen the homes’ financial case. green.
The regulatory environment is also tightening on emissions-intensive homes as the national plan to achieve zero-energy, carbon-ready commercial and residential buildings, approved by COAG’s Energy Council in 2019 , materializes.
Promising policies on the table include minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties and nationwide disclosure of energy performance, Rooney said.
She also sees construction for rent opening the door to the delivery of sustainable homes on a large scale.
“The reason is that it brings the same investment drivers we’ve seen in asset classes like retail and office to drive sustainability at scale in the residential market. “
Market leaders, drivers of change
It is also encouraging that market leaders are building greener products in the absence of regulation. Rooney says this is where the GBCA can play a role, using its soon to be launched Green Star Homes standard to help lead market leaders.
She says the role of a voluntary standard like Green Star Homes, which will be stamped on healthy, resilient, net-zero homes that meet strict technical requirements, is to work with government and industry partners to cutting edge technology to remove barriers so the rest of the market can keep up.
The draft standard was introduced last year and several volume builders are currently piloting the program including Chatham Homes, Delos, Development Victoria, HEZ Development, Ingenia Communities, Metricon, New South Homes, Rawson Homes and Stockland.
The standard is expected to go live next month. For Rooney, the ultimate goal is to achieve large-scale change.
“Success does not consist in having a few houses built to standard. “
The industry body will work closely with partners to give the standard the best chance of widespread adoption. This will involve looking at different business models, such as offering the standard as an upgrade or as a special home area.
Working with volume builders is key to building the capacity of the industry so that sustainable homes can be delivered inexpensively on a large scale.
What motivates consumers?
Rooney believes there are several converging forces that are driving consumer interest, including the discomfort people felt in their homes during Covid lockdowns.
She mentioned the discomfort she felt working in her own home, which, in fairness, had been exacerbated by half-completed sustainability renovations that left the walls open to the elements.
“People have never been so aware of the discomfort in their home and have never been so aware of the climate crisis.”
These macro forces probably contribute to a willingness to pay a premium for sustainability.