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Sustainability in Housing and the Benefits of Going Green

Most agents will confirm that there is much more buyer demand than ever for “green” properties across Australia.

Some changes involve upfront money, while others simply require basic changes to everyday household routines. One thing is certain: Any change you make towards sustainability will benefit you and the environment for life.

 The main reasons to consider green options are:

  • to improve the home’s sales value – whether it’s a new or older home
  • to attract more buyers due to better marketability and saleability
  • environmental reasons 
  • to save a lot of money over time on household bills

A recent report by the Climate Council predicted that changing conditions in Australia would wipe $571 billion in value from the property market by 2030. The report also mentions that “If we continue on our current emissions trajectory, Perth could swelter through twice as many days above 35°C by 2050 and face a whole month of extreme heat every summer. Extreme heat is one of the most direct consequences of climate pollution. It is also one of the most harmful, with more Australians dying as a result of heatwaves since 1890 than from floods, bushfires and all other climate-fuelled disasters combined. Extreme heat harms our health, our livelihoods and our economy. Fortunately, stronger action today to cut climate pollution from the burning of coal, oil and gas can limit the number of very hot days and nights we experience in future.”

According to REA, “roughly 25% of Australia’s total emissions come from the property industry. This makes it crucial to rethink our approach to housing, which includes everything from construction to the day-to-day running of individual homes. It may cost more initially when you buy, but that’s money off the mortgage when it comes to the cost of power. Big windows, cross ventilation and solar panel systems are the main features piquing interest. Buyers are looking for – and will pay more – for sustainable houses. Traditionally, curb appeal, location, and size wooed potential purchasers. Now solar power, energy efficiency and good ventilation are top selling points, too, so they directly impact on a property’s marketability and saleability.”

The mounting evidence clearly shows that Australia’s housing will face ongoing challenges, making a strong case for pursuing sustainable urban development now.

A sustainable home should be energy efficient, built to last, and designed to reduce its impact on the planet.

This means that if you’re planning on building and buying, you will need to do plenty of research and make smart decisions about your quest for an environmentally friendly forever home.

We’re all aware of climate change’s impact on the housing industry and have seen the damage it has caused over the last few decades in our region. An obvious example is the out-of-control bushfires caused by extreme weather, but we’re also grappling with rising sea levels and the government’s prediction of increased flooding in low-lying areas—just to mention a few.

Here are some desirable features to look for:

Inside:

  • Big windows that let in light and air
  • North-facing aspect
  • Good insulation in the roof and walls
  • Skylights for all-day light
  • Cross ventilation for cooling
  • Energy-efficient appliances
  • Draft-proof doors
  • Energy-saving lights
  • Double-glazed windows
  • Ability to close off rooms for the purpose of heating and cooling.
  • Water-saving taps and toilets
  • Cooling roof materials and colours
  • Curtains instead of blinds

Outside:

  • Solar panels and solar batteries to store energy
  • Shading and eaves to guard against the afternoon sun
  • Minimal concrete in outdoor settings
  • Plenty of established trees and green space to create shade in summer
  • Native plant selection in the garden
  • Water tanks and grey water systems
  • Drip irrigation
  • Eco-friendly materials that are locally sourced
  • Microclimate design. For example, a Queenslander in tropical areas is designed for additional airflow underneath the house.

If you are considering selling a property in Albany, Mount Barker, Denmark or Walpole areas, please contact or call me to discuss your needs. Consultation, advice and appraisals are free of charge, with no obligation or harassment – ever.

Sources of Information – Climate Council and REA