The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has recently announced a new scheme aimed at creating more sustainable homes that cope better with climate change, reduce emissions and save homeowners money. The Green Star Home standard is set to shake up the building industry with a heavy focus on energy efficiency, including measures that could save households up to $2000 a year on energy bills.
What is the Green Star Home Standard?
The Green Star Home standard is the world’s first climate-positive certification for the residential building industry. While the Green Star code has existed for commercial buildings since 2003, it’s never been adapted to a residential setting until now. Currently, the National Construction Code only requires a 6-star NatHERS rating for new homes, but this only focuses on insulation. The new code takes into consideration insulation, ventilation, renewable energy water efficiency and draught sealing.
While it is an optional code for builders now, early adopters are lobbying the government to bring it into the regulatory framework. However, with some of Australia’s biggest names in a residential home building already signing up to the new standard, we can expect to see it adopted quickly regardless of federal regulations.
Bringing green into the mainstream
Until recently, eco-friendly, sustainable home building has been the domain of bespoke architects, designing luxurious homes featuring more natural elements. However, that’s significantly changing with the introduction of the Green Star Home Standard.
Metricon is Australia’s largest volume building company, and they’re jumping on board with the initiative. One of the country’s leading residential developers, Stockland has also embraced the move.
With most Australians building homes through larger building companies rather than through expensive, boutique architects, gaining the support of big players like Stockland and Metricon is a huge win. It’s expected that as more and more Green Star homes are built, the standards will begin to shift and sustainable housing will become the norm.
More and more affordable
There is a feeling in the early stages that sustainability and environmentally home-building cost a little more. While this is true, eco-friendly home-building options are just like anything else. Once these measures become more widely accepted, the cost of production goes down with increased buyer volume. We’re already seeing that solar systems can be paid off in 3-5 years, which is a significant drop from even 10 years ago.
As more people adopt Green Star standards, the cost of all the individual ‘green’ initiatives will decrease, and customers will begin to see the benefits in the long term.