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PPG_Blog_May_image 5_sustainable homes win buyers

Sustainability is not only a buzzword among builders and homeowners, in some cases it is now also the law. Rules governing new buildings, including additions and renovations, were introduced in Victoria almost three years ago. The 6-star energy efficiency rating, which aligned Victoria with the Building Code of Australia, requires all new homes to either have a solar hot water system or a rainwater tank for toilet flushing.

The rules also focus attention on insulation, the thermal performance, size and location of windows and building orientation. The days when urban had a path from the street-facing front door have given way to north-facing living areas to capture winter sun and shade out summer sun. And that shady grapevine over a pergola becomes part of an energy efficiency plan.
some of these features have now become much more “mainstream”.

Environmentally friendly design was seen as the province of the well-off and of no great interest to buyers. But times change and agents report buyers increasingly ask about a home’s sustainability credentials. For example, with more than 1 million Australian homes now with rooftop solar panels, most people are aware of their potential energy and cost saving benefits.
There have been thousands of new homes, which comply with the new 6-star rating built in Victoria in recent years. But throughout Melbourne there are many older homes. Agents report that while buyers may be charmed, they also ask about other features such as double glazing and solar hot water that reflect the home’s overall sustainability.
Not so many years ago, agents wouldn’t have seen the need to promote sustainability features. Now, though, these are seen as attracting buyers who want to reduce their footprint and their bills. Features such as solar panels, rainwater tanks and energy-efficient design are taking their place in marketing campaigns.

So while investing in such features can also repay that investment through reduced costs, increasingly they add to a home’s capital value.
And to complement sustainable buildings, we can maintain other environmentally friendly habits such as installing drip water systems, growing fruit and vegetables, mulching and composting.

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