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Why design or build a green residential building?

The benefits of building green homes

The benefits of green buildings continue to stack up. Designing or building a green residential building delivers a range of benefits including:

Healthier homes

Green homes are healthy homes. Focused on good ventilation and indoor environment quality, low-toxic materials and abundant daylight, these factors have been proven to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.

  • The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (2011) found that people who live in dwellings that are damp, cold or mouldy are at greater risk of respiratory conditions, such as asthma, and more likely to suffer from mental health issues.
  • Good indoor environment quality is nothing to be sneezed at! Lung and respiratory diseases – associated with poor indoor environment quality – are three of the top five leading causes of death, according to the World Health Organization.

Smart Investments 

Evidence is emerging that building green rating translates into a higher sale price when it comes time to sell.

  • The Value of Green Labels (2012) found that higher returns are not restricted to the commercial market. A pricing analysis of all 1.6 million single-family home sales in California from 2007-2012 found that while the average sales price of a non-certified California home was $400,000, a green certification lifted the price by more than $34,800. This translated into a 9% green premium.  
It is clear that sustainable buildings like Convesso represent smart financial investments today and environmentally responsible investments in our future.
       Hugh Martin, Executive Director, Lend Lease

With a 4 Star Green Star rating, Convesso 8 Waterside Place in Melbourne uses 65% less heating and cooling energy than similar sized, non-green apartments. It’s also a smart investment.

Read more in the Convesso 8 case study.

Reduced environmental impact

Did you know buildings are the single largest contributor to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, using 40% of global energy and generating around 30% of the carbon emissions? By choosing to own green building you can easily reduce your impact of the environment.

The Value of Green Star: A decade of environmental benefits (2013) finds that, on average, Green Star-certified buildings:

  • Use 66% less electricity than average Australian buildings
  • Produce 62% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than average Australian buildings
  • Use 51% less potable water than average buildings
  • Recycle 96% of their waste, compared with 58% for the average new construction project.

The Redfern Housing Redevelopment in Sydney features water-efficient fittings and fixtures, as well as the reuse of rainwater and treated greywater, which are saving 4,700 cubic metres of water a year – the equivalent of two Olympic-sized swimming pools or 33,571 bathtubs. The cost savings amount to $7,500 a year across the entire tenancy.

Read the Redfern Housing Redevelopment case study

Market recognition

Increasingly green buildings are perceived as industry leaders and organisations associated with green buildings benefit from these perceptions through:

  • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ report, Green Value: Growing Buildings, Growing Assets (2006) found that green building practices are more likely to attract grants and subsidies that demonstrate environmental stewardship, increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Beauty in Building: Measuring the Impact of Spaces That Make Us Feel Fully Alive and That Inspire (2012) has found that buildings considered aesthetically superior (and had the awards to prove it) also have a wider range of environmental attributes.
  • People around the world perceive green buildings as modern and ethical – and companies, councils, governments and community organisations associated with green buildings benefit from these perceptions through community pride, satisfaction and well-being.

The Green Star-rated Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre not only set a new global standard for convention centre design - the MCEC’s innovation and ingenuity has led to more than $1 billion of economic activity for Victoria, as well as acknowledgement with dozens of awards, including the 2010 Victorian Architecture Medal.

Read the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre case study.

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