New data from CSIRO has shown that Australian homes are bigger than ever, and sustainable design is on the rise.
CSIRO has developed the Australian Housing Data (AHD) Portal, which is centralising a vast amount of energy efficiency data that will be used to inform decision-making, training and awareness in sustainable housing.
It will be an important tool in tracking and supporting the progress of the national plan agreed upon by COAG energy ministers that sets a trajectory towards zero energy (and carbon) homes in Australia.
Key findings from the latest data:
- 195,000 new homes were built in Australia in the past year
- There is steady progress in the building of high-performance homes, particularly in Tasmania and the ACT
- Australian homes (including houses and apartments) are increasing in size, with an average floor area of 132sqm
- Average dwellings were most likely to have a metal roof, brick veneer walls, and a concrete floor
- The average newly-built home had an energy rating of 6.2 stars. This is an improvement since the introduction of star ratings in 2001, when the average home was estimated at 1.8 stars. This translates to an annual saving of approximately $560 in energy bills and 2.3 tonnes of CO2 equivalent in greenhouse emissions per house
Data is primarily sourced from the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS).
The data shows steady progress in sustainable housing, according to CSIRO grids and energy efficiency research director Stephen White.
“In order to meet national challenges of sustainable energy and resilient cities, it’s vital that we track progress,” says White.
“Tracking these changes is an important step to ensure emissions goals are met, while seeing where more attention is needed across the industry.”
The portal includes data across states and climate zones, and can be further broken down by design, construction and fixtures and appliances and heating/cooling systems.
CSIRO will update the portal’s dashboards monthly, ensuring it is a relevant and accessible tool for the benefit of residential energy efficiency stakeholders across Australia.