Australians will be the beneficiary of the new Green Star Home Standard certification system, which will see energy bills reduced by up to 75 percent.

New houses across Australia will be built to withstand the effects of climate change, with solar power systems and water and energy efficiency features mitigating a number of potential emission or toxicity issues.

 The certification system, never before seen anywhere in the world, is the first mass-market residential climate-positive certification. Property developers have been quick to praise the system, who will look to deliver homes with higher energy saving specifications. 

Homes that will be built to a high certification will be able to naturally regulate climate through being ventilated and insulated, utilising renewable energy systems and having a high amount of water efficiency. Smarter air conditioning, LED lights and efficient electric appliances will also play a role in driving down energy costs.

Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) Chief Executive Davina Rooney says the system bodes well for all Australians.

“This is such an exciting development to be able to work with partners to drive such great outcomes in the residential sector,” she says in an interview with Domain.

“This is a real game-changer for the industry, bringing more liveable, affordable homes to all Australians.”

Stockland Group Executive Andrew Whitson says the developer is excited for what the system can bring to Australia’s property market.

“We’re seeing people spending more time at home and they’re really concerned about the health and well-being impacts of the houses they live in,” said Andrew Whitson, Stockland’s group executive and CEO communities.

“They’re starting to wonder how they can live more healthily and more sustainably environmentally and reduce their carbon footprint. It was something already happening, but COVID-19 has really amplified it, and we felt we wanted to show leadership in the country on these issues.”

Metricon National Product Development Manager David McKibbon shares similar views.

“This is the way the industry and the world is moving towards more sustainable living,” he says.

“So we saw this as an opportunity to get involved and help the industry evolve in this area, and further educate our customers and help drive the whole sustainability issue. As consumers see the benefits, they’re likely to promote it to family and friends as well.”

The residential industry makes up approximately 57 percent of Australia’s building emissions. With increased time at home due to recent lockdowns, the 90 percent of time spent indoors by Australians is at an even higher amount, driving up current energy prices.

The GBCA is now collaborating with the Federal Government to usher the system into the regulatory framework. The current National Construction Code only accounts for insulation levels. 

Kerryn Willmot, UTS’ Research Principal at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, says the system will revolutionise sustainable housing and development in Australia. 

“Getting the volume builders of housing on board will give the scheme so much more momentum going forward rather than just going with architect-designed, bespoke buildings,”she says. 

“This is where most Australians get their housing from, so signing up volume buildings is a brilliant idea with a great chance of shifting the market.

“Once they get to the next stage of doing things better, and reach critical mass, the whole market will move, and these standards will become the norm and shift things along more to the positive end of the spectrum.”

To find out more about the new Green Star Homes certification system, click here