Other industries such as medical science, education and technology are forging ahead with progressive measures. However, housing lags behind citing extra costs, consumers aren’t demanding it and generally taking the very cautious approach.
We are seeing considerable inertia in the take-up to sustainable initiatives in housing.
I believe most people today in some way or another recognise the need to be a little sustainable conscious. And they believe that companies should be embracing more a sustainable policy to the business practices.
Why is it so hard to build green?
Personally I don’t like to use the term “green building” as the term appears to be kicked around too much and brings to mind different connotations to people. But it is about building an energy efficient house. Why wouldn’t we jump at that if it paid dividends in lower power bills?
Why wouldn’t that be part of our purchasing decision?
Better technology makes innovations like solar panels cheaper. Electric heat pump heating and cooling systems and hot water systems are pretty mainstream and very cost effective.
Something so simple in the orientation of your home can create pay back not just in power bills. Take away the less obvious benefits of a lower power bill, hello it is a more comfortable house to live all year round. When I am judging for the HIA Greensmart Awards, I have owners bragging about the bi monthly power bills between $10 and $40.
Rainwater collection feeds the toilets and washing machines irrigates the garden. Now that is not too hard, is it?
There the little things that can make a difference. What about looking at the bigger picture? Do we need to build double brick just because that is the accepted business model for companies?
We are seeing, ever so slowly, the big established builders introducing timber framed homes. Innovative polystyrene cladding is changing the way we construct.
Some simple concepts like the selection of materials which have a recycled content component. For example, Gyprock has released a plasterboard with high recycled content,
( EC08) but of course it is slighter more expensive. If this was the norm for Builders to specifiy, demand would bring the price down.
It seems counterintuitive that building is not recognising the strong business case of an energy efficient house and taking steps to being environmental responsible to choice of materials.