Green residential rating systems like the Green Star Homes certification will be valuable to Australia’s housing market, but challenges remain around existing homes.  

“Programs like Green Star Homes will be valuable to have as a really simple benchmark that applies to that volume build market,” Paolo Bevilacqua, Group Sustainability Lead, GM Real Utilities at Frasers Property Australia, said at the ESG in Real Estate Summit in Sydney this week.   

The Green Star Homes certification, which was slated as the world’s first mass market residential climate positive certification, was released by the Green Building Council of Australia last August.  

“The challenge of existing homes is still there as well,” Bevilacqua said.  

“Like we had with commercial buildings, existing buildings have been a focus and what worked really well… was commercial building disclosures and having to disclose the performance of the building.  

“This is now something that we’re seeing in Europe and the UK around residential – I think that’s a key lever that really puts the onus back in the hands of the homeowners and homebuyers. 

“But what we saw in Australian commercial buildings was [that] no one wants to disclose a poor rating, so it very quickly lifted the performance.” 

Bevilacqua said the industry needed to look to other levers in the homes market, but having really good benchmarking schemes was critical.  

“We need to get a better understanding of just how efficient and comfortable homes are and include the existing building stock in that conversation,” Bevilacqua said.  

GBCA said Green Star Home-certified properties would reduce household’s energy costs by over 75% through a range of criteria including design and materials considerations, as well as energy and water efficiencies.  

Last November, GBCA announced that Stockland had released Australia’s first Green Star home to market at its Waterlea project in Melbourne. 

Photo credit: FuturePlace