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By Anjani Shyam
August 28, 2017
In an age where increased environmental sustainability practices are being demanded of organisations, it is understandable that this trend is having a huge impact on the construction industry. More and more businesses are prioritising sustainable building and are reaping the financial and social rewards.
Eco-Friendly is Cool
Australia is at the forefront of green building and sustainable building practices using design and planning processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient. Property developers are recognising the changing needs and wants of their buildings’ end-users. They are, thus, investing heavily in making building ecologically sustainable.
Sustainable architecture whereby property developers incorporate greenery into developments is becoming the norm and is becoming highly sought after by residents. In addition, energy-efficient measures, such as solar panels and lighting, are becoming popular as residents are becoming conscious of their environmental footprint.
Will Li, Director at SF Capital, told Jobsite that the rise of the eco-friendly Australian is: “reflective of the fact that people have become more environmentally conscious in recent years, especially younger demographics who are more likely to live in apartments.”
This trend means that Australians are demanding more sustainable places to live, and the construction industry needs to adapt in order to meet these shifting priorities.
There is No ‘Me’ in Community
There’s been a consistent growth in the popularity of community features in housing developments, townhouses, and apartments. As apartments become smaller, understandably people are beginning to gravitate towards housing complexes and developments that have amenities available for residents such as swimming pools, roof-top cinemas, community vegetable gardens, and children’s play areas.
Developments that have more community features available tend to attract more interest from potential buyers and renters. Darlinghurst resident George Illingworth told Jobsite that when looking for an apartment in Sydney, his first priority was having access to shared spaces.
“For me, community features are extremely important. I was able to get to know my neighbours beyond just a hello, whilst enjoying the amenities that I have available, like a pool and a gym.”
Taking the Old and Making it New
As part of the push for eco-friendly housing, Australia is seeing a significant rise in the number of pre-fabricated houses and modified shipping containers as dwellings. Not only are they more environmentally friendly, these types of buildings have significantly lower capital costs, compared to a traditional construction, and can often be mobile.
In Australia, the prefabricated housing sector is rapidly growing and currently accounts for three percent of the Australian construction market. However, the prefabricated home industry is expected to grow by more than five percent per annum (compared to an overall industry growth of 2.3 percent) by 2023.
These types of homes provide numerous environmental benefits with many designers embracing eco-friendly features like renewable energy options and cross-ventilation to remove the need for air-conditioning in warmer weather.
Projects like the NightQuarter in Brisbane have showcased the innovative ways modified shipping containers can be reused to create a thriving retail space for the community. In recent years, Sydney has seen the success of reusing old spaces for new purposes. Carriageworks, located on the site of the heritage listed Eveleigh Rail Yards, and Harold Park’s Tramsheds, which repurposed the original Rozelle Tramway Depot, have created vibrant food and cultural hubs for local residents.
Sustainability is increasingly becoming a priority for developers, due to its positive social, economic, and ecological benefits for local communities. Investment in green building, community features, and the repurposing of existing structures is becoming popular as Australian communities begin to work together to protect the environment, one step at a time.
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