Four reasons why sustainability should be topping house hunters' wish list
One of the top tips shared by seasoned house hunters in our recent The Great Australian Home Search survey was to buy a more sustainable or environmentally friendly home. If you’re looking to purchase your next home but don’t have sustainability on your ‘wish list,’ you might be wondering why it’s so popular and whether it’s right for you or your family.
Sustainable homes can offer fantastic social, economic, and environmental perks for their owners – here are four key reasons why sustainability should be a top consideration for house hunters.
1. Reduce your environmental footprint
Australians are increasingly conscious of their environmental impact, with the desire to be more sustainable front of mind for many. Sustainable homes significantly reduce your environmental footprint thanks to the materials, designs, practices, and features used in the build process.
Importantly, sustainability runs right back to the first phase of development. Traditional building materials and practices can be harmful to the environment due to waste-disposal issues and toxins. However, sustainable building practices seek to minimise waste and emissions during construction. Building materials can often be recycled, reused, or renewable and manufactured locally. For example, SHAWOOD’s structural timbers, are eco-certified to guarantee sustainable sourcing from well-managed, certified forests.
Buying a sustainable home also means considering the latest innovations in water, energy, and waste reduction features – all of which minimise the resources you use and your reliance on artificial systems like air-conditioners. Look for features like LED lighting, which is 90% more efficient than incandescent light bulbs, and passive heating and cooling, which means the house is designed to heat and cool itself taking advantage of the sun, airflow, and surrounding shade.
2. Save on utility bills
Efficiencies in water, waste, and energy mean sustainable homes have lower ongoing operating costs. Solar panels, reduced air leakage, wall and roof ventilation systems, and greywater recycling systems are just a handful of the effective features that can improve the performance of sustainable homes and drive utility costs down.
Thanks to the durability of sustainable homes, homeowners also spend less money on maintenance. The use of long-lasting, quality, sustainable materials mean less upkeep and longevity of your home.
3. Health and wellbeing
The eco-friendly materials used in a sustainable home are good for your family, as well as the environment. Sustainable home builders often use paints, carpets, sealants, and other materials that give off fewer chemical emissions. This enhances the indoor air quality and reduces the physical health impacts, like headaches and breathing difficulties, that can be caused by indoor air pollutants.
An abundance of natural light is often another key feature of sustainable homes. SHAWOOD achieves this through double-height void spaces, considered orientation of living areas, hi-light glazing, and window configuration which can all be used to provide increased access to light. Not only does this reduce reliance on lighting, improving energy efficiency, but research has shown that natural light plays a vital role in our day-to-day health and helps people to be happier, healthier, calmer, and more productive.
4. Increased property value
Sustainable features are becoming ‘must haves’ in the property market, with buyers willing to pay more up front for the prospect of reduced utility bills, long-term maintenance savings, and a reduced environmental footprint.
This demand means sustainable homes typically have a higher resale value than non-sustainable properties, making them a wise long-term investment.
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