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Home Living : May 31st 2011
6 HLN - HOME LIVING: NORTH, Tuesday, May 31, 2011 Build green or you'll pay a price » ADVERTISING FEATURE HOMELIVING Rising energy and water prices will boost the value of existing green homes and commercial premises leading to a new wave of environmental design, housing products and marketing approaches by the real estate industry, an architects' organisation says. Archicentre, the building inspection service of the Australian Institute of Architects, warns rising energy prices have had an effect on the costs of poorly designed and poorly insulated domestic and commercial premises. Archicentre state manager Ian Agnew said this would have a noticeable impact on family budgets and on business bottom lines. ''Homeowners with well designed and insulated homes including solar panels and rain water tanks, stand to see hundreds of dollars a year cut from their energy and water bills as prices escalate dramatically,'' Mr Agnew said. Mr Agnew said the pressure of housing affordability today was not just in the initial building costs as housing affordability had now spread into the services such as power, water and gas to run a home. ''The property market will become increasingly driven by running costs which will be automatically factored in by buyers who are looking at balancing their mortgages and other costs. The reality is the payback period for solar panels and other energy saving technology has shortened dramatically with power costs in the past two years skyrocketing. ''With a premium price for green homes and green commercial property, the real estate industry will need to upgrade their staff training and environmental skills to address the market queries. ''A carbon tax that increases the cost of energy will fuel design and product innovation as builders and all trades will look towards the more efficient building of green properties and improved products," Mr Agnew said. Mr Agnew said one of the biggest trends in new homes and renovations was around the introduction of ''quality-based building inspections'', aimed at ensuring homes with a six or more green star design are actually built to the standard. ''At present no one checks the quality of the construction or insulation with the six star performances quickly evaporating if there are gaps in the door or window seals, or poor quality insulation is installed, or the roof is faulty. ''Not only will the continuing increased energy prices boost property values, they will also put a strong focus on the quality of construction of renovations and new homes in the future in relation to sustainability." 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May 24th 2011
June 7th 2011