Top tips for green home hunters
by Sophie Pickett-Heaps
What are the three most important things that all home buyers should look for when hunting for a green home?
Orientation is one of the most important thing to consider, says Stockland’s co-head of design, Sophie Pickett-Heaps.
“Orientation is one of the few things you can never change once you purchase your place – so you have to get it right,” she says.
Homes with lots of north-facing windows with eaves are best in climates that require winter heating because the position of the sun in the sky means you can create shade in summer, but gain full access to sunlight in winter.
“A north-facing aspect gives you all the benefits of passive solar design – which means less money spent on energy bills and more naturally daylit spaces,” Sophie says.
While orientation is essential, Sophie says “efficient systems” – like LED lighting, zoned air-conditioning and water-wise taps – can also help you save money on running costs and resources.
“Think about what you are putting into your home. What is the star rating on your fridge and dishwater? How many litres of water a minute does your shower use? And check that you have space in your kitchen for a recycling bin.
“Lots of small things can really add up to make a big difference,” she says.
Sophie’s third tip is to look for the Green Star – Communities logo.
“This symbol can give you peace of mind that your community was designed with sustainability in mind.
A sustainable community is one that is safe and secure, is resilient to extreme weather, has-proximity to shops, services and employment nearby, encourages walking and cycling, and has lots of green space.
“Ultimately a sustainable community is a healthy place to live and good for the planet too.”