QLD housing to go greener

Housing sustainability is the issue that “literally go to the heart of how we live”, the state’s planning minister Paul Lucas said, putting forward a proposal to toughen sustainability measures in housing design.

Mr Lucas said the kernel of the proposal, Improving Sustainable Housing in Queensland, was a requirement that new houses built from 2009 achieve a five-star energy efficiency rating by improving water conservation, using insulation and natural lighting.

He said inefficient housing design and outdated building codes resulted in higher energy costs and harmful impacts on the environment.

“A hundred years ago the old ‘timber and tin’ Queenslanders were designed and built for our warm weather. Home designs that work in the cooler southern states are often simply not suitable to our warmer climate and way of life,” Mr Lucas said.

“In many ways this policy is about combining old-fashioned common sense design with the latest in sustainable building materials and energy efficient technologies.”

Mr Lucas added: "New homes in Queensland are already required to have greenhouse-efficient hot water systems, energy-efficient lighting, water-efficient shower heads and toilets, and rainwater tanks plumbed into toilets and the laundry.

"But there are many more practical and affordable measures that can be taken so that occupants of new and existing homes use less energy, save water and live in their homes longer.”

An average of 33,000 new houses a year will be needed to be built over the next two decades to meet demand in Queensland.

The discussion paper is available on the Department of Infrastructure and Planning website: www.dip.qld.gov.au, with submissions closing September 12.

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