“We’ve watched with interest the multitude of media releases being issued over the past week, and are surprised by how many organisations seem to miss the point. The more carbon-intensive options are meant to cost more; that's the intention of a carbon price.
“While carbon-intensive options will cost more, low-carbon and more carbon-efficient solutions will become more affordable.
“Many of the members of the Green Building Council of Australia have publicly stated that the carbon price will add little to the cost of a new home, backed by independent reports saying that the carbon price will add an additional cost of 0.6 per cent to an average new house and land package.
“In the debate about housing affordability, little attention is paid to the fact that affordability is about more than just the cost of a house on auction day. Affordability is not only about how cheap you can build a house upfront, but how low-carbon and resource-efficient a building can be for its lifetime. Homes which are cheap but which use more energy over their lifetime will be less affordable to the owners, year on
year – with or without a carbon price,” says Romilly.
The interconnected issues of affordability and energy-efficiency are being examined in the GBCA’s two new rating tool projects, Green Star – Performance, which will assess the operational performance of existing buildings, and Green Star – Communities, which will drive sustainable choices at the community scale.
“We didn’t leave the Stone Age because we ran out of stones. We left it because we moved on to more advanced ways of thinking and operating. Likewise, we must use twenty-first century thinking to overcome some of the problems created during the twentieth century. The carbon price will help us do this, by forcing us to develop and implement new, more efficient solutions.
“The GBCA looks forward to a more carbon-conscious economy informing better building and community choices,” added Romilly.
The GBCA’s paper, Putting a Price on Pollution: What it means for Australia’s Property and Construction Industry, can be downloaded from the GBCA website, along with reports from GBCA member organisations such as Colonial First State Global Asset Management, Davis Langdon and Stockland.
About the Green Building Council of Australia
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) is Australia’s leading authority on green buildings and communities. The GBCA was established in 2002 to develop a sustainable property industry in Australia and drive the adoption of green building practices. The GBCA has 900 member companies who work together to support the Council and its activities. The GBCA promotes green building programs, technologies, design practices and processes, and operates Australia’s only national voluntary comprehensive environmental rating system for buildings - Green Star.