While the new home industry is often associated with constructing luxurious homes featuring the latest designs, there is a lesser-known aspect that focuses on building greener and more affordable homes to live in.
You might be surprised at the ways building a new home can actually save you money while also reducing your next home’s environmental footprint.
More and more home buyers in new masterplanned communities are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of having sustainable features, according to Anne Flaherty, economist at realestate.com.au.
“This is partly because people feel a responsibility to the environment but also because of the savings with rising energy costs,” she says.
“It’s definitely something we know is becoming more important, and people are willing to invest upfront for the long-term benefit.”
But the big question for property seekers looking to build a new home in a masterplanned community is what features should they consider to future proof their home and save money in the long term.
Alicia Davidge, Head of Victoria, Communities, Lendlease says: “Our customers want innovative, sustainable, and low-cost energy solutions when making the decision to build a new home. Smart home design is being encouraged to help reduce carbon emissions and living expenses.”
Now buyers don’t need to choose between sustainability and desirability. Picture: Lendlease
When building a new home, here are some sustainable features to consider:
1. Solar panels
Harnessing solar energy through rooftop solar panels presents an excellent and cost-effective method to diminish your carbon footprint while providing power to your home.
“In terms of sustainable property features that consumers are most interested in, solar panels come up as number one,” Flaherty says.
“Actually, over the past 12 months, we’ve seen a 28% increase in searches by rental property seekers for solar panels. This points to the fact that people are becoming more cost-conscious.”
Flaherty adds that panels also attract sizeable government rebates, and you can even sell power back to the grid in some instances.
Davidge says walkability is essential when scouting locations, especially for those looking to purchase in masterplanned communities so you can leave the car parked at home.
“Walkable communities not only deliver immense lifestyle value but a commitment to quality that will leave a legacy for generations,” she explains.
“Our community Harpley, located in Werribee will feature over 26km of hiking and bike trails.”
Residents can seamlessly move throughout the community without using a car – from walking to the new primary school, visiting one of the six neighbourhood parks dotted throughout the development, or popping down to the future town centre – it’s all within easy reach.
For buyers wanting to reduce their car use in Melbourne’s southeast, a community taking a similar approach is Averley, near Pakenham, which will deliver 17km of trails upon completion, that weave through more than 22 hectares of parks and open spaces.
It’s also located in the heart of the Pakenham East planning precinct – an area the Victorian Government has earmarked for a new local town centre, three primary schools, one secondary school, and three state-of-the-art community centres – meaning residents will have all their needs met close to home.
Rooftop solar is an incredibly popular item on new homebuyers’ wishlists. Picture: Lendlease
3. Energy efficiency
A key consideration in making your home good for the earth and cheaper to run is to ensure it uses less energy in the first place, which is where sustainable design comes into play.
“New homes must meet minimum efficiency standards in Australia,” Flaherty says. So, when buying a house and land package that usually means the hard work is done for you, with orientation and cross ventilation all taken into consideration to maximise your design.
Davidge adds that newer homes can also be crafted with lighter colour palettes on external walls and roofs, which helps keep things cooler in summer.
4. Energy-efficient appliances
Experts agree that consumers shouldn’t underestimate the impact of their appliances, as investing in low-energy options can lead to significant savings.
Sustainability Victoria says that installing an electric reverse-cycle split system “is the most energy-efficient” choice for heating.
But it doesn’t stop there. With the energy rating government initiative, it’s easy to kit a new home out with energy-saving appliances from fridges and washing machines to hot water systems.
5. Water-saving features
New homes can have a range of features that help reduce water consumption including low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets which can save a significant amount of water. But water savings should be a whole community approach too.
Lendlease’s Harpley community is a leading example of great water conservation with 60 hectares of proposed waterways to keep the community green and lush without excessive watering.
The community is also being built to include unique piping systems to future-proof the water supply – a feature of new future Lendlease communities.
Reducing water wastage is easier than ever in newly-constructed homes. Picture: Getty
6. Thoughtful construction
Finally, with over 41,000 new dwellings built annually in Australia, buyers will want to focus on what happens during construction.
Aurora, Victoria’s first 6-star Green Star accredited community, North of Epping is committed to reducing construction waste by using various recycling initiatives, including the use of recycled material in roads.”.
Are you thinking of building a dream home that’s more cost-efficient and better for the environment? Buyers can secure their next home with our $5k deposit offer and no more to pay until settlement day.
This offer is Lendlease’s way of supporting homebuyers in getting started, whether they are a first-time buyer, families looking to upsize, people looking to downsize or investors.
Offer ends 30 June, 2023.