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Dr Phil Alviano

Written by Dr Philip Alviano, Sustainable Building Advisor, Master Builders Association of Victoria

The building of a house or a renovation is likely to be one the largest investments you’ll ever make. That’s why it’s so important that you choose to work with someone who will understand your goals and take them seriously.

Many of the important aspects of a sustainable home are not always visible. How well gaps are sealed and insulation is installed is vital to how much you will need to heat or cool your home. Choosing the materials that minimise environmental and health impacts is also important. A builder who is trained in these areas is more likely to understand why this is important to you and will take the time to ensure you get what you ask for.

Why choose a Master Builders Green Living Builder?1

Master Builders Green Living Builders are Master Builders members who have undergone training to improve their ability to build more sustainable homes for their clients.

The training course covers topics including:

  • Project planning.
  • Passive solar efficient design considerations.
  • On site management: Waste management, erosion and sediment control.
  • Framing and structure: Materials selection.
  • Building envelope: Insulation, glazing, materials selection, embodied energy.
  • Water conservation.
  • Energy conservation.
  • Interior fit out: Materials selection, embodied energy, indoor air quality.

Builders who complete the training must become accredited before they can use the Green Living Builder branding. Master Builders only accredits builders as Master Builders Green Living Builders once they have adopted sustainable innovations in their operations and signed a written commitment to:

  • Submit an annual report to MBA.
  • Provide information about number of projects completed, including the energy efficiency and other sustainable initiatives.
  • The amount of material recycled or diverted from landfill.
  • Not pollute the environment, including confining litter, sand, soil, screenings, concrete and chemicals to the building site

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Benefits for clients

  • Access to builders who are recognised for their leadership in the delivery of high quality sustainable solutions.
  • Reap the personal and financial rewards of pursuing sustainable options that will make the home more comfortable and efficient.
  • Information available through initiatives like Your Home to help make an informed decision on the selection of design and construction features of the home as well as material selection, installation and maintenance options.

Master Builders Green Living Builders achieving real results

Information collected from Master Builders Green Living Builders in the past year reveals that they are providing real results for real people and the environment.

  • On average each builder is completing six projects per year.
  • 12 per cent of the new houses built exceed the minimum 6 Star standard.
  • The number of photovoltaic panels they have been installed, together with the solar boosted hot water services and the energy savings from the higher star ratings of the houses, means:
    • They have saved 1847 tonnes of CO2 emissions which is equal to taking 347 cars off the road.
    • 2484 sites are not polluting the environment.
    • 73 per cent of sites are recycling 64 per cent of waste.

There are currently 375 Accredited Master Builders Green Living builders listed on the Master Builders website. A list of can be found here.