Victorian domestic building consumers are leading the way in environmentally sustainable building, according to the results of the 2008 Building Commission pulseº – Practitioner and Consumer survey.

pulse_enviro_w250Building Commissioner Tony Arnel, said the pulseº survey showed an increased proportion of domestic consumers engaging in sustainable discussions with their builders and implementing environmentally sustainable building elements in their building projects.

“Eighty-six percent of the consumers surveyed rated environmentally sustainable building as “highly important”. The number of domestic consumers involved in an environmentally sustainable building discussion with their builder jumped to 60 per cent from 52 per cent the previous year.

“However, the interest in environmental sustainable building was not restricted to the domestic sector commercial building consumers were also keen on green building.

“Commercial consumers surveyed reported 44 per cent had participated in environmentally sustainable building conversations,” according to Arnel.

Arnel, also chair of the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), said the rapid growth in GBCA membership correlated with the popularity of environmental sustainable building in the commercial sectors.

“In 2008, membership of the GBCA reached 665, the number of buildings certified and registered for Green Star reached 125. With such growth, the GBCA became the second largest green building council in the world, after the United States Green Building Council,” he said.

In keeping with the growing popularity of environmental sustainable building, the pulseº 2008  survey shows 75 per cent of domestic consumers and 61 per cent of commercial consumers reported using some type of environmentally sustainable building elements in their building project such as insulation, water tanks, energy efficient lighting, water efficient fittings, double glazing and solar heating.

More than a third of consumers (38 per cent) surveyed saw no barriers to using environmentally sustainable building features in their designs, while 24 per cent said cost was a barrier.

Arnel said that cost was likely to become less of an issue as the market demand for environmental sustainable elements continued to gain momentum. This was because the increased popularity of greener design elements would drive down the price of ssustainable housing products while increasing the comfort and resale value of energy efficient buildings.

The pulseº 2008 survey involved 600 building consumers and 600 practitioners, who provided qualitative and quantitative information on the Victorian building industry’s performance.

For information on the Building Commission pulse° 2008 practitioner and consumer survey, visit www.pulse.buildingcommission.com.au