A planned new estate in Melbourne’s outer-north is set to become the first development in Australia to have all homes built to meet a new voluntary standard which requires above-minimum performance in sustainability, occupant health and resilience.

In its latest announcement, lifestyle residential property developer Ingenia Communities says that all 261 homes which are planned for its new development in Beveridge in Melbourne’s outer north will be designed to meet the Green Star Homes certification standard which was developed by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

The group has also committed to achieving a Green Star – Communities rating on the project.

Situated 37 kilometers north of the Melbourne CBD along the Hume Freeway, the small but growing town of Beveridge is best known historically as the birthplace of Ned Kelly but now serves as a fast-growing commuter town on the urban fringe.

Each Green-Star home constructed as part of the new community will incorporate NatHERS rating of 7.5 for thermal performance and will feature double-glazed low – e windows, an efficient hot water heat pump, heat recovery ventilation to the entire home, reticulated recycled water line to reduce potable water usage, efficient appliances, and LED lighting.

The homes will be all-electric and will receive enhanced thermal comfort through a solar, battery-ready micro grid. This will result in cheaper energy and water bills and will make the homes healthier, more affordable and more comfortable to live in.

Civil works on the development are already underway.

Ingenia community at Beveridge. Artists Impressions of the pool.

The latest announcement comes as the GBCA is attempting to increase uptake of its new certification.

Developed over several years, the Green Star Homes certification aims to encourage residential developers to go beyond minimum requirements in the performance of homes which they deliver in terms of sustainability, health and resilience.

As things stand, all new homes in Australia need to meet certain requirements as set out in Volume Two the National Construction Code (NCC).

In terms of sustainability, health and amenity, this includes requirements around thermal performance/energy efficiency, waterproofing, room heights, facilities, light, ventilation and condensation management.

To achieve the new Green Star certification, homes must go beyond these minimum requirements and adopt a holistic range of measures which promote the health and wellbeing of occupants as well as environmental sustainability and resilience to future impacts.

To meet certification requirements, homes must:

  • Be ‘positive’ from an energy standpoint. To achieve this, homes must: (a) be energy efficient by delivering excellent thermal performance, having efficient appliances and being air-tight and draught-sealed; (b) be constructed to generate sufficient renewable energy so as to fully meet its own power needs; (c) be constructed to run entirely on electricity rather than gas; and (d) have a home user guide.
  • Be healthy and promote occupant wellbeing through being well ventilated to prevent mould growth, being constructed to minimise the entry of pollutants, being thermally comfortable, having good lighting and using materials which have low toxicity or which are non-toxic.
  • Be resilient by being constructed to be better at withstanding natural disasters and future climate conditions such as bushfires, flooding and extreme heat compared with equivalent homes which are built to minimum code requirements as well as by being designed to minimise its own impact upon the climate by reducing water use.

Homes which gain certification may be marketed as Green Star homes. These may attract a premium among buyers who desire features that Green Star homes offer.

Developers can also use the Green Star certification to demonstrate their credentials as a responsible corporate citizen.

Whilst Stockland released Australia’s first single Green Star home last year, the Ingenia Communities’ Beveridge development is the first full development that aims to achieve Green Star ratings on all of its homes.

As mentioned above, Ingenia communities is also targeting a Green Star – Communities rating across its Beveridge development.

This certification assesses the broader planning, design and construction of large-scale development projects at a precinct, neighbourhood and/or community scale.

To achieve this rating, developments must engage in strong governance practices; deliver communities which are safe, accessible and liveable; deliver communities which encourage prosperity and productivity (economic opportunities, affordable housing, access to skills/training/education); minimise environmental and ecological footprint; and engage in innovative practices, process and strategies that promote sustainability in the built environment.

Ingenia community at Beveridge. Artists Impressions.

Simon Owen, CEO of Ingenia, said the group was proud to be the first to commit to a large-scale development of Green Star Homes combined with a Green Star Communities rating.

Owen added that Ingenia aims to be a leader in sustainable development.

He said this is being driven not only by environmental considerations but also a desire to reduce energy bills for customers and to deliver communities and homes which offer long-term sustainability as well as comfortable, high-quality living.

GBCA CEO Davina Rooney welcomed the commitment.

“Research has shown that two thirds of home buyers prefer energy efficient homes, when given a choice,” Rooney said.

“If we want healthy, resilient, positive homes to be within reach for all Australians, it is critical that homes are certified at volume. We commend Ingenia Communities for raising the bar and for their leadership within the residential sector.”


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