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Consider sustainable property in the Gold Coast

By Andrew Bell

The environment is an important thing to take care of – after all, it's the only one we've got! So when it comes to purchasing property in Surfers Paradise in 2015, taking the time to research the market and find a home built in compliance with green building principles could be a great goal to set for yourself. 

A recent survey by BCI Economics and FuturArc found that green building practices have become a much larger part of mainstream construction activity, with 90 per cent of industry personal who responded stating that sustainability was something they considered when beginning a new project. 

More than 34 per cent of the design firms involved in the survey said they actively sought formal certification for their sustainable projects as well, covering properties like commercial spots, office buildings and other real estate. Not only this, but 50 per cent of architects have directly attributed green home building practices with an increase in sales.

What should you look for in a sustainable home?

There are so, so many ways that modern homes embrace sustainability that you're likely to find property in your local real estate community with them easily. One thing to take to heart is the design of the home. 

While this may not sound like a major factor, the way a property has been designed to take advantage of the natural light can be a major point of interest. Known as passive design, the placement of windows and orientation of the home can have a big effect on your energy levels and power bills.

This is because the natural light can be used to heat your home without the need to turn on an appliance, while placing windows in such a way that you can capture wind means you have a consistent, cool airflow for those hot summer days. 

Furthermore, insulation in a sustainable home is a must. This added bonus helps regulate the temperature of the property, keeping you and your family comfortable without using unnecessary power for fans, heaters and other appliances. 

The materials used in the construction of the Surfers Paradise property should also be taken into consideration. Knowing that the house was built in a sustainable way is important, with recycled materials being a fairly popular method of achieving this. 

For example, a Life Cycle Assessment analyses the long term cost on the materials used in your home on the environment. With comprehensive knowledge like this, the potential to make changes and adjustments could be much simpler.  

The most obvious way to know if you're buying a sustainable home is to see if there are alternative energy methods employed in the house. Solar power is becoming an increasingly popular thing for Australian homes to have – in fact, the Australian Bureau of Statistics recently highlighted that one in five households across the country now use solar power as their main source of energy. 

Harnessing the power of the elements to fuel your home is a brilliant way to cut down on your environmental impact in the long run, not to mention reduce your overarching power bill as well. Saving the planet and keeping money in your pocket – what's not to love? 

Of course, there are other, smaller thing to do in the house to make it a little more beneficial for the environment. For example, replacing the regular light bulbs with energy-efficient models, or looking into the possibility of installing a rain water system to reduce your reliance on outside sources for H2O could be good ideas. 

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