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Have your say on sustainable housing in Queensland

Last Updated on Monday, 12 March 2012 14:20

 abc_housing.jpgHousing sustainability is the issue that "literally goes to the heart of how we live", the state's planning minister Paul Lucas said, putting forward a proposal to toughen sustainability measures in housing design. Mr Lucas said the kernel of the proposal, Improving Sustainable Housing in Queensland, was a requirement that new houses built from 2009 achieve a five-star energy efficiency rating by improving water conservation, using insulation and natural lighting.
He said inefficient housing design and outdated building codes resulted in higher energy costs and harmful impacts on the environment. Submissions close September 12.

 
"A hundred years ago the old 'timber and tin' Queenslanders were designed and built for our warm weather. Home designs that work in the cooler southern states are often simply not suitable to our warmer climate and way of life," Mr Lucas said. "In many ways this policy is about combining old-fashioned common sense design with the latest in sustainable building materials and energy efficient technologies."


Mr Lucas added: "New homes in Queensland are already required to have greenhouse-efficient hot water systems, energy-efficient lighting, water-efficient shower heads and toilets, and rainwater tanks plumbed into toilets and the laundry. "But there are many more practical and affordable measures that can be taken so that occupants of new and existing homes use less energy, save water and live in their homes longer."


An average of 33,000 new houses a year will be needed to be built over the next two decades to meet demand in Queensland. The discussion paper is available on the Department of Infrastructure and Planning website: http://www.dip.qld.gov.au/sustainable-living/improving-sustainable-housing-in-queensland.html, with submissions closing September 12.

You can download the sustainable housing discussion paper, call 1800 153 262 or

email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for a CD-Rom copy. There is also supposed to be an online option to complete but this was not available when this information was sourced. It has now become available at the Get involved site. This page has links to all issues for open public consutation including sustainable housing. It will probably not allow you to make further comments on other aspects not covered by the questions.

The response form is available here - basically a four page document with rating options for 24 questions with little space to comment on the following questions:

Of all of the initiatives considered in this paper, which do you think is most important?
Why do you say that (please explain)?
Are there any other actions or building design measures you believe the Queensland Government should take to encourage individuals to use less non-renewable resources, such as water and energy? Please describe these.

The Improving sustainable housing in Queensland discussion paper was released on 15 June 2008 and proposes measures to reduce the environmental impact of Queensland homes. The measures are designed to encourage house and unit owners to use less water and energy and respond to changing lifestyles. The suggested improvements will apply to existing, new and renovated houses and units. However, the requirements to new and renovated homes will differ to those for existing homes as not all proposed improvements will be practical or cost-effective for existing buildings.

The measures presented in the discussion paper complement the state government's ClimateSmart 2050 strategy, which mandates the phasing out of electric hot water systems in existing homes from 2010.

Queensland's population is predicted to increase to more than 5.5 million people by 2026. This means we will need to build an average of 40,000 new houses a year for the next two decades. In South East Queensland, where most Queenslanders live, private residences account for 75 per cent of the region's water use, while household electricity use has increased 10 per cent a year in recent years.

There are currently 1.6 million homes in Queensland that have been built at different times and to different standards. To minimise greenhouse gas emissions and save water and energy, homes need to become more water and energy efficient. Since March 2006, new homes have been required to have greenhouse-efficient hot water systems, energy-efficient lighting, water-efficient shower heads and toilets, and rainwater tanks plumbed into toilets and the laundry. But there are many more practical and affordable measures that can be taken to make new and existing homes more sustainable.

The consultation period is now open. Download your copy of the discussion paper.

Queensland Government encourages all Queenslanders to consider the proposed measures and submissions will be assessed by Queensland Government. Closing date for feedback: 12 September 2008.

 

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