Advancing new home sustainability through demand-side empowerment

Investigating homebuyer decision-making. Monitoring of energy efficiency and sustainability communication on volume home builder websites and social media.

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Australia’s housing stock is often categorised by its lack of sustainability and energy efficient performance, with only four in five houses being built to the minimum standards and a negligible proportion to an optimal performance standard of 7.5 stars (based on the nationwide rating scheme NatHERS) or more (Moore et al., 2019). Residential buildings create about 12% of Australia’s Greenhouse gas emissions (Fyfe, 2019); consume 24% of Australia’s electricity (Commonwealth of Australia, 2022); and over a new dwellings’ lifetime the combination of emissions at construction and in operation of a single home is responsible for approximately 545 tCO2e by 2050 (Schmidt et al. 2020). This research agenda is two-fold, firstly, earlier research has explored opportunities for empowering homebuyers, through knowledge, understanding and opportunity to choose more sustainable characteristics. Secondly, evaluating the volume home builders from an organisational perspective and their communication and engagement with consumers through various formats. This research investigates the transparency of sustainability discussion, knowledge sharing, documentation provided during the new home purchasing process. Identifying informational knowledge gaps and examining opportunities to improve, with outcomes of the research assisting the volume housing market to better communicate and engage with consumers and drive greater demand for more sustainable and energy efficient homes.

Project details

Project team

A/Prof Christhina Candido

Dr Samin Marzban

Ms Iva Durakovic

Ms Sarah backhouse

Mr Jordan Smith

Ms Cida Ghosn

Key contact

A/Prof Christhina Candido


Led by University of Melbourne in collaboration with University of New South Wales