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There are a few important issues that need to be discussed around this interesting initiative:Archicentre managing director Robert Caulfield said: "Clever and smarter environmental design of buildings, backed by legislation and government policy, will need to be introduced on a national level for Australia to play its part."
But he warned that the current "red tape maze between government departments" and differences from state to state threatened the chances of the new laws coming into effect. Australia has 7.2 million homes, with houses being sold on an average every seven years.
Mr Caulfield called for every house sold to be subject to basic climate change certification, which would include having a water tank connected to the toilet, dual-flush cisterns, insulation in the roof, water-efficient shower heads and taps, and solar panels for power.
He said home owners who did the work on their homes should receive a 50% tax deduction.
A national policy approach such as this would improve Australia's housing stock over the next decade. A similar policy should be implemented for commercial properties, he said.
One of the first steps should be legislation for compulsory eaves to shade houses and keep them cool.
"Historically, the eave was a fundamental part of Australia homes. However, in the last decade, its removal for fashion and mock building design has seen the building of hundreds of thousands of homes poorly equipped to cope with climate change," Mr Caulfield said.
It is very easy to understand this disengagement. Seventy-nine percent of Australians live in detached dwellings, nine percent live in attached dwellings (terraces or duplexes) and only around 12 percent live in apartments. The public sector funds less than 1.5 percent of housing, leaving the market to provide the remaining 98.5 percent or more. Less than ten percent of housing in Australia has architectural involvement and many observers consider the figure for architectural involvement in new housing to be much less.
79% detached dwellings
9% attached dwellings (terraces or duplexes)
12 % live in apartments
Less than 1.5% of housing is funded by the public sector
98.5 percent or more is provided by the private market
Less than 10% of housing in Australia has architectural involvement (many observers consider this figure to be much less)