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Is sustainability a top priority for your new home?

A guide for Australian home buyers.

Stylish kitchen, three or more spacious bedrooms, plenty of storage...these features are usually on people's new home checklist. But in recent years, a new contender has climbed up the wish list for many buyers – homes that tick the sustainability box.

More and more home buyers are demanding greener, more sustainable homes. In fact, over 80% of homebuyers now consider sustainable features critical in their new home decision-making. But between star ratings, smart tech, and net zero claims, understanding what really makes a home sustainable can be tricky to navigate.

Here, we look at what's driving the demand for sustainable housing in Australia. How the community and home design contribute to sustainability and how a sustainable lifestyle is just as important as choosing a sustainable home.



What's behind the demand for housing in Australia?

From environmental benefits to cost savings, there are plenty of positives for individuals and the collective population when choosing sustainable housing. Here are the top four reasons that are driving Australian homebuyers to prioritise it:

  1. Environmental awareness – climate change issues aren’t going away in a hurry, and as generations Y and Z (born into a more eco-conscious society) have stepped into the property market, demand for eco-friendly and sustainable housing has increased.

  2. Increased quality of life – housing conditions can greatly impact your overall health. Homes constructed in line with sustainable principles are typically warmer, drier, and better ventilated, reducing the incidence of allergies and other health issues.

  3. Ongoing cost savings – with significant benefits like energy efficiency and lower long-term maintenance costs, ongoing cost savings are another drawcard for sustainable new builds. This has become increasingly important as home owners are more conscious of the cost of living - particularly as the way we use our homes has changed with more people working from home than ever before.

  4. Local and Federal Government requirements – all new builds are subject to minimum requirements such as Energy Efficiency performance under the National Construction Code. This is measured through the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), which assesses a home’s energy efficiency to generate a star rating. A star rating of 6 or above is required for any new dwellings across most parts of Australia, but local requirements vary state by state.
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How to choose a sustainable location for your next home

Sustainable housing encompasses so much more than the construction of an individual home. It’s also about choosing a location or community where infrastructure, amenities and green space are prioritised. Here’s what to look for:

  • Transport and amenities – private cars are a key contributor to our use of fossil fuels. A sustainable community should provide easy access to public transport and have basic amenities on hand. This also saves residents on car-related expenses.

  • Green spaces – these have a huge impact on health and wellbeing, with everything from mental health, a reduction in obesity, cardiovascular issues and mortality attributed to access and availability of green space, according to this World Health Organisation study.

  • Construction considerations – well-planned, sustainable communities take the environmental impacts of the development into consideration. If you want to choose a sustainable apartment, townhome or land estate some important things to check are: 

    • the NatHERS rating of the buildings  
    • is the land estate EnviroAccredited
    • have alternative construction methods been used/incorporated for example, solar, EV charging stations etc


Key features of sustainable houses

While newly built houses are constructed according to the latest environmental standards, sustainable homes incorporate additional features and design elements that contribute to their low environmental impact. These can include:

  • Solar passive (or climate responsive) design – for example, the orientation of home living areas to maximise winter sun and natural ventilation.

  • Use of renewable energy sources such as solar (or provisions for these).

  • Use of specialised building materials such as sustainably sourced timber, carbon neutral concrete, noise and heat resistant windows and doors, and insulation.
  • EV charging facilities.

  • Water conservation and recycling – for example, greywater systems and rainwater collection tanks.

  • Energy-saving technology such as smart lighting and thermostats.

  • Energy-efficient appliances.

Recycle for your future

Get strict with your household waste recycling, incorporating soft plastic recycling and e-waste where available

Leave the car at home

For short and medium trips, consider walking, cycling, or using public transport where possible

Make the most of solar

Use solar energy to do the heavy lifting – things like washing, dishwashing, slow cooking, and heating and cooling.

Garden with a plan

Ensure your garden is suited to local conditions and doesn’t require excessive watering or maintenance.

Embrace eco habits

Wash clothes in cold water and dry them outdoors, shorten your showers, and switch appliances off when not in use to avoid using ‘standby’ power.

Download our sustainable living guide below for more useful tips.

Sustainable housing in action with Cedar Woods

Cedar Woods has a longstanding commitment to environmental and social responsibility, with many projects incorporating sustainable housing and communities. Here’s an introduction to a few of them:



Just 16km from the Perth CBD, Bushmead is a truly environmentally conscious community surrounded by over 185 hectares of preserved, pristine natural bushland.

Bushmead has been awarded UDIA’s prestigious 5-Leaf EnviroDevelopment Accreditation, reflecting this strong commitment to sustainability - read more.



Ellendale is a master-planned community just 12km from the Brisbane CBD blending the charm of village living with the vitality of city life.

Backing onto South D’Aguilar National Park in Upper Kedron, the Ellendale master-plan embraces 91 hectares of nature corridors and recreation space.

Green space represents around 40% of the overall site, providing a spectacular backdrop to the living environment. In addition to the existing native bushland, extensive revegetation of the nature corridors will see hundreds of thousands of new trees, shrubs and groundcovers planted at Ellendale.

Ellendale is perfectly positioned to ensure connectivity to the surrounding suburbs and the Brisbane CBD, whilst maintaining a life in natural balance - read more.



Positioned on the perimeter of the parklands just 2km from Adelaide’s CBD, Glenside embraces green space and has made every effort to minimise environmental impacts.

With a focus on green initiatives and sustainable design, the apartment buildings offer a 7-star NatHERs rating, while all townhouses score an impressive minimum 6-star energy rating - read more.

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Huntington Apartments

Located within the prestigious Jackson Green master-planned community in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs, Huntington combines style, convenience and green design into its two and three-bedroom apartments - read more.

Sustainability starts at home, but doesn't end there

It takes much more than installing a few solar panels to really embrace sustainability. It’s things like living in communities that make a green lifestyle an easy part of your everyday life, living in a home that sets you up for sustainability success and tweaking your daily habits to minimise environmental impacts.

At Cedar Woods, our vision is to be the best Australian property company renowned for performance and quality. For over 30 years we have worked hard to think ahead, evolving our designs to always respond to the changing world in which we live. 

At Cedar Woods, we aim to play a positive role in society over the long-term, through our products and services, which are fundamental to human wellbeing in homes and businesses. Additionally, we also strive for this positive role through responsible behaviour in our markets and in our communities.

Cedar Woods does more than create vibrant communities. In fact, everything we do from creating new homes to launching and nurturing new communities where people live, work and play, it is really about improving the lives of our customers.

Is sustainable living high on your priorities?

Is sustainable living high on your priorities?

Our Sustainable Living Guide is packed with tips to help you live a more sustainable life and build a more sustainable home. Implement some of the easy tips, like shortening your showers, shopping locally and switching your transport choices.
Get the guide