For many reasons, sustainability has become a key priority for many people who are buying an investment property. A sustainable home can deliver several important benefits for investors – both short and long term.
So what exactly is a sustainable home, and why should you look to invest in one?
Sustainable homes - what are they?
Sustainable homes are those that are designed and constructed to have less environmental impact, and consume less energy than a “typically” constructed home.
In most cases, sustainable homes are designed with a focus on using environmentally friendly materials, and are constructed in a way that uses less energy and produces less waste. This could include, for instance, using sustainably-sourced timber or incorporating recycled materials.
Most importantly however, a truly sustainable home will be designed in such a way that it maximises natural light and air-flow (cross ventilation), reducing the need for artificial lighting, heating and cooling. This means that the home typically costs less to operate and has less reliance on external sources of energy.
In fact, the ultimate goal is for a sustainable house to be a net-zero energy home, meaning that the net use of energy in an average year will be zero, or even negative when excess energy is supplied back into the grid.
3 key reasons to invest in a sustainable home
If you’re looking to invest in a new home, focusing on sustainability makes great sense for several important reasons:
Today, an increasing number of buyers are choosing sustainable homes for their positive environmental credentials, as well as their lower operating costs. As such, sustainable homes typically sell for more money, and are on the market for less time.
According to a recent survey
by real estate agency PRDNationwide and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), properties with recorded sustainability features took up to 13 days less to sell, and boasted a house median price that was 10% higher than those without sustainable features.
One of the key reasons many investors choose sustainable homes is their energy efficiency.
Sustainable homes typically have smart, passive ways of heating and cooling using natural air-flow and specially designed insulation - reducing reliance on auxiliary systems such as heaters, fans and air-conditioners. A sustainable home will often be cleverly designed and built in such a way that it largely heats and cools itself using the sun’s heat, air flow and shade. With passive systems, you require less energy, and you can also save money as well as minimise your impact on the environment.
Sekisui House’s MIRAI homes, for instance, achieve thermal comfort through the use of passive design principles and intelligent materials. They have an exterior wall system, for instance, which has a nano-hydrophilic coating that helps repel the sun’s heat, and special window glazing is used to help keep internal temperatures balanced. The roof is also specially ventilated, which lowers the build-up of heat in the roof space by replacing hot air with ambient air from outside.
- More appealing to tenants
Due to their lower operating costs and greater energy efficiency, sustainable homes are also often more appealing to tenants – meaning there is a greater likelihood achieving a higher rental yield.
Mirai home on display at Ecco Ripley, QLD
Why choose a Sekisui House sustainable home?
Sekisui House is a world leader in sustainable residential development and construction, and has built more than 47,000 net-zero energy homes in Japan since 2013. Read more about Sekisui House’s sustainable history here
Right now, Sekisui House is developing the first net-zero-energy home in Australia - SHINKA House. You can learn more about SHINKA House here.