Cooking with gas: bad for the planet, and bad for your health

Australia’s federal government looks like it’s digging its heels in on gas but be warned, cooking with it is bad for your health. And while rangehoods can help, not all of them were created equal. In fact, the best ones are so loud people don’t turn them on.

How healthy homes can build immunity

Home wellness company Delos says people are starting to recognise the role a healthy home plays in promoting strong immunity that has the best chance of fighting infections such as the coronavirus. If you can steer clear of the bogus claims about vitamins and specialist diets that promise to turbocharge your immunity, there really are […]

Nobody wins from rent moratoriums, not even landlords

Jay is an international student at the Canberra University of Technology. When she and her housemate both lost their jobs in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, their landlord reacted in the worst possible way: he refused to reduce the rent, instead increasing it by $15 per week.  Jay and millions of renters like her […]

Aged care facilities have been at the centre of the Covid crisis. Here’s how their design can change to lessen risk.

With the elderly community most at risk, seniors’ housing for retirement living and aged care is at the coalface of change to manage COVID-19 and any future infectious diseases. For the past few months, the focus of seniors’ living providers, especially those offering residential aged care, has been literally on staying alive and protecting their […]

Energy retrofits in community housing are tough, but there is a way  

There are many barriers to energy retrofits in the community housing sector – which needs them most – but here’s a thought: what about combining government funding with private impact-linked private capital to kickstart the economy post-Covid at the same time?

Green Star Homes changing the market – at last

RESIDENTIAL SPECIAL REPORT:  The residential market has been slow to move the needle on sustainability, particularly on energy performance. Now things are changing. There’s a long list of reasons why the home builder market has been slow to move on sustainability, including how it’s marketed to consumers. However, there’s promising signs that we’re on the […]

Will streamlining planning make a difference to housing outcomes?

There has been a lot of talk by developer lobby groups about the need to unclog the planning system to assist economic recovery post COVID 19. And the NSW government is putting out media releases saying that rapid approvals are injecting billions of dollars into the state’s economy. Thinking that approvals are going to lead […]

Volume builders locked in and ready for to pilot Green Star for homes

Metricon, Rawson Homes and Stockland are among the home builders signed up to pilot the Green Building Council of Australia’s new Green Star rating tool for homes, currently out for consultation. Residential has long trailed other asset classes on sustainability, which is why homes are the “the next logical step” for the Green Star treatment. […]

Far-reaching housing tax reform could be back on the agenda

The pitch to replace stamp duty with a broad-based land tax is seeing a new surge of advocacy. Just in the past few days the Reserve Bank Governor together with state Treasurers in both NSW and Victoria have all weighed into this debate once again, arguing that such a transition is now an urgent priority.

Urban Taskforce responds … to a host of issues on planning and fast tracking

Readers may be surprised to hear that there was much in the Tim Sneesby editorial published in The Fifth Estate on 21 April 2020 which the Urban Taskforce agrees. But there were a few “cheap-shots” at the private sector property and construction sector generally, and the Urban Taskforce in particular, that merit a response. Firstly, […]

Romeciti set to launch its second “green building” in Macquarie Park

Sydney based developer Romeciti has agreed to pay more than $40 million to buy a second site for its “Green and Smart” residential project offering at Macquarie Park, 28 kilometres north west of Sydney. The deal follows  lengthy negotiations with the owners of 36 strata title units to amalgamate the site.

Consumers turn to smart bathrooms for sustainability

Now we’re not saying this has anything to do with the Covid19 inspired run on toilet paper; the trend to more sustainable toilets and bathrooms is already well developed.

Toga’s Fabrizio Perilli on steering the residential market back into the future  

Quality and supply are the biggest issues facing the residential market at the moment according to TOGA Development & Construction chief executive officer Fabrizio Perilli. On the former, Perilli believes there’s merit in most of NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler’s plans to overhaul the building and construction industry. “But the devil is in the detail. […]

We’re so inclusive… until we get old. The senior living operators paving the way to a better retirement

The Hogeweyk dementia village in the Netherlands is like The Truman Show. The community is designed to look identical to the outside world, complete with nurses, doctors and carers dressed in plain clothes. Specialist dementia villages are just one way this sector is evolving – The Fifth Estate has taken a closer look at alternatives that turn traditional senior living on its head.

Prefab industry to help with quick rebuilds after bushfires

The prefab industry makes sense if you want to lessen the risk of time and price blowouts of regular construction. Already there is a pick up in demand after the recent bushfires and if California is any guide that’s a trend that will only accelerate.

California’s wildfires and what Australia can learn

In 2018, the US state of California saw its worst-ever bushfire season on record. The Fifth Estate spoke to US architect and sustainable design guru David Hertz about what the region learnt about designing and managing infrastructure in the face of ever-increasing fire risk.

New survey shows sustainability on the rise

A new survey from Stockland reveals evolving preferences among residential buyers for sustainability, especially environmental and community features.

Australia’s home wellness revolution just around the corner

We might think of our homes as sanctuaries from the outside world but many houses actually have poor indoor air and water quality and are throwing our natural sleeping habits out of whack. Fortunately, a few technology tweaks can make all the difference, according to an offshoot of the WELL standard that’s infiltrated deeply into the Australian […]

New “dating app” for home ownership

Driven by the success of sharing economy-platforms such as Uber and Airbnb, two young Australians have launched a website they claim is the “Tinder of home ownership” in order to help more people break into the property market.