Learn To Be Sustainable

Attend any meeting of developers or the planning community and the big issue will be sustainability. Partly driven by the environmental sensitivities of the younger property professionals and partly driven by the commercial savvy of the developer, it is game on for green star ratings.

Grey water, black water and rainwater occupy the consultants as they seek to check the boxes for a label, which will mark the building and the developer as socially responsible. The plant and equipment necessary to deal with these issues along with solar energy and natural air ventilation is costly both in capital and recurrent terms.

For the strata titled building and absent any proven form of commercial income or saving from these green features, this additional cost ultimately becomes the cost of the owners corporation. Does the prospective purchaser want these features? Answer – yes. Does the prospective purchaser want to pay for these features for the life of the property or their period of ownership? Answer – of course, no. Until imposed as conditions of developments and the market accepts that the cost must be absorbed and reflected in higher owners corporation levies, the advancement of these features in residential and mixed use strata title buildings appears constrained.

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