Sustainability assessment of residential development - An Australian experience

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Journal Article
International Journal of Construction Management, 2010, 10 (2), pp. 19 - 32
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Environmental performance of residential development has played an important role in achieving the goal of sustainable construction. Green homes have been or are being built in many countries. This paper discusses the issues of sustainability and its roles in residential developments. This paper also examines the development of a building and sustainability index (BASIX) for mandatory assessments of all residential developments in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Data collection includes examining the methodology of BASIX in assessing sustainability performance of residential development in the three broad areas of energy and water efficiency as well as indoor thermal comfort. The introduction of BASIX has had a profound impact on the construction industry. An online survey of users of BASIX in the construction industry revealed that the tool has played a significant role in providing a guideline for the sustainability performance of a proposed development and lifting the standard of design practices. The tool has led to better thermal comfort for users and reduced water and energy consumption by all new residential developments in NSW. However successful this has been, there is more to be done such as control of waste and energy usage in the manufacturing of building materials.
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