E-passports for buildings

E for energy and electronic – many benefits for sustainable housing.

Dr Wendy Miller raises lots of great points and ideas, many already adopted by Jigsaw, in an interesting article published today, titled Building passports could help repair Australia’s energy efficiency bane.

Below are some of our favourite quotes/excerpts:

  • “Even if consumers demand it [sustainability features] there are a lot of holes in the industry,” Miller says. Miller found product substitution, builders talking clients out of sustainability features and even designers doing the same thing.

Many of our clients report this experience before discovering Jigsaw.

  • …when a valuer goes to value a property, they’re often making their own assessment from the front driveway rather than looking at existing documentation, Miller says. “They’ll say ‘three beds, two baths’ rather than from a loan perspective saying, ‘It’s a nine star house, it has low energy costs, and thus better capacity for the applicant to service loan repayments, and the potential resale value is better,’ leading to a better interest rate given.”

An issue we debate with valuers and lenders regularly.

  • “We should be having at least air infiltration tests, and thermal imaging as part of the building process, just like you need a structural engineering report, pest control report and glazing safety report. I don’t see how hard it would be for the builder to provide a thermal imaging report and an invoice showing things like the classification of insulation and details of the energy efficiency of glass. I don’t see why there’s a big industry problem.”

Standard practice at Jigsaw Housing since it began over four years ago.