BCC7737 Sus Unit V3.indd

BCC7737 Sus Unit V3.indd
It pays to future proof your home
Smore th EY
for units and apartments
Sustainable homes
save more than
the planet
Sustainability is about considering social, environmental
and economic factors when meeting the needs of current
and future generations. We all have a role in protecting
and enhancing our environment and maintaining our
quality of life.
By implementing sustainable features in your home, you
could save money and the environment over the longer
term through water and energy savings. Also, homes
should be designed for safety and security and to take
advantage of our climate through subtropical design.
Sustainable homes have three key elements.
1. Environmental sustainability
The unit is designed to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, save water and energy and reduce waste
during construction and the unit’s lifetime.
2. Social sustainability / universal design
The unit is designed to prevent injuries through built-in
safety elements. It has security elements to reduce crime
and improve the occupants’ sense of security. Elements
are also used to provide flexibility and comfort for people
of varying abilities and at different life stages, including
children and people with limited mobility.
3. Economic sustainability
The unit is designed to save money during construction
and over the lifetime of the unit. Careful planning avoids
the need for major future renovations and reduces costs
associated with energy use, water use and maintenance.
The Queensland Government may soon require
through legislation that all new homes incorporate
sustainable features, such as greenhouse-efficient
hot water systems, AAA-rated showers and dualflush toilets.
Smore thaEnY
About this checklist
The purpose of this Sustainable Home Checklist is to
give unit and apartment buyers some information about
what sustainable features to look for when choosing
a new unit. People buying or building a new detatched
house, terrace house, townhouse or villa should use the
Sustainable Home Checklist for Houses.
If you’re buying a new unit, use this checklist to find
out how sustainable your new unit will be.
If you’re renovating, you will find some tips and
advice on sustainable unit design, fixtures, fittings
and appliances.
The right unit purchase will save you money by giving
you a home that not only costs less to run, but also will
be comfortable from day one and won’t need expensive
alterations to stay livable throughout your different
life stages.
Multi-unit dwelling builders, developers and designers
can also use this checklist to get some ideas on how to
‘future-proof’ their developments.
People renovating an older unit will find tips on the best
ways to save energy and water, plus ideas on making our
units safe, secure, comfortable and accessible.
The checklist covers both home design and products that
make the most of our subtropical climate.
When doing major unit renovations, be informed
and make sure your builder is too – it’s your lifestyle
that is being designed and built.
Read the checklist and raise these issues up front
with your builder/designer – getting it right the first
time means you don’t have to spend more money
down the track making alterations and renovations
to your home.
Good communication with the builder and
subcontractors will avoid problems later on. It
ensures everyone has a good understanding of
what you want.
Smore thaEnY
How to use the checklist
The checklist in this booklet scores how sustainable
your unit is. The higher the score, the more sustainable
the unit.
The checklist has been divided into two sections
– essential criteria and desirable criteria.
Essential criteria must be met in order for the unit to
be considered a ‘sustainable home’. The unit must have
a greenhouse-efficient hot water system and waterefficient showers. Refer to page 4.
Many sustainable features in this checklist relate to
the individual unit, however some features will relate
to the multi-unit building and its outdoor areas as
a whole.
To find out how sustainable your unit is, circle the
points for each feature and add up the points on each
page. Finally, add up the total score and turn to page
28 for an explanation of the sustainability score.
Desirable criteria relate to water heating and use,
unit design, windows, doors and walkways, kitchens,
bathrooms, electrical and lighting, outdoor and common
areas. Refer to page 5-27.
Your unit’s details
Names of unit owner/s: ...................................................................................................
Street address: ..............................................................................................................
Suburb: ........................................................... Postcode: ..............................................
Section A. Sustainable home essential criteria ..............................4
Section B. Sustainable home desirable criteria
Part 1 – Water heating and use
1.1 Greenhouse-efficient hot water system ....................................5
1.2 Water conservation elements....................................................8
1.3 Rainwater tanks .......................................................................10
Part 2 – Unit design
2.1 House energy rating (HER) ......................................................11
2.2 Energy-efficient and subtropical home design .......................12
2.3 Universal home design ............................................................15
Part 3 – Windows, doors and walkways
3.1 Window, door and walkway design ........................................17
Part 4 – Kitchen
4.1 Kitchen design.........................................................................19
4.2 Cooking appliances .................................................................21
Part 5 – Bathroom
5.1 Bathroom design .....................................................................22
Part 6 – Electrical and lighting
6.1 Lighting ...................................................................................23
6.2 Electrical outlets and controls .................................................24
Part 7 – Renewable electricity generation
7.1 Renewable electricity generation............................................25
Part 8 – Outdoor and common areas
8.1 Outdoor and common area design and features....................26
Your Sustainability Score .............................................................28
Section A
To be considered ‘sustainable’, units must have greenhouse-efficient hot water systems
and water-efficient showers, regardless of the points achieved for other features in the
Units without the two essential criteria will waste energy, water and money. For more
information on the benefits of greenhouse-efficient hot water systems and water
conservation features, refer to Part 1.1 and Part 1.2.
Essential criteria 1 – Greenhouse-efficient hot water system
There are various types of hot water
systems, including electric, solar and
gas. Each of these systems has different
greenhouse gas emissions and lifetime
running costs, as described on page 6.
A unit will be supplied hot water from
either an individual hot water system, or a
system that supplies the entire unit block.
If the unit has its own hot water system,
it must have (as specified in the checklist
table on page 7) either:
• a solar hot water system
• an electric heat pump hot water system
• a gas hot water system.
If the multi-unit building has a central hot water system
that supplies all units, it must have (as specified in the
checklist table on page 7) either:
a solar hot water system
an electric heat pump hot water
a gas hot water system
a gas-fired cogeneration or fuel
cell unit hot water system
a heat exchange hot water system
that recovers waste heat from
air-conditioning or other plant
The minimum standard for a greenhouse-efficient hot
water system is a standard gas storage system.
Electric storage hot water systems do not qualify as
greenhouse-efficient. They cause three times the
greenhouse gas emissions of standard gas storage
systems, and cost the home owner more money over
the long term compared to heat pump and solar systems.
Tick this box if the unit or multi-unit building has a greenhouse-efficient hot water system.
Essential criteria 2 – Water-efficient showers
To be considered ‘sustainable’,
all showers in the unit must be
AAA-rated (9 litres per minute),
to reduce water waste and to
reduce energy used for water
heating. For more information
about water efficiency ratings,
please see Part 1.2 on page 8.
AAA-rated showers can save
you up to $90 per year in water
heating bills. Modern fixtures
are designed to give a full and
intense spray. Many AAA showers
have adjustable multi-function
sprays varying from mist to
forceful spray.
They are now so well designed
that the spray feels no different
from a AA shower.
AAA-rated showers are the
minimum standard for all
homes, except those with
continuous flow gas hot
water systems. Many of these
systems are generally not
designed for low water flow
rates (the instantaneous gas
heating mechanism may not
be triggered), so AA showers
(12 litres per minute) are
Tick this box if the unit has either:
• AAA-rated showers OR
• AA-rated showers (units with continuous flow gas hot water systems)
Section B
Part 1
1.1 Greenhouse-efficient hot water systems
Hot water uses about 33% of a home’s energy in Queensland. Burning fossil fuels (such as coal and gas) to provide this
energy generates greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy use & climate change
Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide
and methane come from human activities
such as burning fossil fuels for electricity.
storms, coastal flooding and erosion,
damage to coastal ecosystems and
infrastructure, and spread tropical
insect pests, weeds and mosquitoborne diseases.
These gases accumulate in the
atmosphere and trap the sun’s
heat energy.
Reducing our energy use and
greenhouse gas emissions is a
global responsibility and every
one of us should be making an
effort to reduce emissions.
This is changing the Earth’s climate.
These changes are causing global
warming, more frequent and severe
There are various types of hot water systems including
electric, gas and solar. Each of these systems has a
different greenhouse impact, with electric storage systems
producing the most greenhouse gases and solar systems
producing the least.
Choosing the right hot water system can also make a
positive difference to your energy bills.
A unit will be supplied hot water from either an individual
hot water system, or a system that supplies the entire unit
block (a central hot water system).
When buying a unit, find out if it has its own hot water
system, or a central one. If it is connected to a central
system, check if it is an electric storage system, as this
type will cost you money in the long term and cause
greenhouse gas emissions.
Buying a unit with a greenhouse-efficient gas, electric heat
pump or solar hot water system is a great start for a better
environment. Multi-unit buildings with central systems
also have the option of gas-fired cogeneration, fuel cell or
heat exchange hot water systems. Hot water greenhouse
emissions can be reduced by 80% with a greenhouseefficient hot water system.
Multi-unit buildings can range in size from smaller ‘sixpacks’ to high-rise buildings. The most appropriate hot
water system will vary depending on the building type.
Electricity tariffs
If you have an individual hot water system for your unit,
when using electric-boosted solar hot water systems or
electric heat pump systems connect the system to an off
peak tariff to save money. Contact your electricity retailer
for more information.
Heat pump image courtesy of Rheem Australia Pty Ltd
Part 1
System type, purchase and running costs
Hot water
Solar systems
• Solar systems consist of solar collector panels (installed on roof) and
a storage tank (installed either on the roof or on the ground).
• Work best if located on a north-facing roof.
• Least expensive hot water system to run.
• Most expensive hot water system to purchase, but may be eligible for
incentives of typically $1200 or more.
• Provide approximately 65 - 80% of your hot water free of charge.
• Very reliable – will still provide hot water on overcast days.
• Gas or electric-boosted to supply adequate hot water during periods of low
sunshine. The booster can be operated either manually or automatically.
• Electric-boosted solar hot water systems are cheaper to purchase and run
than gas-boosted systems.
• Gas-boosted systems produce less greenhouse gas emissions than
electric-boosted systems.
• Body corporate permission may be needed if a solar system is to be
retrofitted to your unit.
Natural gas or
LPG systems
• Gas systems may be either storage (tank) or continuous flow (usually wall
mounted) systems. Internal and external models are available. Internal
models must be flued to allow exhaust fumes to escape to the outside air.
• May cost more to run than electric storage hot water systems.
• Gas hot water systems are rated using the Australian Gas Association rating
system – the higher the star rating the more energy-efficient the system is.
• LPG is used in areas where natural gas is not available – phone your energy
retailer to find out what is available for your home.
• LPG costs more to use than natural gas.
* a standard gas
storage system
qualifies as
the minimum
standard for a
greenhouseefficient hot water
Electric heat
pump systems
• Heat pumps consist of a storage tank, booster, compressor, evaporator
and condenser.
• Heat pumps are generally located outside and installed on the ground,
however split systems (ie some parts installed inside and some outside)
are available.
• Heat pumps use heat from the air to heat the water in the tank. This highly
efficient form of water heating uses around 70% less electricity than electric
storage hot water systems.
• Cost less to run than normal electric storage units because of their high
efficiency – installing a timer saves even more energy and prevents potential
noise nuisance from the heat pump operating at night.
• More expensive to purchase than electric storage gas systems, but may be
eligible for incentives of typically $1200 or more.
• Heat pumps work in a similar way to air conditioners, and produce a similar
amount of noise. As with air conditioners, purchasers should check the
system has a low noise level rating, and locate heat pumps away from
neighbours to avoid causing noise nuisance.
Electric storage
and electric
• Electric systems may either be storage (tanks) or instantaneous
(wall-mounted) systems.
• Least expensive system to purchase.
• More expensive than solar or heat pump systems over the system’s lifetime.
• Electric storage systems produce around three times as much greenhouse
emissions as a standard gas hot water system.
Sustainable renovating
Sustainable Home Checklist
When renovating, one of the most beneficial changes
you can make to your unit is to convert
to a greenhouse-efficient hot water system.
The multi-unit building has one of the
following centrally installed hot
water systems.
If you have an individual hot water system that
supplies your unit only, the table on the opposite
page will help make the decision about what type
of new system to install.
Central solar system with gas booster
(where the booster provides less than
25% of the water heating).
Central gas-fired cogeneration or fuel cell
unit that supplies hot water.
Central solar system with electric
booster (where the booster provides
less than 25% of the water heating).
Central heat exchange system.
Central heat pump system.
Central gas hot water system.
All new homes in Queensland must have a
tempering valve installed, to limit the temperature
of water reaching bathroom taps. Renovators should
consider installing a tempering valve. A tempering
valve is different from a thermostatic mixer.
$$$ Incentives for installing solar or heat
pump systems
If you install a new solar or heat pump system to
replace an electric one, or you install a solar or heat
pump system in a new home, you’ll be eligible to
receive incentives of typically $1200 or more.
Each solar or heat pump system is eligible for a
certain number of Renewable Energy Certificates
(RECs), that you can either keep or sell to your retailer.
The RECs scheme was developed by the Federal
Government to encourage reduced greenhouse
gas emissions from the use of electricity. For more
information visit www.orer.gov.au.
Incentives are only available when buying a new
solar or heat pump system or replacing an electric
hot water system. Incentives are not available when
replacing a gas hot water system, however this is
under review.
Contact your hot water appliance retailer for
further details.
of points
The unit has its own individual hot
water system that is one of the
of points
Solar system with gas booster with a
minimum of 24 Renewable Energy
Solar system with electric booster with
a minimum of 24 Renewable Energy
5 star rated gas (continuous flow or
storage) system.
Electric heat pump system.
Standard gas continuous flow system.
Standard gas storage system (does
not score points as it is the minimum
standard for greenhouse-efficiency).
Write the make and model of the hot water system here:
Total points on this page (add up circled points).
Part 1
1.2 Water conservation elements
The average Queensland household uses about seven domestic swimming pools of water each year (about 340 kilolitres).
Using less water in and around the home will help conserve our precious water supply for the future.
The urban water cycle
The water is collected at a reservoir (eg. Wivenhoe Dam),
treated at a water treatment plant, and pumped to your
home through a vast network of pipes.
At your home the water may be heated (for showers),
and mechanically moved around by appliances (eg.
in washing machines, dishwashers or swimming pool
pumps) before use.
The water will then either end up in the stormwater
system (where it may impact on the quality of our
waterways) or go down the plug into the sewerage
From there, it is pumped to a treatment plant and
treated as sewage.
All this water movement and treatment uses large
amounts of energy and infrastructure – every litre saved
is saving energy and greenhouse gases.
Water fixtures and water-using appliances are usually
rated from A to AAAAA using the National Water
Conservation Rating System. The higher the ‘A’ rating,
the greater the water savings.
A new mandatory star rating scheme has recently been
introduced by the Federal Government, and will start to
appear on appliances in late 2005. The Water Efficiency
Labelling and Standards Scheme (WELS) will require
water efficiency labels on all water-using appliances,
making it even easier for you to select the right
appliance for your needs.
If you are buying a new unit, check if it has water saving
features that will save you money in the long term.
AAA-rated showers can save up to 15,000 litres of water
every year. They also reduce the amount of hot water you
use, saving on energy and saving you about $90 per year.
Note: AAA-rated showers may not be compatible
with continuous flow gas hot water systems, so if
you have one it is recommended that you install
a AA shower instead.
Visit your plumbing outlet to get more information on the latest water-efficient showers.
There are various other devices that can help your household conserve water.
AAAA-rated toilets have a 4.5/3 litre dual flush
cistern. Compared with an 11 litre single flush
toilet this will save up to 35,000 litres of water
a year in the average home.
AAAA-rated toilet image courtesy of
Caroma Industries Pty Ltd
Smart meters provide
occupants with details of
their current and historical
Smart meter for water use. They are most effective when
water, image
the read-out panel is located where your
courtesy of
household can conveniently see it eg. in
Australia Pty. Ltd. the kitchen or hallway.
Thermostatic mixers mix the hot and cold water before
it reaches the shower. The water is set at a constant
temperature and reduces the amount of water wasted
during temperature adjustment.
Water pressure limiting devices are designed to reduce
the pressure of water through taps by reducing the
pressure in the pipes. These include:
• pressure reduction valves (PRV)
• pressure limiting valves (PLV)
• pressure ratio valves.
Water flow reduction devices are designed to reduce
the flow of water through the taps without altering the
pressure. These include:
• aerators
• flow restrictors
• AAA-rated showers
• basin flow regulators.
There are many flow reduction devices and pressure
limiting devices on the market. Certain devices may not
be suitable for your unit. Seek advice from your plumber
as to which devices would best suit your situation.
Sustainable renovating
Install AAA showers to instantly reduce
your shower’s water and energy use by
more than 50%.
Water pressure can vary significantly in high-rise
buildings. Excessively high water pressure can
waste water and cost you money. High water
pressure can cause water hammer, or shock
waves in the plumbing system. As well as being
a noise nuisance, water hammer can rupture and
loosen pipework, causing thousands of dollars in
damage, destroying pressure valves in appliances
such as hot water systems, washing machines and
Consult your plumber to find out how to
eliminate water hammer in your unit.
Modern dual flush (6/3 litre) toilets are able to
be correctly used with specially designed pans
(toilet bowls) only.
When replacing your toilet cistern with a dual flush
(6/3 litre) cistern, ensure that the pan matches.
For more information about water saving fixtures,
contact Council on 3403 8888 and ask for Brisbane
Water’s Watersense booklet. Brisbane Water’s Blue
Van sells half-price water-efficient devices. Contact
Council on 3403 8888 for more information.
Total points on this page (add up circled points).
Sustainable Home Checklist
of points
The unit has the following
water saving features.
Water pressure is limited to 3.5 bar (350
kPa) or less, through system design or
water pressure limiting devices.
The unit is eligible for one point if it has:
• toilets with dual flush (6/3 litre) or
AAA-rating or greater, and
• all kitchen, laundry and bathroom
sink and basin taps or mixers have a
certified AAA-rating or greater.
The home is eligible for an additional
point if the toilets are AAAA-rated.
A smart meter for water with read-out
display is in a conspicuous location inside
the unit, such as the kitchen or hallway.
All showers in the unit have
thermostatic mixers.
All showers in the unit are AAA-rated
(does not score points as it is the
minimum standard for water and
Part 1
1.3 Rainwater tank
Rainwater tanks are a smart way of managing the urban
water cycle and can reduce mains water use by up to 60%.
Rainwater tanks can be used for:
garden and outdoor use (such as topping up the
swimming pool or pond)
toilet flushing
laundry use
the hot water system.
Rainwater tanks will:
reduce demand on the city’s mains water
supplies and network infrastructure
defer the need for new dams
reduce the size of the water distribution
pipes and the energy needed to
operate supply
reduce stormwater run-off that can
cause local erosion and flooding
improve water quality in local
waterways, the river and the bay.
For further information on rainwater
tanks call Council on 3403 8888.
Sustainable Home Checklist
The multi-unit building or the
individual unit has a Councilapproved rainwater tank with a
first flush device and mesh strainer
connected to outdoor use. The tank
has a capacity of:
of points
3000 litres or more per unit
1500 litres to 3000 litres per unit
1000 litres to 1500 litres per unit
500 litres to 1000 litres per unit
The tank is plumbed with Council
approval to toilet cisterns and laundry
for all units.
Total points on this page (add up circled points).
Part 2
Before you buy…
Buying a unit is a big commitment and requires a lot of thought. Your choices about where you buy and what you
buy will impact on your wallet, your family and the environment. When buying your unit, you should:
Choose a good location
A conveniently located unit will save on car travel costs
and therefore cause less air pollution. When choosing
a unit consider:
is the unit close to where your family can walk,
cycle or catch public transport to and from school
and work?
if you cycle, check that the building has a secure
bike storage area.
If you are renovating, choose the right
building materials
Building materials are the result of activities such as
mining, logging, manufacture and transportation – all
of these activities use energy and release pollution.
When purchasing materials for renovating, check:
Information on sustainable building materials can be
found at the RMIT’s www.ecospecifier.org and in the
Federal Government’s Your Home Technical Guide
(available as a booklet or online at
Have you used recycled materials and avoided
old-growth timber where possible?
Have you avoided materials treated with hazardous
substances such as benzene or arsenic?
Have you avoided products (paints, MDF,
particleboard, adhesives, and carpets) that release
high levels of toxic gases such as Volatile Organic
Compounds (VOCs), ie. used low-VOC or zeroVOC products? Many products now indicate on
their labels that they are low-VOC.
have you specified resource-efficient materials with
less environmental impact?
2.1 House Energy Rating (HER)
The Building Code of Australia sets minimum energy
efficiency requirements for new multi-unit buildings and
major unit renovations.
In Queensland, a House Energy Rating (HER) can be determined
using the Nationwide House Energy Rating Software (NatHERS)
or the Building Energy Rating Scheme (BERS) software. These
programs calculate the energy efficiency performance of
individual units and generate a star rating (0 – 5). The more
stars, the more energy-efficient the unit.
If you are buying a new unit it is recommended that you
check its energy rating. The higher the energy rating the
more comfortable your unit will be to live in.
If you are undertaking a significant renovation of your
unit it is recommended that you or your builder engage
an accredited HER assessor at the design stage. This will
give you an opportunity to assess how energy-efficient
your current design is and look at options to improve your
unit’s performance further before the design is finalised.
Sustainable Home Checklist
The unit has a certificate
indicating that.
Number of
points (circle
one only)
The unit achieves a 5 star or better
House Energy Rating
The unit achieves a 4.5 star
House Energy Rating
The unit achieves a 4 star
House Energy Rating
The CSIRO-developed AccuRate software will soon
replace NatHERS, the software that underpins the
Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme. AccuRate
provides a much more comprehensive tool for rating the
efficiency of building envelopes.
Total points on this page (add up circled points).
Part 2
2.2 Energy-efficient and
subtropical home design
Windows can let in too much heat in summer and also
allow significant heat loss in winter. There are various
options for improving insulation properties
of windows.
Living in a unit designed to be energy-efficient will
help you live more comfortably and save money. A
well-designed unit takes advantage of the sun’s free
warmth and light, with simple design features to keep
it warm and comfortable in winter, and cool in summer.
External shade fixtures stop heat transfer through
windows. These may be adjustable so occupants have
more control over their indoor climate.
Internal shade fixtures such as blinds or curtains can
influence heat loss or gain.
Special glass types and window film treatments allow
light to pass through the window but minimise the heat
transfer. This provides a good solution for units where
external shading structures may not be permitted.
Double-glazed windows (windows made with two
sheets of glass with an air space between them) are
a more expensive option for insulation, however they
offer the best insulation properties.
Choosing your unit
Choosing your unit is an important decision. Issues to
consider include:
will the unit get the morning or afternoon sun?
will the unit capture the prevailing breezes in the area?
will the unit be overshadowed by adjacent buildings?
Orientation and layout
The most important aspect of energy-efficient design is
the orientation of the unit. The unit should be orientated
to optimise direct sunlight and daylight to the living areas.
North-facing units generally have the ideal aspect for
optimum energy efficiency and sunlight.
Double-glazed windows have excellent noise
reduction properties. Closed double-glazed windows
may improve the livability of any rooms that are
exposed to excessive outdoor noise.
Does the layout of the unit:
maximise comfort for daytime activities and sleeping?
provide for indoor and outdoor living with a shaded
and sheltered outdoor space (ie. patio / verandah)
directly accessible from the main living area?
For more information on home orientation and passive
energy-efficient design, contact the Queensland
Environmental Protection Agency on 1300 369 388
or read the Energy Efficient Home Design brochure
available online at www.epa.qld.gov.au.
The energy-efficiency of windows is rated using the
Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS). Under this
scheme, the window’s cooling and heating performance
is rated separately on a scale of 0 to 5 stars – the more
stars, the better. For more information on energy-efficient
windows, visit www.wers.org.
Ceiling, floor and wall insulation can improve your unit’s
energy efficiency. Insulation helps to:
Windows and shading
In high-rise multi-unit buildings, the treatment of
window glazing is most important. Many factors
contribute to heat transfer through windows including:
increase comfort levels by keeping your home warmer
in winter and cooler in summer
reduce the amount of energy required to heat and
cool your home, which saves you money on your
heating and cooling bills and reduces the home’s
greenhouse gas emissions.
the location of the building (which affects climate
and sun angles)
the total area of glazing
the types of glass and window frames used (which
determine how they conduct heat and transmit
solar radiation)
the degree of exposure to the sun (which depends
on the directions the glazing faces and the extent
of any shading).
When renovating, shop around and source quotes from
reputable suppliers before making a decision regarding
When choosing insulation, consider using a product
that has noise reduction properties. This will help
to block out traffic noise, neighbourhood noise and
noise transmission between rooms and adjacent units.
Good unit design ensures breezes can flow through your
unit. This is an important way of keeping your unit cool in
summer. When purchasing a unit, check:
can the windows open, and are there short direct
paths between windows to improve cross-ventilation?
are there adequately sized windows on both sides of
the unit so that the major openings face the breeze
and openings on the opposite side of the unit draw
the breeze through and out?
does the internal layout of the unit block
breeze paths?
Heating and cooling
High ceilings provide for improved ventilation and the
safe use of ceiling fans. Fans are a more energy-efficient
form of cooling than air conditioners - the average air
conditioner uses more energy than 12 ceiling fans.
Before installing a new air conditioner in your unit,
is there an opportunity to ventilate the unit using
breezeways above doors and in door panels?
is the unit fitted with ceiling fans?
Brisbane has a reputation as a subtropical city, but
heating can be an important consideration during
colder months.
Inefficient heaters can use a great deal of energy
without providing the required level of comfort.
To choose the most energy-efficient appliances for
your unit, visit www.energyrating.gov.au. See page 19
for more information.
For more information on air conditioner noise
legislation, and tips on purchasing and installing
air conditioners, call Council on 3403 8888 and
ask to be sent the Guide to Purchasing and
Installing an Air Conditioner.
If your unit has its own air conditioning system:
is it an energy-efficient model such as a reverse-cycle
inverter system that can be used for winter heating?
is the air conditioning system located away from
neighbouring homes to avoid causing a noise nuisance?
is the thermostat set to ideal summer thermostat
temperatures of between 25°C and 27°C and winter
thermostat temperatures of 18°C to 20°C? For
each extra degree of heating or cooling, energy
consumption increases by about 5% to 10%.
Part 2
Subtropical design
The multi-unit building should be designed with features
for healthy living in a subtropical climate. A building with
good subtropical design:
responds and contributes to the enjoyment of
surrounding buildings and spaces
suits the regional climate
expresses sustainable subtropical design elements
(eg. energy, water and waste minimisation) in the
building form and detailing
integrates the site, building and landscape with its
has visible entries to the building including awnings,
active frontages and pedestrian amenities
provides landscaping beyond ground level using
a subtropical planting palette
functions effectively
has a contemporary look.
Sustainable Home Checklist
The unit has the following features.
of points
High ceilings (minimum 2700 mm) in
all living areas, kitchen and bedrooms.
High ceilings and ceiling fans in the
main living areas and bedrooms
(Do not circle this point if the ceilings
are below 2700 mm).
Total points on this page (add up circled points).
2.3 Universal home design
Universal design is a significant feature of sustainable
homes. It requires planning at the design stage to ensure
the home is safe, secure and adaptable to the varying
needs of families and people of all ages and abilities.
has features that communicate necessary information
effectively to the user, regardless of ambient
conditions or the user’s sensory abilities
(eg. easy to read unit numbers)
Universal design is not about any one type of unit or
house, and is not about adding on accessibility features
like ramps and rails. A universally designed unit or multiunit building should not be aesthetically distinguishable
from others, and in fact should convey a sense of comfort,
ease and simplicity.
helps occupants to minimise hazards and avoid
accidents (eg. non slip-flooring)
can be used efficiently and comfortably and with
a minimum of fatigue (eg. lever door handles)
is designed so that appropriate size and space is
provided for approach, reach, manipulation and use
regardless of user’s body size, posture or mobility
(eg. spacious kitchen).
Universal design is aimed at making homes functional so
the home works for you, your family and visitors now and
in the future. Flexible, user-friendly units meet the needs
of more people.
Injuries at home
Universally designed units are more desirable to
a larger number of potential home buyers, and so
will attract more market interest and have a better
resale value.
A unit built with universal design principles:
is useful and marketable to people with diverse
abilities, without stigmatising people (eg. level entries)
accommodates a wide range of individual preferences
and abilities (eg. adjustable bench heights)
has features that are easy to understand, regardless of
the user’s experience, knowledge and language skills
(eg. simple hot and cold tap symbols)
Over 40% of injuries occur in the home. In particular,
young children and elderly people are the most at
risk of injury at home. Slips, trips and falls account for
the majority of home injuries, and can have significant
emotional and financial costs. Designing your home
to minimise the risk of injury and death will have
direct positive benefits for you, your family and
the community.
Accessible path
Making sure your unit is accessible will allow you
to accommodate many different visitors and family
members, including any that have limited mobility
(for example the elderly, pregnant women, parents
with prams, people with disabilities and people
recovering from an accident or illness).
An accessible path has:
a maximum gradient change of 1:8 over short
distances (less than 1.5 m), eg. over a 0.8 metre
distance, the ground level should not change by
more than about 10 cm
a maximum gradient change of 1:14 over longer
distances, eg. over a 14 metre distance, the
ground level should not change by more than
1 metre
level entry thresholds (minimum of 10 mm change
in level)
passageways at least 1200 mm wide
doors at least 870 mm wide
a lift of minimum dimensions 1.1 m wide and
1.4 m deep provided where necessary.
Part 2
Sustainable renovating
Major structural renovations provide an invaluable
opportunity to incorporate universal design features
such as wider halls and accessible bathrooms into
your unit.
Has universal design been considered in the
design of any renovations?
When renovating, check:
Are all wet floor areas covered with non-slip
Have you installed a lockable, child-proof cabinet
for hazardous substances to reduce the risk of
poisoning incidents?
Universal design features relating to specific
locations in the home are discussed in
Parts 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Sustainable Home Checklist
The unit has the following features.
Number of
points (circle)
At least one room that can be
reached along an accessible path
from the street or car parking, that is
suitable for use as a bedroom for a
person with limited mobility, ie. with
minimum dimension of 3.6 m by
3.6 m, excluding the wardrobe.
Flooring in all wet areas is
Lockable child-proof cabinet
mounted at least 1500 mm above
floor level for the safe storage of
poisons and medicine.
For further information about universal design,
call the Queensland Government’s Smart Housing
section on 1300 880 882 for a copy of the Universal
Housing Design booklet, also available online at
www.smarthousing.qld.gov.au. Welcome – Design
Ideas for Accessible Homes is a comprehensive
guide on universal design available for purchase
from the Victorian Building Commission at
Total points on this page (add up circled points).
Part 3
3.1 Window, door and walkway design
Windows, doors and walkways should incorporate universal design features as outlined in Part 2.3.
To provide equitable use and avoid the risk of tripping and falling accidents, units should have level entries and wide
doors and hallways. These provide ease of access and also give a higher level of comfort to all users.
Door catches on swing doors will reduce the risk of
accidents when carrying objects through the home,
and reduce the risk of doors slamming shut in breezes.
For simplicity, and also for safety in the event of an
emergency, the same key should open all window locks
in the unit.
Insect screens are a
safety feature designed
to reduce the spread of
insect-borne diseases and
allergens. They minimise
the need for chemical
pest control in the home.
Security features such as
safety glass and grilles
on windows and doors
are designed to reduce
crime and improve residents’ sense of security. Grilles on
windows have the added benefit of minimising the risk of
children falling through windows.
Note: security features including installation of a
peephole, view hatch or glass panels in a door may not be
allowed where fire-rated doors are required.
Lever door handles, push plates or pull handles improve
accessibility and are generally easier to use for people
carrying objects and people with wet hands or limited
strength (such as children and the elderly). Round knobs
are not recommended.
Sustainable renovating
When renovating your unit, check:
have you installed door catches on internal swing doors?
are all window locks keyed alike?
are all windows and doors protected with insect screens and security grilles?
are all door handles either lever door handles, push plates or pull handles?
Part 3
Sustainable Home Checklist
of points
The unit has the following features.
All entries from public spaces into the unit are level (maximum of 10 mm in change of level).
In addition to all entries being level (as above), all entries can be reached along an accessible path as
described in Part 2.2 (Do not circle this point if all entries are not level).
Entry thresholds to all rooms within the unit are level.
All doors are a minimum 870 mm wide and door handles and hardware are between 900 mm and
1100 mm above the finished floor level.
No hallway is narrower than 1200 mm.
The front path leading into the building entry / foyer has all the following features:
• wide (minimum 1200 mm)
• level (maximum cross fall of 1:40)
• gently ramped (maximum slope 1:14 along the path of travel)
• no steps from the driveway or street footpath.
All internal swing doors have door catches to secure them in open position.
All internal doors of the unit have lever door handles, push plates or pull handles.
All entry doors including the front door to the building and individual units have lever door handles,
push plates, pull handles or automatic operation.
A window, no higher than 600 mm from the floor (measured from the sill), is in each bedroom to allow
people to look outside when lying on a bed.
All windows and external doors of the unit are fitted with insect screens.
External doors are fitted with security screen doors.
Windows that are easily reached without a ladder are fitted with security grilles, and all other windows
have features to prevent a small child from falling through.
Windows are fitted with key-operated window locks that are keyed alike.
External timber doors to the unit and any attached garage are made of solid core construction, are
fitted with a double cylinder deadlock and are keyed alike.
Glass panels located within 1 metre of the front door of the unit, including glass panels within the door,
are Grade A safety glass or strengthened using security film.
The front door of the unit is fitted with a peephole, view hatch, laminated glass or Grade A safety glass
panels that provide 180 degree field of vision.
An audio/video intercom is provided at the street entry to each unit with remote door/gate release.
Total points on this page (add up circled points).
of points
Part 4
4.1 Kitchen design
When purchasing a unit, remember that you, your family
and friends will spend a great deal of time cooking,
eating, cleaning and generally socialising in the kitchen.
It is usually a busy and activity-filled hub in the home, so
good kitchen design is important.
Sustainable kitchens are safe and comfortable, accessible
and environmentally friendly. They make preparing for
meals and cleaning up afterwards easier.
Allowing clear space in front of benches, storage and
appliances is a universal design feature that improves
accessibility and kitchen safety. The clear space, or
approach clearance, must be 1550 mm when measured in
a straight line perpendicular to each bench, storage unit
or appliance (see Figure 1 on page 20).
To minimise accidents, kitchens should be located so they
are not used as a through-way to other rooms in the unit.
Providing built-in space for separate waste bins
encourages waste minimisation by making recycling and
composting easier. Where appropriate, the kitchen should
have under bench space for three waste bins, ie. for
general waste, organic scraps and recyclables (like paper,
cardboard, glass and plastic products, and aluminium and
steel cans). The waste bin space should be enclosed to
prevent access for pests and to minimise odours.
For more information about composting and mulching,
call the Call Centre on 3403 8888
Insinkerators are not encouraged, because they add massive
amounts of organic material to the sewerage system, as well
as extra water – this then has to be processed by treatment
plants before release into our waterways.
Installing the oven off the floor allows for equitable use,
minimises accident risk and decreases the physical effort
required for removing hot items from the oven. An oven
is off the floor if the middle of the oven door is not lower
than bench height.
Other universal design features for the kitchen include
the following.
Buying appliances
Appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, washing
machines, clothes dryers and air conditioners are
given an energy efficiency star rating on a scale
of 1 to 6 (the more stars, the more energy-efficient
the appliance). To choose the most energyefficient appliances for your home, visit the Federal
Government’s website www.energyrating.gov.au
We have to live with our appliance decisions for
10 years or more. Sometimes the real costs of
appliances are hidden. These costs can include:
the electricity needed to run them
the water they use
damage they may cause (eg. a washing machine’s
effects on your clothes or a refrigerator’s ability
to keep your food from spoiling)
repairs and maintenance needed
how long they will last before they need to
be replaced.
There are some straight-forward steps to follow that
will help you make the right appliance decisions.
1. Try to avoid rushing into a decision.
2. Consider carefully how much you really need
an appliance.
3. Determine the size and features you need. What
capacity does your appliance require (eg. can
you get away with a smaller fridge)?
4. Visit www.energyrating.gov.au for information on
all appliances currently available on the market.
Pick out a short-list of the most efficient models
and write down their 10-year running costs.
5. Visit a few retailers and look at the models you
have pre-selected.
6. Add the prices of your short-listed models to the
10-year running cost.
Split-level or adjustable bench heights, pull-out
benches and counters with optional under-bench
seating space to provide equitable work space options
for everyone.
7. Compare the prices, suitability and quality of
appliances and choose the one that is the best
across the board. It may be worth spending
a bit more up-front to save throughout the
appliance’s life.
Hot and cold water taps with easy to understand
symbols, and appliances with easy to understand
displays and markers.
Important: install and operate the appliance
according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Benches with rounded edges to minimise risk of injury.
Part 4
Smore thaEnY KITCHEN
Sustainable renovating
When renovating your kitchen, remember that design and
layout of the kitchen is a more important decision than
the type of benchtop and kitchen colour scheme.
If renovating your kitchen, have you shopped
around to ensure you are purchasing the most
energy-efficient and cost-efficient appliances for
your needs?
Is your fridge located in a cool spot away from the
stove and direct sunlight, and well spaced from
the wall? Your fridge needs ventilation around it to
enable it to cool efficiently.
Have you included enough under-bench space
for waste bins for general waste, recyclables and
organic scraps?
A dishwasher can be more energy and waterefficient than hand washing, but only when used
Energy efficiency
It is important to incorporate energy-efficient design
features and appliances in your home to reduce the
amount of energy you use.
Throughout this checklist there are many tips
on how to reduce your family’s energy use. Energy
efficiency fact sheets are available at Brisbane
City Council’s virtual Green Home website – visit
www.brisbane.qld.gov.au and search for ‘green home’.
properly (eg. only when filled to capacity). When
choosing a dishwasher, do your research and select
an energy and water-efficient one – depending on
the model, a dishwasher will use anything from 15 to
50 litres of water per load.
Is the dishwasher an energy and water-efficient one?
Most of a dishwasher’s energy use is for heating
water. Dishwashers can be hooked up to hot water,
cold water, or both. The most energy-efficient option
will greatly depend on the type of hot water system
you have. Consult your local appliance supplier or
www.energyrating.gov.au for more information.
Does the kitchen have a double sink?
Double-bowl kitchen sinks encourage rinsing the
dishes in the second sink, rather than under a
running tap.
Sustainable Home Checklist
The unit has the following features.
of points
Built-in space for separate bins for general
waste, organic scraps and recyclables.
The main kitchen has a minimum clear
space of 1550 mm distance in front of all
benches, storage and fixed appliances and
has minimum features and dimensions as
shown in Figure 1.
The main kitchen does not double as a
passageway or through-way to access
other rooms in the unit, to avoid the
likelihood of dangerous collisions.
The unit is eligible for one point if it has:
1. a stove top located away from
cupboard ends, drawers, doors and
windows, with adequate space to turn
pot handles away from the front, and
Figure 1
Kitchen design and fitout (sourced from the
Smart Housing Kitchens fact sheet) Image
courtesy of the Department of Housing.
Total points on this page (add up circled points).
2. the oven is located off the floor for
ease of access and is adjacent to
bench space so hot items do not
need to be carried long distances.
of points
4.2 Cooking appliances
Gas cooking appliances are more energy-efficient than electric appliances.
Gas appliances should be flued with a venting passage to the outside air to avoid the potential health effects of indoor
air pollution. Non-flued or incorrectly flued appliances and range hoods that recirculate air may cause health impacts and
may pose a fire risk.
Sustainable renovating
Electric stoves and cook tops use more energy than gas appliances.
Have you considered installing a gas stove for lower greenhouse gas emissions and better heat control
when cooking?
If you have an electric oven, is it a fan-forced oven?
A conventional oven can waste up to 90% of the energy it uses. Fan-forced ovens are about 30% more
efficient than conventional models.
Does the kitchen have a microwave oven installed to save cooking energy?
Microwave ovens use 55% less energy than ordinary ovens when heating food.
Sustainable Home Checklist
of points
The unit has the
following appliances.
Gas oven that is flued to outside
the building.
Gas cook top with a range hood flued to
the outside of the building.
Write the make and model of the cooking appliances here:
Gas cooktop with non-recirculating range hood that is flued to
the outside. Image courtesy of Wood Enterprises (Aust) Pty Ltd.
Energy efficiency
There are also many other energy efficiency resources available, including the Federal Government’s Global
Warming – Cool It (available as a booklet or online at www.greenhouse.gov.au) and the Your Home Technical Guide
(available as a booklet or online at www.yourhome.gov.au).
Contact your retailer for further details.
Total points on this page (add up circled points).
of points
Part 5
5.1 Bathroom design
In addition to installing the water-saving features described
in page 8, bathrooms should be designed according to the
universal design principles described on page 15, to allow
comfortable and safe use by all members of the family.
Bathrooms are a site for many home injuries, including
slips, falls and scalds. In addition to non-slip flooring and
accessibility features, bathrooms should also incorporate
universal design features such as:
hot and cold water taps with easy to understand
semi-recessed basins and under bench spaces that
allow people to sit at the sink or benches.
Hobless or step-free shower cubicles do not have a rim or
step on the floor, and have a level entry. Step-free showers
not only prevent tripping and falling risks – they are also
easier to clean, and can be cheaper to install.
Sustainable renovating
When renovating your bathroom or replacing any
fixtures and fittings, you should:
install a semi-recessed basin that allows people
to sit at the sink and bench, and takes up less
space in the bathroom
install a hobless shower
install a dual-flush toilet or a more efficient
AAAA-rated toilet.
A semi-recessed basin
extends beyond the vanity
unit and is accessible for
people who are seated
or using a mobility aid.
It also allows easy reach
for children to wash their
hands. Image courtesy of
Caroma Industries Pty Ltd.
Sustainable Home Checklist
The unit has the following features.
Figure 2
An accessible shower (sourced from the Smart
Housing Bathrooms fact sheet). Image courtesy
of the Department of Housing.
A bathroom with the following features:
• can be reached along an accessible
path (as described in Part 2.2) from
the street or car parking, and
• has a basin that is semi-recessed, wall
hung or pedestal style, and
• has a hobless (step-free) shower with
minimum features and dimensions
as shown in Figure 2.
A toilet and basin with the following features:
• the basin is semi-recessed, wall hung
or pedestal style, and
• the toilet and basin can be reached
along an accessible path (as
described in Part 2.2) from the street
or car parking, and
• The toilet has minimum features and
dimensions as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3
An accessible toilet (sourced from the Smart
Housing Bathrooms fact sheet). Image courtesy
of the Department of Housing.
Total points on this page (add up circled points).
All fittings (eg. soap holders, towel rails) in
the bathrooms are capable of supporting
a person’s body weight (minimum 112 kg).
of points
of points
Part 6
6.1 Lighting
The most energy-efficient light is natural light, however
efficient lamps and lighting control systems can reduce
lighting energy use by up to 80% in the average home.
Household lights vary in their expected life span and
energy usage – today’s energy-efficient lights will last
longer and cost less in the long term.
Standard incandescent lights are the most commonly
used lights but are the most inefficient and expensive
to run. Consider replacing these lights with compact
fluorescent lights in rooms where lighting is required for
long periods of time, such as the living room or kitchen.
Low voltage halogen lights are not energy-efficient
lights. They use only slightly less energy than standard
incandescent bulbs, and in fact when used in downlight
fittings you require more lamps to light an area, which
means using significantly more energy.
Fluorescent tube fittings, circular fluorescent, or
compact fluorescent light fittings are the most energyefficient. Although more expensive to buy they are much
cheaper to run and can last up to ten times longer than
conventional incandescent bulbs.
Fluorescent lights
New fluorescent lights come in a range of styles,
not just the older style tubes. Modern designs have
removed the annoying flickering and humming that
has been traditionally associated with fluorescent
lights. The latest styles can also feature a full natural
light spectrum that provides a gentle and more
pleasant light effect than standard incandescent bulbs.
Sensor lights are useful in protecting homes from crime
and providing safe entry for occupants at night. Sensor
lights should have an override on/off switch so they can be
turned off as needed.
In addition to energy efficiency, lighting should incorporate
universal design features such as large rocker light
switches, which are easy to understand and simple to use.
Multi-unit buildings can have many common areas. Having
lights turned on in these areas twenty-four hours a day is
unnecessary and costly. Automatic timers allow you to turn
the lights on for a set length of time, and will save energy
and money. Automatic timers should be easy to use.
Rocker light switches are easier to operate
than traditional switches.
Image courtesy of Clipsal Australia Pty Ltd.
Sustainable Home Checklist
The unit has the following features.
Fluorescent lighting in the kitchen
and laundry.
Fluorescent lighting in at least one main
living area.
Large rocker type light switches are
used throughout the unit.
Sustainable renovating
When renovating, consider:
replacing your existing light bulbs in areas of the
unit where lighting is required for long periods of
time, such as the kitchen, laundry, and main living
areas. Incandescent bulbs can be replaced with
energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
Total points on this page (add up circled points).
of points
A compact fluorescent sensor light is
positioned to illuminate each entry to the
multi-unit building and to each unit.
The multi-unit building has the
following features.
All common area lighting in the multiunit building is fluorescent lighting with
automatic controllers/sensors fitted.
of points
Part 6
6.2 Electrical outlets and controls
Smart meters provide occupants with details
of energy use and associated greenhouse gas
The meter should be located in a place where
people can conveniently see the read-out panel
inside the unit, eg. the kitchen or hallway.
A smart meter
displaying energy use.
Image courtesy of
Clipsal Australia Pty
Padlocking the mains power meter box (by
arrangement with your electricity supplier)
is a security feature and protects against
To minimise physical effort when changing
power plugs, power points should be located
off the floor and away from corners.
Sustainable renovating
Safety switches monitor electrical current and can
disconnect the power instantly if necessary. They
are designed to protect you and your family from
electrocution. It is recommended that all homes be
fitted with these important life-saving devices.
Has a safety switch been installed in the unit?
Sustainable Home Checklist
The unit has the following features.
All power points are located in accessible
positions, placed up from the floor
(minimum 600 mm) and out from the
corner (minimum 500 mm).
Smart meter with display in a
conspicuous location inside the house.
If the mains power switches are located
in an external meter box, the meter box
is padlocked (by arrangement with your
electricity supplier).
Total points on this page (add up circled points).
of points
of points
Part 7
7.1 Renewable electricity generation
Renewable electricity generation systems produce
electricity from renewable sources including the sun, water
(hydro-electricity) and wind. They are an important feature
for environmental sustainability.
Solar (or photovoltaic) electricity generation systems
are usually the most appropriate for buildings in urban
areas. In most circumstances, wind and hydro-electricity
generation systems are not suitable.
Solar electricity systems are different from solar hot water
systems – solar electricity systems can provide electricity for
the entire building, whereas solar hot water systems have
panels that only capture heat from the sun to heat water.
Renewable electricity generation systems can be
expensive to install, however incentives are available to
reduce these costs. The major benefit of these systems is
that they produce electricity with little or no greenhouse
gas emissions. In addition, your energy bills will be very
low for the life of the system.
The Queensland Environmental Protection Agency
operates the free Energy Advisory Service, which can
provide impartial advice on energy efficiency, renewable
energy and incentives. Contact 1300 369 388 for more
Sustainable Home Checklist
The multi-unit building has renewable
electricity generation installed that is
connected to the electricity grid, with
a capacity of:
of points
1.0 kilowatt or greater per unit.
Between 800 watts and 1.0 kilowatt
per unit.
Between 600 watts and 800 watts
per unit.
Between 400 watts and 600 watts
per unit.
Between 200 watts and 400 watts
per unit.
Between 100 watts and 200 watts
per unit.
Please describe the renewable
electricity generation system.
Total points on this page (add up circled points).
of points
Part 8
8.1 Outdoor and common
area design and features
Outdoor areas should be designed with regard to
universal design principles described on page 15.
Various outdoor features of your multi-unit building and
your own individual unit will help you save money and
energy over the long term, as well as providing better
safety and security for your family.
An outdoor clothesline that is open to breezes will
encourage natural clothes drying, and use no energy
unlike automatic dryers.
Comfortable, covered outdoor areas attached to the unit
are encouraged to reduce summer temperatures, enhance
amenity and save energy.
Providing easy-to-read unit numbers on the outside of
your home will not only get your pizza delivered in a timely
manner – it will also make it much easier for emergency
services to find your unit in the unfortunate event that they
are required.
Thoughtful design of outdoor areas, and adequate
fencing, will improve children’s safety and security,
and minimise crime.
Shading outdoor areas (especially children’s play areas)
will reduce the risk of sunburn and skin cancer. Shaded
outdoor areas are essential in Queensland, as our state
has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. About half
of us will be affected by skin cancer, and it only takes one
severe burn during childhood to double the risk of skin
cancer in adult life.
Crime Prevention Through Environmental
Design (CPTED)
CPTED is based on the principle that proper design
and effective use of our surroundings can reduce the
incidence of crime and improve people’s sense of
security. The Queensland Department of Housing
has produced a Safety and Security Booklet, available
from Smart Housing on 1300 880 882 or on their
website at www.smarthousing.qld.gov.au
Sustainable Home Checklist
of points
The outdoor and common areas have the following features.
The unit is eligible for three points if:
• the multi-unit building has up to six units and communal clothes line space of at least 15 m per unit, or
• the multi-unit building has more than six units and communal clothes line space of at least 10 m per
unit, or
• the unit has private clothes line space of at least 20 m.
The unit has a private, permanently covered outdoor area (ie. patio/verandah) with stormwater
shedding with a minimum area of 10 m2.
The multi-unit building has separate common waste collection facilities (this includes waste chutes) for
collecting recyclables as well as general refuse.
The unit is eligible for one point if:
• the multi-unit building has well placed, easily read reflective street numbers painted on the kerb and
at the main entrance, and
• easily read numbers are located on each unit door, and
• the unit numbering system is logical and easy to follow.
All garden gates are self-latching and self-closing.
All driveways for the multi-unit building are separated from walkways and children’s play areas, to
reduce the risk of drive-over accidents.
Swimming pools, designated play areas and outdoor entertainment areas are at least 50% covered with
sun shade structures.
The unit is eligible for one point if:
• children’s outdoor play areas are visible from the main living area.
All community facilities including pools, barbeques, laundries, clothes drying areas and carparks can be
reached from the multi-unit building along an accessible path (as described in Part 2.2).
Total points on this page (add up circled points).
Total points on all pages (add up boxes C1 to C14)
of points
Sustainability Score=
The final score indicates how sustainable the unit is.
The higher the score the more sustainable the unit.
Did not meet Essential Criteria 1 or Essential Criteria 2
– not sustainable
Your unit uses excessive energy and water, and is
having a negative impact on your finances and the
A sustainable unit must have a greenhouse-efficient
hot water system and water-efficient showers.
17 points and below – room for improvement
Your unit is not designed for sustainability and may not
be suitable for the Queensland climate and lifestyle.
It may not meet the future needs of your family.
Your unit may be costing you more to live in due to
higher energy and water bills.
18 points to 49 points – good performance
Your unit includes a number of sustainable home
features but may need future alterations to keep up
with your changing lifestyle and improve your energy
and water use, safety and security.
You should consider sustainability principles when
making future renovations to your unit.
50 points to 90 points – very good performance
Your unit has many sustainable home features.
It is designed to keep your energy and water bills
down and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Your unit is likely to be well designed for subtropical
living and is likely to have features to ensure
accessibility, safety and security for all people living in
the home, now and in the future. However, your home
may not have a full balance of environmental, social
and economic features and may excel in one or two
areas only.
Over 90 points – excellent performance
Your unit is an outstanding example of sustainable
housing and is designed with people in mind.
It is safe, secure and adaptable to the varying needs of
families and people of all ages and abilities.
It is efficient in the use of water and energy, costing
you less to run over time and provides comfortable
living in our subtropical environment.
Use this checklist to get some ideas about
sustainability improvements for your home.
This initiative is part of Living in Brisbane 2010 – a vision for our city’s future.
For more information
Phone Council on 3403 8888 for a copy of the Green Choice Gardening Guide or visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au and search for the ‘green home’.
Refer to the Queensland Department of Housing’s Smart Housing Guide or visit www.smarthousing.qld.gov.au.
Refer to the Federal Government’s Your Home Technical Manual – phone 1300 130 606 or visit www.yourhome.gov.au.
Refer to the Australian Greenhouse Office’s Global Warming – Cool It! – phone 1300 130 606 or visit www.greenhouse.gov.au/gwci.
Contact the Energy Advisory Service on 1300 369 388 or visit www.epa.qld.gov.au.
Visit www.energyrating.gov.au for appliance energy ratings information.
Visit www.wsaa.asn.au for appliance water ratings information.
Visit the HIA Greensmart Builders site at www.greensmart.com.au for information about sustainable builders.
© Brisbane City Council May 2005
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF