Apartments are popping up all over the country and have become a popular living choice for many singles, couples and families.
For those factoring sustainability into their living choices, apartment buildings can offer great potential.
Seeking green living
Apartments are, more often than not, well supported by transport and offer greater walkability to surrounding services and amenities. Apartment construction is also efficient, as the total building material used per dwelling is considerably less than to build a detached home.
However beyond these peripheral qualities, what are the factors to consider when purchasing an apartment? And what are the ultimate benefits to buyers seeking out ‘green’ credentials in their apartment purchase?
In an apartment market often driven by off-the-plan purchasing, what guarantees are in place as to the performance and specification of what we are buying?
Good sustainable design is often seamlessly integrated, and therein lies a key problem even for literate, committed buyers. Key elements that contribute overall building performance may not always be obvious.
What to look for in sustainable design
To avoid ‘green wash’ and be able to drill down to key sustainable design aspects, a good start is to focus on the basics – energy use, water, building materials and indoor environment, and waste systems.
What is it worth?
While some of these aspects might seem onerous to assess, significantly lower energy costs can be realised and the long-term benefits can be substantial.
Personal health and wellbeing should be another driver – what value can be placed on having an emission-free internal environment?
What value can be put on having access to plentiful natural light, outlook and ventilation, in terms of quality of life and enjoyment of the home? In some ways, the benefits of considering sustainability measures are somewhat invaluable.
In financial terms, however, future-proofing the sales value of an apartment can be directly connected to its sustainability credentials.
While requiring some effort and awareness in the pre-purchase stage, an apartment with strong ‘green’ credentials will ensure these efforts deliver financial and non-financial benefits for years to come.