Improve the quality and sustainability of architecture in Australia.

The GreenSmart Concept

Through the GreenSmart program, the HIA aims to promote the technologies, design principles and practices that can significantly improve the quality and sustainability of architecture in Australia.

GreenSmart homes will reduce home running costs, be better for the environment, give five star comfort, and value-for-money and help our environment.

The main goals are:

  • to improve the energy and water efficiency of the homes
  • to enable home-owners to waste less and recycle more
  • to reduce the waste from the building process, and
  • to improve site management during construction

Benefits of a GreenSmart home include

  • Lower energy and water bills
  • Warmer in Winter & Cooler in Summer
  • Improved soil for a beautiful garden
  • Reducing costs and helping the environment by ensuring at least half the waste from the building process has been recycled

Water in a GreenSmart Home

  • GreenSmart homes are fitted with AAA-Rated water efficient showerheads and taps. AAA-Rated showerheads save up to:
    • $1000 over 10 years in water and electricity costs
    • 250,000 litres of water and
    • 10 tonnes of greenhouse emissions
  • The AAA-Rated Dual Flush toilet in GreenSmart homes uses 3 litres for a half flush
  • A water efficient landscape design that includes native and low-water use plants and lawns ensures outdoor watering requirements are minimised
  • Through the use of rain water tanks and by improving the soil’s ability to hold water, stormwater run-off can be retained on site for later use

Water in a Conventional Home

  • A standard showerhead uses more than twice as much water as a AAA-Rated showerhead, costing more in water bills and also energy to heat hot water
  • A single flush toilet uses 12 litres for a flush
  • Gardens use 25% of all water consumed by the average Sydney home
  • High levels of stormwater run-off leads to localised flooding and silting in local creeks and rivers

Waste in a GreenSmart Home

  • More than half of the building waste from the GreenSmart homes has been recycled
  • Recycled materials and native species have been used in landscaping and construction
  • Native species reduce green waste, save water and reduce the maintenance and upkeep needed for gardens
  • Mulches and soil conditioners with a recycled component, are used in the garden, which saves resources and water
  • Compost and worm farms for food and garden waste. Compost and worm castings are great soil conditioners and fertilisers

Waste in Conventional Homes

  • 100% of construction waste is generally sent to land-fill
  • Construction & Demolition waste composes 25% of land-fill waste in Australia
  • Conventional homes typically use few recycled materials
  • Gardens without mulches have a much higher demand for water
  • Manufactured fertilisers and soil conditioners are expensive and can negatively impact on stormwater quality

Energy in a GreenSmart Home

  • Each GreenSmart home is 5 star energy efficiency rated by NatHERS. This is the highest possible rating and requires that that homes use the best orientation, insulation, thermal mass, ventilation and shading, for maximum comfort and energy efficiency. 5 star rated homes can save hundreds of dollars a year on energy bills.
  • The GreenSmart homes are fitted either with a AAA Rated Gas hot water system or a solar hot water system. A gas system can save you up to $650 over 10 years, and save greenhouse gas emissions of around 6.5 tonnes.
  • A solar hot water system will save up to $2500 and 25 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years.
  • EnergySmart compact fluorescent light bulbs are used throughout GreenSmart homes and should save around $50 in energy bills for each bulb, and around half a tonne of greenhouse gas emissions a year.
  • GreenSmart homes use energy smart high efficiency to star rated white goods. Each top star rated appliance can save hundreds of dollars.

Energy in a Conventional Home

  • Many now require a minimum of 3.5 stars NatHERS rating before they grant development approval. The higher the NatHERS rating, the lower the energy bill and the more comfortable the home should be.
  • A conventional electric hot water system is responsible for up to half the household energy bill per year.
  • Most homes use standard incandescent bulbs, which have a much shorter lifespan and are much more energy hungry.
  • Whitegoods with lower energy star ratings use more electricity and are responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions. They also cost more to run.