Cost factors remain the primary driving force behind the push toward sustainable buildings in commercial property in Australia, a new survey has found.
In a recent survey by Aurecon, a global engineering and technical services firm, more than 54 per cent of property industry respondents rated cost and other efficiencies as the most important sustainable feature of a building.
Marek Tomaszewski, Aurecon’s Buildings Unit Manager, Sydney, says the survey’s outcome was not unexpected.
“It isn’t surprising that cost and design efficiency were rated as most important when considering sustainability,” Tomaszewski says. “For the industry, it’s ultimately about return on investment as well as comfort and operational cost efficiencies for tenants.”
By comparison, just 25 per cent of respondents felt that sustainability ratings, such as NABERS and Green Star, were the most important features of a building. Tomaszewski cautions, however, that this is no reflection on the importance of such rating schemes in driving environmental considerations in the industry.
“I don’t think this discounts the important role that Green Star and NABERS have played in any way,” he says.
The survey was conducted at an Aurecon-sponsored lunch held by the Property Council of Australia’s NSWs division, attended by over 400 professionals from the property industry including architects, project managers, planners, engineers and the Honourable Brad Hazzard MP, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure.
Survey respondents also agreed that advice was important, with 45 per cent agreeing that the assistance they received on sustainable design enhanced their ability to achieve project objectives. More than half of all respondents – 51.2 per cent – said it was important for the engineering consultant to contribute early in the consultation so ideas could be incorporated into the overall design.