Passive design means zero costs for heating and cooling buildings, says Stable Properties owner

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Sustainability in property development is not only about reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions in the sector, but it’s also about reducing costs.

Digital Nation spoke to Ed Horton, owner of sustainable property developer Stable Properties about the economic benefits of passive design.

Horton says that the challenge of finding a solution to making sustainable buildings equitable was what drove the inception of the company.

“We tend to challenge the legacy ways to which our engineers and our architects would approach the built environment, whether it's residential or commercial, and what we try and do is design buildings around people and people's needs,” says Horton.

“[We] always try to empower the occupier whether it's residential or commercial with choice and flexibility as to how they manage their indoor air quality, for example, how they manage to cool and heat their premises, we always give them that passive choice.”

Passive design eliminates the need to source electricity from the grid for cooling and heating, and instead uses natural energy such as sunlight, wind, temperature differences or gravity to achieve a similar result, where effectively the cost of heating and cooling in the building is zero.

Horton says that the biggest point of difference in sustainable properties is economic.

“It's going to be cheaper to occupy our buildings in perpetuity, because we create a legacy of a low operating cost environment that's engineering and design, but also our systems,” Horton says.

“And that is very, very important when you're demonstrating to a bank and investor, particularly a purchaser, that this property is going to have an advantage over other competing properties.”

However, authorities and regulators are holding the industry back from widespread sustainabilty in property development, Horton believes. 

“We are not going to see a substantial improvement in sustainable buildings in Australia until the governments, all three levels of government recognise those improvements by reducing taxes and charges and fees.”

© Digital Nation

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