Deakin University

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Australia's push to make residential housing sustainable - Do end-users care?

journal contribution
posted on 2021-01-01, 00:00 authored by Salman Shooshtarian, M. Reza HosseiniM. Reza Hosseini, Igor MartekIgor Martek, Asheem ShresthaAsheem Shrestha, Mehrdad Arashpour, Glenn CostinGlenn Costin, Stewart SeatonStewart Seaton
The Australian construction industry is transitioning to becoming more sustainable. Despite their crucial role, Australian communities as the end-users of this transition have been overlooked. Buildings contribute as much as 30% of the total waste produced and as much as 40% of total greenhouse gases. Residential construction makes up the biggest sector in construction; about 80% by cost. If sustainable construction is to be realised, it must take root in the housing sector. Little progress, however, has been made. Current literature places much of the blame with the owners and occupiers of houses – The line goes that builders would build sustainable houses if people really wanted them. The question arises: are reported societal concerns for sustainability merely superficial or supported by intention and commitment to act. This study aimed to test public resolve for a transition to sustainable residential housing. Three focus groups, drawn from three diverse communities within the greater Melbourne metropolitan region, were engaged in describing and explaining community views on the desirability of sustainable housing. The unanimous consensus is that people want housing to be more sustainable, but that this is not forthcoming because of the intransigence of government and builders to facilitate a needed culture of change within the residential housing sector. This study contributes to the field, providing a model that encapsulates various dimensions of community's, namely, end-users’ perceptions, based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). Findings provide a sound basis for future researchers to address the challenges identified. The study also raises awareness of policymakers and industry practitioners of the genuine needs and requirements of end-users of residential buildings.



Habitat International



Article number



1 - 11




Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal