What is GreenSmart?
GreenSmart is a voluntary practical approach to building that focuses on educating builders, designers, product manufacturers and consumers about the benefits of environmentally responsible housing.
GreenSmart is an industry-driven initiative that aims to encourage a mainstream application of its principles to today’s housing. As a voluntary initiative, it provides appropriate market recognition for environmental endeavours in the residential construction industry.
What does GreenSmart involve?
The HIA GreenSmart initiative entails:
- GreenSmart training and accreditation for the industry – Over 4,000 “GreenSmart Professionals” have now been accredited nationally through completion of the GreenSmart training course. The GreenSmart training course covers solar passive design principles achieving climate responsive thermal performance of a house, and promoting water, energy and resource efficiency of the home. Other short courses are available in site management and renovations;
- promotion of GreenSmart via the world wide web – www.greensmart.com.au includes information on fact sheets, awards, accredited housing projects, events, GreenSmart Professional register and regional news;
- recognition of the environmental efforts of the industry through the GreenSmart Awards – the only exclusive built environment awards in Australia. The Awards span 13 categories for recognition and are open to all HIA members;
- demonstration of GreenSmart to consumers through GreenSmart Villages, Developments and Estates continue to give valuable consumer exposure to GreenSmart in the market place. View the current GreenSmart accredited housing projects on www.greensmart.com.au
- the highly successful GreenSmart Building Zone, at the HIA Expo’s occurring around the country, provides an opportunity for consumers and trade to view some of the latest products and construction systems that can be used to support environmentally responsible housing solutions; and,
- the production of the GreenSmart Magazine, available in newsagents and HIA Expo’s, provides information to consumers on how they can incorporate products and design features into the home that will assist in achieving a more environmentally responsible house.
HIA’s GreenSmart licensing protocols offers industry leaders (at both a national and regional scale) an advantage for the marketing of their products, services or housing projects, which can offer solutions for environmentally responsible housing. NB Products are not issued with a GreenSmart license.
GreenSmart’s marketing advantages are strengthened by the respected industry position of the Housing Industry Association, communication streams to membership, communication channels with consumers, promotion of GreenSmart Leaders, Partners and Professionals, and GreenSmart Awards.
What are the Principles of “Building the GreenSmart Way”?
The primary objectives of “Building the GreenSmart Way” are to:
- develop, demonstrate and promote the technologies, design principles and practices that can significantly improve the quality of Australia’s built environment;
- improve the uptake and adoption of best practice environmental management approaches and their integration into normal business practice;
- facilitate change in industry approaches to housing, while meeting community expectations with regard to housing types and costs; and,
- identify market driven mechanisms to encourage the adoption of environmental innovations in the building industry.
What makes a GreenSmart home?
GreenSmart accredited homes are a showcase of environmentally sustainable housing design. The main goals are:
- to improve the energy, resource and water efficiency of the homes;
- to enable home-owners to waste less and recycle more;
- to reduce the waste from the building process;
- to create healthier homes for occupants; and,
- to improve site management during construction.
Benefits of a GreenSmart home include lower energy and water bills, a warmer house in winter, a cooler house in summer, a healthier home for the occupants and less waste going to landfill.
Improving Energy Efficiency
- Passive solar design features are incorporated into homes to minimise the need for mechanical heating and cooling.
- Energy saving lights, tinted windows, insulation products, sealing of gaps, energy efficient appliances and both solar and gas hot water systems can be used to save energy.
Improving Water Efficiency
- Landscape with water wise plant and turf species, mulches, soil conditioners and sensored irrigation systems.
- Install hot water recirculation systems.
- Use dual flush toilets, taps and shower heads that have the most stars.
- Install rainwater tanks and greywater systems for internal and external use.
Recycling and Waste Management
- Maximise use of prefabricated building components.
- Minimise waste through accurate ordering procedures.
- Optimise recycling opportunities and the use of recycled product or product with a recycled content in both the construction of the houses and landscaping works.
Creating healthy homes
- Select materials and paints that have low volatile organic compounds.
- Design homes that incorporate natural ventilation.
- Mechanically connect carpet fittings in place of adhesives.
- Locate flue outlets of gas, water heaters and room heaters away from open windows.
Improving Overall Site Management
- Minimise site cut and soil exposure time to climatic elements.
- Incorporate clean site construction practices to reduce soil erosion.
- Maintain waste in a closed receptacle.
- Identify and use one site entry and access point.
For more information on how to get involved in HIA GreenSmart contact a member of the Planning and Environment service area in your region on 1300 650 620