Zero Net Carbon Homes Program

Housing estate

Program objectives

To support the delivery of the Victorian Government’s Energy Efficiency and Productivity Strategy, Sustainability Victoria (SV) is providing funding for a pilot program to develop and market Zero Net Carbon homes in Victoria in collaboration with Volume Home Builders.

This pilot program will provide technical and marketing expertise to Volume Home Builders (VHB) to facilitate the development, marketing and sales of leading-edge sustainably designed Zero Net Carbon (ZNC) homes. As Volume Home Builders play a critical role in providing effective leadership for the residential building sector, we invite Volume Home Builders to join with us in this pilot program.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • improve the supply of ZNC homes by Volume Home Builders;
  • increase consumer demand for Zero Net Carbon homes; and
  • pilot As-Built verification (ABV) methodologies, standards and skills development through a collaborative approach with industry.

The opportunity

Between now and 2050 an estimated two million new homes will be built in Victoria. Collectively, these homes represent one of the biggest financial investments Victorians will make. Building homes to be energy efficient and with low greenhouse gas emissions can aid Victoria’s transition to a low-carbon economy and provide environmental benefits too.

Research shows that if we build homes to be more energy efficient and to achieve zero, or very low, greenhouse gas emissions they can provide home owners with:

  • better quality homes that are naturally more comfortable in winter and summer
  • better health and wellbeing
  • significantly lower energy bills
  • significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Therefore, the volume housing market presents one of the biggest, most readily available and untapped opportunities for emission reductions, cost savings, improved health and wellbeing, as well as productivity in the residential sector.

Consequently, the program has been designed to act as a catalyst for market transformation in the new home market, as there is currently minimal supply of high efficiency, low carbon dwellings, and a lack of a trusted independent endorsement scheme that can enable builders to market and sell these types of homes, and for consumers to have confidence that they are getting what they pay for.

Program overview

The program has been designed to be delivered in three distinct and interrelated phases that will enable participating Volume Home Builders to design, construct, market and evaluate homes that meet the program requirements. ZNC homes developed under the program will incorporate key features such as but not limited to:

  • meet SV’s ZNC design assessment tool criteria (achievable through high performance design specifications e.g. double glazing, installation of high-efficiency heating, cooling, water heating, lighting and solar PV to off-set annual greenhouse gas emissions from energy used in the home)
  • meet ABV criteria tested and confirmed by an SV appointed third party ABV consultant (achievable through design to as-built specification compliance, meeting maximum allowable air leakage rates and insulation integrity requirements).

The three program phases and their overarching objectives are:

Phase # Phase name Overarching phase objective
1 Creating ZNC Homes Design and construct ZNC homes that meet the program requirements.
2 Realising the value of ZNC homes Create and implement a marketing strategy with each Volume Home Builder to sell ZNC homes.
3 Evaluating the benefits of ZNC homes Monitor and evaluate the lessons learnt through the program.

Participate

Applications are now closed, for further information please contact zeronetcarbonhomes@sustainability.vic.gov.au

SV is seeking applications from eligible Volume Home Builders and Land Developers to participate in the program. The program’s application process is merit based and will be used to select at least three Volume Home Builders and Land Developers working in one or more of Melbourne’s four growth corridor areas (West, North, South East and Sunbury / Diggers Rest), the Geelong region and Mitchell Shire. The program will run until 2020.

Source: Growth Corridor Plans (2012) Victorian Growth Areas Authority

Source: Growth Corridor Plans (2012) Victorian Growth Areas Authority

For further information on the program please download the following documentation:

Download the 19th April Information session documents:

For all program inquiries please email zeronetcarbonhomes@sustainability.vic.gov.au

If you are not eligible to apply for the program but would like to receive updates about its progress you can register for our newsletter In the Know.