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Barriers and drivers to green buildings in Australia and New Zealand

Sandy Bond (Faculty of Commerce, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 12 July 2011




Improving energy efficiency of buildings and appliances has been shown to be the most cost‐effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of this research is to identify householders' lifestyle choices within homes that impact on energy use and their motivation to conserve energy. The results help to identify methods to increase the uptake of sustainability practices that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in residential buildings.


A postal survey was adopted as the quickest and most cost‐effective way of surveying a large sample of householders across Australia. The survey was sent to 2,500 randomly selected residents, 500 in each of the five largest Australian cities by population.


The results identified that barriers to energy efficiency in households include: larger homes and smaller households; initial costs of sustainable features, and a lack of consumer information about benefits and savings from incorporating energy‐efficient devices. The most common reason why people are not acting in more sustainable ways is inconvenience or laziness.

Research limitations/implications

The response rate was very low and retired persons were over‐represented, as they are the people with more time to answer surveys. Further research is warranted to achieve a larger, more representative sample.

Practical implications

These results will be useful to Government policy makers as they help to identify methods to increase the uptake of sustainable features and energy conservation in homes.


This study is the first attempt at a nation‐wide study of residential behavior to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in homes.



Bond, S. (2011), "Barriers and drivers to green buildings in Australia and New Zealand", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 29 No. 4/5, pp. 494-509.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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