The Meeting Place

Aussie homes getting larger and more efficient

A new data portal from Australia's national science agency, the CSIRO, will track residential energy efficiency progress to support the next wave of sustainable homes.

Key findings drawn from the data (based on apartments and houses) includes:

  • 195,000 new homes were built in Australia in the past year
  • There is steady progress in building of high-performance homes, especially in Tasmania and the ACT
  • Overall, Australian homes are increasing in size, with an average floor area of 132 square metres (this includes houses and apartments)
  • Average dwellings were most likely to have a metal roof, brick veneer walls, and a concrete floor
  • The average newly-constructed home had an energy rating of 6.2 stars. This is an improvement since the introduction of star ratings in 2001, when the average home was estimated at 1.8. This translates to an annual saving of approximately $560 in energy bills per house.


Have you purchased a new home recently? What star rating does your house have?


Efficient? - maybe in some ways. But all the 'open plan' features are a killer for heating and cooling. And that efficiency ure comes at a hefty price tag. My brother is in the middle of a long, drawn out building project of his house, trying to be as efficient and eco friendly as possible. Might have savings way down the track, but heavy prices to set up.  

I heard just the opposite Ben.  Because of the cost of building homes are getting smaller, not larger.  Been happening for the last 10 years.  Tradies tell me a similar story as well.

So MICK, you believe the tradies. Have you built a house within the last two years? I have, and it's not getting cheaper unless you are building a very inferior type of home with the minimum of star ratings. We built for the second time a year ago and compared to our first build the cost has sky rocketed, but it was worth it because we got what we wanted.

Reagan remember when tradies use to drive around in old beat up utes, now they drive the latest 4x4, even the younger ones I have seen.



i also heard that people were downsizing to smaller homes...only got to look at the small way you can build a large home on them!!

from in November 2018

"Our tastes in housing are getting smaller, sending the average size of homes tumbling to a 22-year low.

Research from Commsec and the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed the typical area of an Aussie home, including units and houses, fell to just 186.3sqm this year, some 1.6 per cent below figures for 2017."


musicveg, those days are long gone. Now these guys drive the latest, charge the earth. Read about one tradie and there are more, who earns up to $90 ph.One 25 year old just built a pad for over $800. Not bad for a young lad!

And Reagan if they get paid per hour rather than per job, they are working slow, I am seeing it around the corner where a house is gutted and being rebuilt. They already knocked off by 3.30pm too today.

I am witnessing building of new houses in my area, developers buy up the little cottages and rebuild huge houses with no yards, and new areas are the same. But there is a lot of movement for sustainable housing and they are not that big, see here for examples:

Interesting post, thanks Ben.

Coincidentally an article today about project homes in WA ... seems to be in direct contradiction to the bigger/more efficient claim. Excepts and link below.

Project home expansion in WA costing owners in the long run, architects say

Architects say it's time to rethink the suburban dream, with data revealing that around a fifth of new homes built in Western Australia don't meet six-star energy standards, costing their owners dearly in running costs. "Nationally speaking, about 1.5 per cent of houses we see come through our database are less than six stars," he told Jessica Strutt on ABC Radio Perth.

"In Western Australia it is somewhere like 15 per cent or even 20 per cent over some of the past years, and we're not entirely sure why that is."

Architect Kate Fitzgerald believes it is because project-home builders dominate the WA market.

I'm on the Gold Coast in Queensland and if the new cluster developments I see (no eaves, no greenery, no park areas, crammed in) are larger or more efficient ... unscientifically speaking ... I'll eat my hat or something more palatable.

Home buyers across Australia could face higher energy bills because of a loophole that allows builders to sidestep energy efficiency requirements. Most new houses have to meet a minimum six-star rating. But some builders are using the VURB system which gives either a pass or a fail rather than stars , which falls short of the 6 stars and which surprise, surprise is legal under the current system.

If you're building be aware of this and keep on their tail by using a thermal performance assessor. I built nearly three years ago and so far have achieved an 8 star rating, but our goal is to get to 10 star. Hopefully by the end of next year mission will be accomplished.

Because it was a joint venture for my son in law,daughter and I, we were able to design a very cost effective ad environmentally friendly home Abe. We did go over budget a little but the savings on several fronts made it worthwhile.


My house was built in 1958. Brick veneer with specified wide eaves which are fabulous all year round. Also the only area that is open plan is the kitchen & dining area. Heating & cooling minimal.