Property council launches sustainable housing strategy

Plan targets airspace, modular housing for future demands

Property council launches sustainable housing strategy


By Mina Martin

The Property Council of Australia has launched a nine-point Sustainable Housing Plan, highlighting airspace development and modular housing as pivotal elements for advancing sustainable solutions in the property sector.

The Property Council’s strategy targets the burgeoning property market, poised to exceed $250 billion, with plans to employ over 200,000 individuals and construct more than 250,000 rooftop residences.

These developments, focused on maximising the use of airspace above existing buildings and embracing modular construction techniques, promise to offer the greenest housing solutions to date, the Property Council said. By leveraging the New Home Fund, the initiative also aims to preserve aging structures and maintain the fabric of communities without forcing owners to sell to developers.

A national call to action

Addressing the National Press Club for the first time in two decades, Mike Zorbas (pictured above), chief executive at the Property Council, highlighted the urgent need for innovative housing solutions in anticipation of Australia’s population growth, which is expected to increase by 4 million by 2034.

Zorbas stressed the importance of collaboration between government and industry to address housing shortages and stressed the role of modular construction and airspace utilisation in solving the housing crisis while promoting circular economy considerations.

Assessing airspace value requires careful evaluation of location, use, legalities, and market demand. It starts with identifying viable rooftop construction projects that are likely to receive broad approval, leading to an estimation of their potential value.

Overcoming obstacles for a sustainable and vibrant future

Despite the potential benefits, airspace development faces challenges, including high construction costs, consultant and council fees, and complex approval processes, which can deter building owners from pursuing such projects.

The Property Council’s plan acknowledged these hurdles and suggested a more streamlined approach akin to practices overseas, where building owners collaborate with developers to expedite the development process and share profits.

“The Property Council of Australia remains dedicated to championing innovative solutions like airspace development and modular housing to address the evolving needs of the Australian property market and create sustainable, vibrant communities nationwide,” the council said in a LinkedIn post.

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