CSIRO today announced its acquisition of the Centre for Liveability Real Estate and the intellectual property for its sustainability framework from Hooker Corporation.
The Banksia Award-winning platform was developed in collaboration with sustainable design and construction industries and provides training, research, strategy and communication services to the residential real estate industry.
The sustainability framework helps real estate agents to promote properties with the potential for reduced running costs and increased comfort in a way that is more easily recognised at point of sale or rent.
While currently buyers or tenants can see if a residence has three bedrooms and a well-designed kitchen, it is not as easy to determine if it will be warm in winter, cheap to run, or if it has a large impact on the environment; Liveability aims to bring these features to the forefront of any real estate transaction.
It also has the potential to positively influence property value by addressing the other side of affordability, the running costs, which research partner Cecille Weldon believes could represent a revolution in residential property marketing.
"It's about delivering a better experience for buyers, sellers, tenants and investors by empowering them to find or create their 'best home': healthy, efficient, comfortable and connected to their community," Ms Weldon said.
Liveability adds to CSIRO's existing research in residential energy efficiency and aligns with its wider climate change mitigation work.
CSIRO's work in this area is enhancing sustainability awareness within the 9.6 million Australian residences that are responsible for approximately 11 per cent of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions.
CSIRO research director Dr Stephen White said the framework and related checklist presents a step-change for sustainability in the real estate industry.
"CSIRO is at the forefront of research into our impact on the planet and what we can do to live more sustainably – through Liveability, it's possible to identify the best ways to be eco-friendly and be comfortable in our homes," Dr White said.
"The framework is aspirational and positive, targeting the desirable features of a house that a buyer or seller can transparently seek out, have a conversation about, and ultimately place value on.
"It's highly relevant to individuals making one of the largest financial investments in their life, with careful consideration of the needs of the various players in the real estate transaction," he said.
Real Estate Institute of New South Wales CEO Tim McKibbin said: "We are excited to sign on as the first Real Estate Institute partner of Liveability and to be able to offer this industry leading training to our members over the coming months.
We are proud that our industry has provided such a significant contribution to enhancing the customer experience for buyers and tenants."
CSIRO's immediate focus is to relaunch the centre and the consumer portal liveability.com.au and to develop and strengthen the specialist training program to support a roll-out to the national residential real estate industry.
From there, the existing framework will be extended to include online training and exclusive membership services to be provided directly to real estate agents.
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