17 February 2010 – According to a recent report in the UK based Edie website there is strong public support for precincts or community based green initiatives, contrary to mainstream perceptions.

The findings support  moves by several of Australia’s leading sustainable property companies to focus this year more on sustainable precincts, for both residential property using the new Precinx tool developed by Landcom and on commercial property using the Precincts project being developed by the Green Building Council.

Several industry  leaders -Stockland, GPT and Mirvac – have recently recently flagged to The Fifth Estate they will each develop  stronger  community and social sustainability engagement and on precints. Mirvac’s Shauna Coffey pointed to the need to extend Australia’s sophisticated knowledge of green buildings into the communities of buildings or districts.

According to Edie a recent survey by the UK Green Building Council has identified strong community support for “district heat, vacuum waste disposal and water harvesting.”

Edie continues: “This is the key finding from new research carried out by, iCaro Consulting and published this week by the UGBC and Zero Carbon Hub.

“A total of 71 per cent of people thought a district heating system – heating a whole community centrally through one linked network of pipes – could be better than the current individual systems in their homes.

“District heating reduces carbon emissions and can lower energy bills and also gives communities local independence, as well as ensuring that the country as a whole has a greater energy security, a positive factor for 79 per cent of people.

“Respondents were also in favour of sustainable community water systems, with almost 90 per cent positive about using filtered rainwater for flushing toilets and watering gardens.

“More than two-thirds (68 per cent) responded positively to community waste and recycling schemes, where waste is collected through a network of vacuum pipes.

“An even higher proportion, 87 per cent, wanted to use waste as a resource to produce energy, which the according to the UGBC ‘contradicts widely held opinion’ by planners and developers that the public are against such schemes.

“Chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, Paul King, said: “This research puts a nail in the coffin of the perception that consumers won’t like community scale green schemes, such as district heating and waste-to-energy plants.

“There are significant environmental and financial benefits to providing such integrated infrastructure at a community scale, reducing both carbon emissions and energy bills.”

The Fifth Estate – for sustainable property