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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Sustainable new era for units begins

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Monday, March 01, 2010

    Sustainable new era for units begins

    All new units will be required to achieve a minimum five stars (out of 10) energy equivalence rating from today as part of Bligh Government’s move towards more sustainable housing.

    The new law is part of the State Government’s sustainable housing policies to lift environmental standards for new homes, offices and government buildings in Queensland.

    Infrastructure and Planning Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the initiatives would help achieve a key Towards Q2: Tomorrow’s Queensland goal by lowering electricity use and greenhouse gas emissions.

    “Queensland is pioneering a range of sustainable policies in the built environment that will cut carbon dioxide levels and help develop new clean, green industry jobs,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “A five-star requirement was introduced for all new houses, townhouses and major renovations in March 2009, and from today this measure will apply for all new units and those undergoing major renovations.

    “This new measure applies to the building shell, roofs, walls, windows and floors.”

    Mr Hinchliffe said recognition of the covered outdoor living areas so loved in Queensland’s sub-tropical and tropical lifestyle was an important part of the laws.

    “Provided it is connected to a home’s living areas, any covered and insulated deck, pergola or veranda of more than 12 square metres and at least 2.5 metres wide could earn up to a star credit towards the overall rating,” he said.

    “If we want to build a greener future for Queensland, the change has to start at home.”

    Mr Hinchliffe said almost one quarter of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions could be attributed to energy use by residential and commercial buildings.

    “This is another example of the Queensland Government delivering on its Cleaner Greener Buildings 2009 election commitment, and industry consultation on this measure has been ongoing,” he said.

    Mr Hinchliffe said a building designed with energy efficiency in mind would have a lower carbon footprint, be more comfortable to live in and provide ongoing savings on energy bills.

    Examples of building designs that help deliver a five-star energy equivalence rating include:

    • northern orientation of living rooms
    • natural ventilation through windows and doorways
    • shading with wider eaves and awnings
    • increased insulation
    • treated glazing
    • light coloured roofs and walls
    • ceiling fans in living areas and bedrooms
    • well-designed outdoor living areas.

    For more information on the 5-star requirement, visit

    Media contact: 3224 8750 or 0417 815 223