The extra costs of rain water tanks and energy efficient hot water systems are now at the home owner’s discretion, no longer a compulsory requirement for new residential homes built in Brisbane or Queensland for that matter, commencing February 2013.
Master Builders Director of Housing Policy Paul Bidwell welcomed the decision, along with many Queenslanders building new homes.
Bidwell said “The cost of a rainwater tank adds up to $6,000 to the cost of a new house and in some cases this can be even more on smaller lots… these changes will significantly reduce the cost of housing.”
Benefits for current homeowners too…
The recent changes benefit more than just Queenslanders building or designing their new home, there are also benefits for existing home owners…
In an announcement by Housing Minister Tim Mander “Under existing laws, owners of homes in reticulated natural gas areas are restricted to gas, solar or heat pump hot water systems, which often cost thousands of dollars more than the electric model they’re replacing.”
Mander said “the changes would also allow existing home owners to replace a broken electric hot water system with a similar model.”
“Although solar or heat pump systems are more energy efficient, they are more expensive to buy and often require extra plumbing and electrical work to retrofit the existing property before they can be installed.”
Both are positive steps for reducing home ownership costs for Brisbane residents, especially considering the significant time frames required for recoup investment costs.
“People who want to install rainwater tanks or a particular type of hot water system can still do so,” Mander says, adding that councils will still be able to retain mandatory rainwater tank requirements within their local jurisdictions where they can prove a net benefit to the community. “The difference is that the decision is now theirs to make.”
Keep track of local Brisbane council changes…
At the time of writing this there were no local councils approved to opt-in, approved council updates can be found here. Previous new home requirements that will now only relate to local councils with opt-in approval are:
- Tanks with a 5,000ltr minimum capacity required for single, detached houses.
- Tanks with a 3,000ltr minimum capacity required for non-detached houses (such as terrace houses, townhouses and semi-detached houses).
- Rainfall for tanks must be received from at least half of the available roof catchment area or 100sqm, whichever is lesser.
- Provisions must be made during installation for tanks to be connected for internal use to all toilet cisterns, washing machine cold water taps and for external use to at least one tap.
- To ensure internal fixtures supplied from a rainwater tank have a continuous supply of water, the installation of an automatic switching device or a trickle top up system may be required.
Choosing a designer or drafts person that has a thorough understanding of local planning issues can reduce your building costs and times.
For more information on design and renovation plans for your Brisbane home visit call the team at SEQ Building Design on 07 3257 7224.