In 2021, two significant forces appear to be holding Australian investors interest above all others; housing and ESG standards.

Only this week it was reported that property values around Australia have increased 10.9% over the last 12 months, causing the big banks to forecast 20% to 30% rises in property values. This forecast coincides with Wednesday’s report of unprecedented interest in Sydney’s first net zero property.

Whilst all signs are clearly pointing toward a growing interest in sustainable housing and ESG aligned property development, the focus is often on energy rating and operational efficiency. This often sees the consideration of the sustainability of building materials used to construct the property overlooked.

Last year it was reported by the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction that emissions from the buildings construction industry constituted 10% of all energy related CO2 emissions on the globe. In conjunction with this data, according to the Chartered Institute of Building, construction uses up to 32% of the world’s natural resources. These significant statistics highlight the critical consideration that must be paid by prospective and current investors to ESG aligned construction projects.

At Vellum we have identified a need to harmonise the increased interest in property investment and ESG investing, in order to inspire a green revolution in the property and building industry. Whilst our property expertise lies primarily in the build-to-rent space, we strive to ensure that we are always maximising the sustainability of our developments, from planning to delivery and beyond.

An example of ESG aligned construction research we are exploring currently is in bamboo as a sustainable building material.

Bamboo is a sustainable resource that does not require re-planting, possesses strength superior to steel and which absorbs up to 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare, yearly. Bamboo is seeing major popularity in ‘green’ building projects across Australia in three primary uses: as a laminate, for its fibre, or less commonly, as a dried, usually woven material. Bamboo can store four times more carbon than trees and produces 35% more oxygen than a timber forest, which is feasible to grow in most environments.

This is just an example of the work we are doing to ensure that we as an organisation can harness this growing interest in ESG and property as a force for reformation and green growth.