Sustainability professionals understand Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ)the role it plays in determining an occupant’s experience of a space, the underlying impacts on health and wellbeing and, moreover, the central role in creating a sustainable building. To date, however, there is very little credible research to support the idea that the general public places any value in IEQ. This creates challenges in marketing sustainability to buyers, who consider it a remote or abstract concept with little to relate to or engage with.

Our extensive, though not exhaustive, research has shown that there is little evidence to support the notion of a link between IEQ and higher sales or sales prices, or any direct link with an increase in buyer activity. Our hypothesis is that the concept of IEQ remains largely academic and defined in ways that are not communicated toor lack engagement of, consumers.

Wsee an excellent opportunity for developerthat can communicate the connections between lifestyle and positive health and wellbeing impacts, and sustainability and IEQ. The criteria that sells real estate is the experience of a building; currently, that experience is primarily aesthetic or tactile. There is opportunity to further exploit comfort, acoustics and biophilic experiences, as well as promote longer term impacts of materials (e.g. VOCs, formaldehyde) and air quality.

In this process, we see the place of Passivhaus as a best practice verification tool that can guarantee the elements of IEQ that most resonate with buyers have been delivered. 

Much of the work in the residential sector is undertaken on a practical level, rather than academic. An existing program that might be useful to consider is the ’17 Things’, initially created by LJ Hooker and now further developed by the CSIRO as the ‘Liveability Real Estate Specialist’ training. This program empowers communicators at point of sale to reliably, and consistently, present the sustainability features of a home.

The system is feature focused, and based upon an identified list of ’17 Things’ that are both sustainability related and have been demonstrated to improve the saleability of a property

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