Purpose – Rating tools for the built environment were designed to engage consumers and enhance sustainability and resilience. However, the intended outcomes of these rating systems appear to have limited implementation in the residential new housing market in Australia. The purpose of this paper is to investigate consumers’ motivations and experiences who have purchased houses that are situated in a sustainability-based certified development and will have been required to comply with mandatory dwelling certification.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper explores the awareness and perception of sustainability ratings and whether the motivations for purchasing in the sustainably certified development have heightened their awareness of sustainability and the resilience of new housing. This has been investigated through a pilot study of consumers who have purchased land in a certified estate and built a new home, through an online survey.
Findings – The findings reveal that the rating systems are at present not having the desired influence as first thought; that is, to inform consumers of the sustainability of a dwelling or property and to instigate trust of the environmental credentials of the property.
Research limitations/implications – This illuminating case study of participants who have purchased a sustainable rated development demonstrates that regardless of their concern for environmental issues, consumers have both low awareness and trust in the ratings. Despite this, consumers do seek value from these credentials to the overall property.
Originality/value – This study aims to illustrate the disconnect in engagement between developers, builders and new home buyers in relation to sustainability certification and implementation.
Keywords Sustainability, Housing, Consumer decision-making, Residential development, Sustainability rating tools