Abstract: VicUrban, the Victorian state government urban land development agency, is showcasing its sustainability credentials in their new 8000 home Aurora Estate. Aurora will have environmental features which, amongst other initiatives, require the use of materials that are more environmentally sustainable. The EcoSelector was designed to guide the builders in their selection of materials. More or less points are allocated depending on the materials used for the floor structure, framing, wall cladding, roof cladding, fittings and finishes, and landscaping. The builders are required to meet a minimum overall score for a proposed house before it can be approved by VicUrban.
The relationship between VicUrban and the builders is critical for VicUrban to succeed in delivering environmental sustainable design (ESD). Cost pressures play a significant role and the people on the ground, often sub-contractors, have little incentive to do any research or development into issues like sustainability.
Against this background, the development of the EcoSelector can be seen as an innovation grappling with the market driven limitations of the industry whilst promoting ESD. VicUrban hopes to transform the building industry via demonstration.
This paper examines how the relationships between the participants affected the development of the EcoSelector and how this has affected the building industry. As a part of work in progress, a new model is suggested for understanding the relationship between innovation, agency, and structure that ranges across ‘silos’, drawing on Vygotsky’s (1978) developmental psychology, Wittgenstein’s (1958) philosophical insights, Bourdieu’s (1977) concept of habitus, and evolutionary theory.