Five minutes with Adrian Popple, Metricon

27 May 2020

Metricon is one of nine organisations to make an early commitment to Green Star for Homes by signing up to the Homes Early Access Program. This month we spoke to Metricon’s Design Director, Adrian Popple, about industry transformation, expected challenges and why they partnered with GBCA.

Metricon has committed to the Green Star for Homes Early Access Program, which means you'll test the standard out and provide feedback to help improve it. Why did Metricon decide to sign up?

At Metricon we’re committed to making sustainable design accessible to more Australians. We’ve been offering our customers Zero Net Carbon package in our homes for just over six months now and we know there is a strong appetite for energy-efficient housing from our customer base.

Participating in the Green Star for Homes program is the next step in evolving our offer for the consumer - hopefully making enjoying the benefits of a sustainably designed new home within reach for many more Australians.

Metricon want to contribute and help drive the new standard for sustainable living within the NCC, being part of this program will allow us to work closely with other participants and help deliver this for the industry.”

Metricon has been taking steps toward designing and building sustainable homes for some time. In your experience, what makes a home sustainable?

A sustainable home is one that is healthy, comfortable, energy efficient powered by renewables,

resilient to future climate change and is net zero carbon emitting.

Industry transformation will present challenges for volume builders - what do you expect some of these will be?

The volume housing market presents one of the biggest, most readily available and untapped opportunities for emission reductions, cost savings, improved health and wellbeing, as well as productivity in the residential sector.

Volume builders have been criticised for being slow to adopt new technologies that reduce carbon emissions. In response, some building groups blamed a lack of demand among budget-conscious consumers.

But we are confident customers will now invest in energy-efficient housing features particularly off the back of rising energy bills, our Summer of fires and now COVID-19, people are becoming much more mindful of ways they can save money through their homes and lifestyle choices.

We have already noticed an upswing in the number of people enquiring about environmentally friendly technology.

Due to limited demand historically in volume building, pricing has been an issue for consumers. As consumer’s understanding evolves and demand increases, the upgrade pricing will become more achievable.

After a summer of fires and smoke following ongoing drought, resilience is a key consideration within the built environment and homes are not exempt. How is Metricon addressing this?

We are building homes that are BAL compliant in bush fire prone areas and many of our suppliers offer BAL compliant products. With drought tolerance there are numerous water saving products available and we currently offer “WELS” rated water efficient fixtures and fittings along with rainwater tanks and provisions for grey water systems.

Green Star for Homes has been described as ambitious. Why are bold steps needed to transform the way we build homes?

If we are serious about limiting global warming  we can’t ignore our homes. Data shows that on average, Australian families spend 90 per cent of their time indoors, with two-thirds of this at home. With this in mind, it’s not surprising to hear that 57 per cent of Australia’s total emissions come from homes, that’s why bold steps are needed to transform the way we build homes.

The ‘sustainability world’ is evolving at a rapid rate and the volume building industry needs to be able to take some drastic steps in order to keep up.

The world has ambitious expectations, the Paris Agreement of zero carbon emissions by 2050 is ambitious and requires drastic change from current living conditions and habits. The standard being promoted by GBCA is a strong move in the right direction.