Sustainable Buying Guide

If you are looking to build your own home or make extensions to your existing home it is worth researching some sustainable building options.  Sustainable products are those with a relatively lower ‘ecological footprint’ than equivalent products.  They may contain recycled content, be more recyclable, be made of organic materials, be made locally or have required less energy and other inputs during the production process.We have also included information about other environmental labelling systems to help consumers make informed product choices on this page.

Some sustainable product options may be more costly up front but in the long term they may be cost effective as your energy and water consumption will be greatly reduced. They will reduce the ‘ecological footprint’ of your building and your lifestyle.

Information about sustainable buying

We have produced this list of  Questions to ask suppliers  when buying a range of sustainable products including rainwater tanks, hot water systems, greywater systems, lighting and more.

If you are buying a new home, this practical checklist to Selecting a greener, better house with lower running costs will help you chose a more the most sustainable house you can to provide a good base for building a sustainable home.

HIA Greensmart is a Housing Industry Association program to develop and promote promote practical, affordable and durable environmental solutions for residential design and construction. It provides information about designing more sustainable homes, sustainable building products and could help you access sustainability accredited builders.

The Canberra Climate Xchange has developed a green directory of sustainable products and suppliers in the ACT and beyond. If you are a local sustainable product supplier we recommend you get onto this database. To find other sustainable product suppliers in your part of our region check the Yellow Pages using terms such as solar, sustainable and water saving (the search functions are including more of these terms all the time). Or ask you usual supplier if they can order in a particular product for you this might even help them to identify new product niches to grow their business.

The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology has one of the leading environmental design schools in Australia.  Check out their EcoSpecifier to find out more about sustainable building product options.

Check out the Sustainable Building Products website to find out more about new technologies and product options.

Install energy efficient windows by ensuring you check their rating on the Australian Window Energy Rating Scheme.

Check the Green Plumbers website to find a green plumber who could provide services to your area.

Green Painters can help you find information about low VOC and alternative paint products.

Check to find out whether your electrician has undertaken energy efficiency training or is accredited by Eco Smart Electricians.

When purchasing and using timber, try to use recycled materials.  If using new timber, check to see whether it is sourced sustainably and FSC certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

If you are thinking of installing a photo voltaic solar system we recommend you first read the Clean Energy Council’s Consumer Guide to PV.

There are a number of different environmental labelling schemes to help consumers make more informed choices.  Here is a list that explains the more common ones.


  • One Year of Successful Sustainable Housing Consultations, One to Go!

    September 23rd, 2015

    The Googong Sustainable Building Advisory Service has been up and running for 1 year now, with over a year to go and consultations still available at no cost to you!

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  • New Googong home owners benefit from Free Sustainable Building Advisory Service

    November 24th, 2014

    The Googong Sustainable Housing Project providing people building in Googong FREE consultations and workshops is . . .

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  • Free consultations still available

    October 29th, 2014

    The Googong Sustainable Housing project has now been up and running for just over 6 weeks and is well under way.

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