Property Buzz

PropertyBuzz, your daily dose of property news.

NSW turns to AI to speed up residential building; A spate of insolvencies has spurred South Australia to rethink its building insurance scheme; And what does Australia need to do to green its cities?


Welcome to Property Buzz! I’m Juliet Helmke. Today is Thursday, 15 February.

– With three major South Australian construction companies going bust in 2023, the state is looking to make sure its building insurance scheme is adequately protecting consumers.

– Currently, builders are legally required to take out Building Indemnity Insurance on behalf of homeowners to protect them against faulty or incomplete work, and in cases where the builder dies, disappears or becomes insolvent before finishing a project. Consumers can make claims up to five years from the date the building work was completed.

– It’s currently estimated that the 2023 insolvencies of Qattro Built, Felmeri Homes and 7 Star Constructions – which left hundreds of South Australians unsure about the future of their homes – are expected to cost the government  $30.5 million in claims in this scheme.

– To make sure it’s working, the government has launched a public consultation, discussing things like whether there are gaps in the coverage, and whether the $150,000 dollar compensation limit is adequate.


– And in NSW, the government is looking to spend the $5.6 million it has apportioned to developing AI solutions as a way to speed up DA approvals.

– The state’s Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure is calling on tech firms to submit proposals for products that can help reduce manual workloads and assist councils during the pre-lodgment phase of development applications.

– Assuring councils and communities that this project is not looking to replace human resources with AI tools, minister for planning and public spaces Paul Scully said he hoped the government would field tech solutions that “free [planners] up from repetitive daily tasks so that they can focus on more complex DAs”.


– And a new report has shown that Australia is not meeting its carbon emission targets as per the Paris Agreement, with the built environment contributing significantly to the issue.

– Commercial buildings in Australia account for nearly 24 per cent of the nation’s total annual electricity consumption, with HVAC systems being a major energy user.

– To reduce emissions, developers are focusing on improving buildings through high-performance glazing, better insulation, and external window shading, reducing the need for energy-intensive HVAC systems.

– Green roofs are also being explored as a solution, with a study showing they can decrease city temperatures and increase energy savings, thus mitigating urban overheating.


That’s Property Buzz for today. 

See you again tomorrow, 16 February, for your daily dose of Property Buzz.

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