AUSTRALIA has come a long way towards making new homes more sustainable.
But building for the environment is still far from headache-free.
Sustainability coach Michael Mobbs made his own inner-city home highly sustainable almost two decades ago and has since become a campaigner for environmental change.
He said he was regularly approached by home owners battling to get greener measures approved.
Despite improvements in recent years to the minimum efficiency standards of new housing and major renovations, "there's a huge unwritten agreement by those in government that they will favour, often without thinking about it, the interests of government businesses such as water, transport and energy authorities", Mr Mobbs said.
"They make it so complex that only a gifted lawyer working for no fee could chart a course through it for the ordinary citizen."
Architect Jo Gillies, who specialises in eco houses, said building a sustainable house was about honouring the land it sits on.
"Anything that's not site-specific is pushing the proverbial . . . up the hill because . . . it's kind of like trying to fit a square cookie in a round hole," she said.
"If you don't . . . feel where the sun comes in and where the wind sources are and the views and the vistas, the home will be nowhere as liveable as it could be."