On Friday 1 September, Master Builders Association of Victoria convened its eleventh annual Green Living Conference to a sold-out audience at the Building Leadership Simulation Centre in South Melbourne. The conference focused on the continued development of building technologies that not only support stewardship of the environment, but offer solutions for some of Victoria’s most looming housing problems.

“It’s widely agreed that sustainable building practice is the right thing to do for the environment, but it can also help to solve practical crises that Victorians are facing today, like housing affordability and prolonged planning delays,” Radley de Silva, CEO Master Builders Association of Victoria, said.

“Homes and their components can now be printed three-dimensionally, greatly accelerating the construction process, and pre-fabrication technology allows components to be assembled offsite with much less waste and much greater precision,” Mr de Silva said.

“This precision and control offers the opportunity to fast-track aspects of the building process, thus lowering the building costs and improving housing affordability. But what remains to be addressed are the continued delays in the planning and building permits process, the documented slowness of which currently costs both homeowners and builders more time and money for the housing Victorians need,” he said.

“Sustainable building practices, like pre-fabrication, also offer employment opportunities to workers displaced by the closure of auto manufacturing plants. Retraining skilled workers for new careers in building strengthens the Victorian economy.”

“As the state’s second-largest full-time employer, and contributing more than 40 per cent to the Victorian economy, the building and construction sector recognises it plays a major role in offering employment opportunities to Victorians eager to work,” Mr de Silva said.