Defining sustainable home renovators in Australia

Kristian Ruming*, Miriam Williams, Dong-Ju Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Home renovation is a global phenomenon, where households seek to remodel, reconfigure, and retrofit their home. While often a response to the material conditions of a dwelling, such as decay and damage, renovation also as emerges as a practice central to identity creation, sense of home, and leisure. Importantly, improving household sustainability is increasingly driving renovation activities, as governments and households seek to reduce the environmental impact of residential dwellings. Drawing on data collected from a national survey developed by the authors, this paper explores sustainable renovation practices in Australia. The paper provides a three-level analysis of home renovators. First, the paper profiles recent renovators. Second, the extent to which sustainability was considered by recent renovators during the renovation process is investigated. Third, the relationship between personal values placed on household sustainability and the sustainable renovation practices are explored. The analysis reveals that sustainability is an important renovation driver. However, sustainable renovation practices differ between groups of homeowners, with educated and wealthy homeowners most likely to undertake sustainable renovation. Further, those with a stronger commitment to household sustainability are the most likely to include expensive sustainability technologies as part of their renovations. However, it is younger households, who are less committed to the principles of household sustainability, that are most likely to access government subsidies to support the inclusion of these technologies as part of their renovation. The different profiles and actions of these renovator groups reveal a series of challenges and opportunities for governments seeking to promote household sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-251
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
Issue number1
Early online date7 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Australia
  • Renovation
  • Sustainability


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