Green buildings for greying people: A case study of a retirement village in Australia

Jian Zuo, Bo Xia*, Jake Barker, Martin Skitmore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)
67 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This paper aims to identify the critical issues to be considered by developers and practitioners when embarking on their first green residential retirement project in Australia. With an increasingly ageing population and widespread acceptance of the need for sustainable development in Australia, the demand for green retirement villages is increasing.

Design/methodology/approach: In view of the lack of adequate historical data for quantitative analysis, a case study approach is used to examine the successful delivery of green retirement villages. Face-to-face interviews and document analyses were conducted for data collection. 

Findings: The findings of the study indicate that one of the major obstacles to the provision of affordable green retirement villages is the higher initial costs involved. However, positive aspects were identified, the most significant of which relate to the innovative design of site and floor plans; adoption of thermally efficient building materials; orientation of windows; installation of water harvesting and recycling systems, water conservation fittings and appliances; and waste management during the construction stage. With the adoption of these measures, it is believed that sustainable retirement development can be achieved without significant additional capital costs. 

Practical implications: The research findings serve as a guide for developers in decision-making throughout the project life-cycle when introducing green features into the provision of affordable retirement accommodation. 

Originality/value: This paper provides insights into the means by which affordable green residential retirement projects for aged people can be successfully completed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-381
Number of pages17
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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