The Liveability Features Framework

We have a proven track record in delivering innovative solutions to complex problems

Created by Cecille Weldon and acquired by CSIRO in 2016, the Liveability Features Framework is the world’s first features-based building performance property marketing framework and has pioneered a new way to communicate the health and lifestyle benefits of a new set of property features.

… This program is an amazingly innovative initiative with the capacity to effect change in people’s lives – through their homes, and also through their investments. The framework is well-thought out from identifying barriers and key areas of focus, through to program delivery and the final legacy. This initiative has engaged many partners and the engagement results from their training courses are outstanding.
— Banksia Foundation Award Education Category, Judges comments
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Development of the Framework

From the outset, 14 important strategic considerations for success were identified as being essential to delivering a solution which would benefit multiple stakeholders in the housing industry. Core to this was to engage the range of property consumers, real estate agents and lenders with trusted information and data at point of sale or rent in order to leverage the emerging market in residential real estate: health, efficiency, comfort, community

The 14 measures of success achieved in the development of this framework 

  • The repositioning of sustainability in the marketplace

  • Identification of key communication barriers to consumers

  • Identification of key barriers to real estate industry uptake to driving a market in properties with the potential for reduced running costs

  • Identification of customer profiles with interest in homes with Liveability Features™[1]

  • Information and support at the key touch points in the buying, selling and renting cycle

  • Integration across all markets – new and existing homes

  • Integration across all interest groups – renters, owners and investors

  • Integration with existing property marketing assets and platforms – online and print

  • Integration with professional development training pathways

  • Integration and support of existing state mandatory disclosure regimes

  • Identification of any missing information/standards from industry for the buying and selling touch points

  • Collaborate with industry to develop ‘proof’ of features at time of sale to enable property marketing standards for features where there are none currently

  • Compliance with ACCC rulings on green marketing

  • Real Estate training and new property appraisal process (proptech) available to all real estate brands – sales and property management.

The New Value Proposition for Residential Property Marketing

Liveability is about creating your best home: healthy, efficient, comfortable and connected to your local community”

The Liveability Features Framework was developed from within the property marketing industry over a four-year period then acquired and further developed by CSIRO, Australia’s peak scientific body.

It is an integrated proptech and training solution that addresses all touchpoints of real estate property marketing:

  • ·the real estate agent (sales and property management and potential for valuers)

  • the consumer (buyers, sellers, renters, investors)

  • the property (new and existing homes)

  • the online and print property marketing platforms (property listing resources)

New Category of Property Features

The Liveability Features Framework developed in consultation with industry organisations in the sustainable design, building/construction, manufacturing and assessment industries and are endorsed and supported by them and have been validated by CSIRO.

It is not a rating system, it is a benchmarked appraisal checklist specifically developed by CSIRO for the real estate industry to be able to simply and effectively identify a new collection of 17 benchmarked property features into the point of sale or rent. These are called Liveability Features.

Liveability Features offer the potential for reduced running costs and increased comfort if used correctly by the occupant.

This enables specially trained real estate agents to integrate these 17 new property features into their normal processes in a robust and systematic way. Thereby providing important and timely information about the potential for ongoing affordability of a property for sale or rent.

This delivers a fresh and trusted conversation into the real estate moment and catalyzes lead generation and upgrade opportunities across the property sector – delivering better Australian Homes and boosting the professional standing and relevance of real estate agents.   

The 17 Liveability Features which are captured in the Liveability Proptech as part of a normal property appraisal process.

The 17 Liveability Features which are captured in the Liveability Proptech as part of a normal property appraisal process.

Liveability Proptech

The Liveability Proptech which is used by the trained Liveability Real Estate Specialist agents is accessible from all mobile devices. It enables a trained sales agent or property manager to deliver the free Liveability Features Appraisal for property owners and investors across Australia. 

This specialist property appraisal captures 17 additional property features during the traditional appraisal process which are benchmarked and verified. Thereby capturing high quality property data about a new cluster of property features which identify the potential for ongoing affordability.

The Liveability Proptech also automatically generates a customised Liveability Features Listing Image (see image) for each approved property which the agent then uploads into the photo gallery section of the online property listing. (see below)

This enables the agent to offer a higher quality customer experience and additional marketing opportunities for home owners and investors who have invested in these features. The Liveability Features Appraisal enables these new property features to be showcased during property marketing in the same way as existing premium features such as “European appliances”.

Compliance IT Platform

The Liveability Features Framework is also underpinned by compliance technology that links the listing agent with the Proptech-enabled Livability Features Appraisal data and the online property listing.

This ensures that the listing agent is authorised to appraise, list and sell properties with Liveability Features and is well trained to answer consumer questions about these features and correctly position them in the market.

New Real Estate Agent Category

As the ‘real estate moment’ is short but influential in driving property and renovation plans it is important that agents are trained to correctly identify these new Liveability Features and know why they are important to Liveability potential. Therefore, core to the Liveability Features Framework is a new professional pathway in real estate, the Liveability Real Estate Specialist.

This specialisation builds on their existing sales or property marketing training and is updated every 6 months and formally refreshed every 12 months to keep abreast of changes in the appraisal benchmarks and innovation in the built environment sector.

Liveability Real Estate Specialist is a nationally recognised training and membership program providing exclusive access the new proptech appraisal checklist and unique property marketing icons (Liveability Features Listing image) with which to appraise and market homes with any of these Liveability Features.

The Language of Liveability

This robust framework enables the real estate industry to professionally identify these new features and simultaneously validate, support and drive a new value proposition for new and existing homes. It provides clear and trusted icons in online and print property marketing and “Open Homes” about these Liveability Features which directly connects the property with the needs of the new property consumer who are wanting information on the ongoing affordability potential of a property. 

Even more, the message of the 17 Things™ can be shared by designers, builders, assessors and manufacturers to create a clear pathway for the consumer from design to build/renovate to sell (see example following)

The 17 Things™

  • What to look for when buying or renting

  • What to plan for when renovating or building

  • What you know will be recognised when selling

The 17 Things™, the Liveability property listing image and icons and liveabilty.com.au are fundamental elements of the companion consumer engagement and communication resources within the Liveability Features Framework.

This is an important aspect of the framework as it repositions ‘sustainability’ an aspirational value proposition in the context of the property marketing industry.

This consumer element of the framework also includes ‘the language of liveability’ which identifies this collection of benchmarked property features as an integrated element of “your best home: healthy, efficient, comfortable and connected to your local community”

The language clusters are deliberately created to reinforces and clarifies key elements of the framework in an accumulative manner to retain meaning and relevance across all customer profiles. This layering of information is an important aspect of the Liveability Real Estate framework’s ability to be at the one time ‘simple’ and ‘robust’.

In addition, the consumer portal liveability.com.au supports consumers to use features of their home more effectively and create a great life in their home. The website also assists the industries represented by the 17 Liveability Features to enter ‘the real estate moment’ as “important” and “aspirational” property features and creates an effective information source for renovators on this cluster of providers and products.

Therefore, the Liveability Features Framework addresses the two important aspects of “Liveability’ whether you are a renter, investor or owner:

1. The property features in the home

2. How you live in your home to bring these features to life


The 17 Liveability Features (the 17 Things™)

Each feature is benchmarked by industry partners. There are 4 features that require independent proof. A property must have a minimum 6 of the features marked with an asterisk to qualify for the Liveability Features™ icon on a property listing. These have been validated by CSIRO[2]

Location

1. Climate zone for this property

2. Living locally

Floor plan and layout

3. Orientation*

4. Cross-ventilation*

5. Zoning*

Key building structure elements

6. Insulation* (independent proof required)

7. Density of building materials

8. Windows (glazing)* (independent proof required)

9. Shading or sun control*

Important energy and water saving inclusions

10. Efficient heating and cooling devices*

11. Energy efficient lighting*

12. Efficient hot water system*

13. Solar photovoltaic (PV) system* (independent proof required)

14. Low water garden*

15. Water efficiency devices*

16. Rainwater tanks

Energy rating

17. Energy Rating* (independent proof required) 


Liveability Real Estate Delivers - Vendor Feedback

Liveability Real Estate Specialist Agent
Rachel Lawrie, Ray White (SA)

“I first became aware of ‘Liveability’ when I inspected a house for sale in my Klemzig neighbourhood. Rachel Lawrie was the agent and she spent some time taking me through the house and explaining the Liveability Features. At the time I had demolished my house and subdivided to build two houses, so I asked Rachel if she would check my building specifications to ensure my houses would meet the liveability criteria. Rachel was very generous with her time and shared her in-depth knowledge with me, which resulted in my making some changes to the building plans.

I sold the first home at record high for a courtyard home in the area due to Rachel being able to negotiate a higher price because of the Liveability Features. It is now 16 months that I have been living in my new home and have experienced first-hand the benefits of incorporating liveability into new builds.  Rachel’s passion for homes with Liveability Features has contributed to my achieving energy efficient quality homes with high-end features.”

Maria Sbizzarrii, South Australia

“When picking an agent there are so many different things to consider. With Rachel a big thing that stood out for us was her ‘liveability’ training. For us, we felt that having anything extra to set our house above the rest and introduce a different dimension to our sales angle was a huge bonus. In a world where electricity and power prices are constantly hitting the headlines, having liveability to highlight our conscientious energy use not only helps our environment but also helps the potential buyer to save money. Win, win! “ 

Eleanor Coulthard, South Australia

“Rachel Lawrie sold our beautiful family home at Klemzig we had lived in for 26 years. Over the years we had carefully thought about and implemented many sustainable and energy saving features to make our home a healthy, efficient and naturally sustainable home.  Through Rachel’s expertise, study, research and knowledge in “Liveability” she was able to identify all the features which enhance quality of life for community including built and natural environment. Klemzig is a suburb with excellent community connections from transport, schools, sporting clubs, shopping and many other community services. 

Our home offered many Liveability Features and Rachel was able to market these to allow potential purchasers to clearly see how the home would be an efficient and cost-effective healthy home for them to live comfortably. This type of understanding can only be found in a sincere authentic person who cares for her clients. Rachel stands apart in her expertise when it comes to really knowing the homes she sells and by her continuous professional development to be the best she can be. Thank you, Rachel, for doing the extra mile always.”

Carol & Shane O’Connell South Australia


  • [1] These are property features which have the potential for reduced running costs and increased comfort if used correctly by the occupant.

  • [2] The CSIRO science review of the Liveability Features Framework has validated:  The set of 17 Liveability Features, Their classification as Liveability Features (property features which offer the potential for reduced running costs and increased comfort if used correctly by the occupant), The benchmarks for each Liveability Feature which the property must meet. These are relevant to existing homes and are updated annually.