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Tomorrow's too late

Presenting the case for regenerative decarbonisation in Australian build-to-rent developments

The build-to-rent sector, using a framework of regenerative decarbonisation, has the potential to revolutionise the Australian housing market by providing a more sustainable, equitable and community-focused solution as Australia targets net zero.

About this report

Tomorrow's too late

The CEFC is among collaborators involved in the Tomorrow’s too late white paper led by build-to-rent group Model with the support of the Property Council of Australia.

Tomorrow's too late


We’ve got all the technologies available today to commercially deliver net zero operational assets and the market is now well progressed in measuring and reducing embodied carbon in projects. As an industry we need to continue taking big strides right across the supply chain to enable further progression.
Michael Di Russo
Head of Property, CEFC

about the industry

Build-to-rent is an emerging housing model in Australia where developers construct, own and manage apartment complexes, providing tenants with flexible longer-term leases, security of tenure and amenity-rich living. 

Regenerative decarbonisation takes a whole-of-systems approach to decarbonising the built form. It refers to the interconnected aspects related to decarbonisation, including biodiversity loss, modern slavery, living wages, and health and well-being, alongside reductions in operational and embodied carbon as we move to a net zero future.

The build-to-rent sector has the potential to be the standard bearer for regenerative decarbonisation, influencing the broader property sector through its successful integration of a holistic approach to sustainable building.

Role of the CEFC

The CEFC sees a unique opportunity in build-to-rent projects to use energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to deliver more sustainable outcomes for developers, tenants, investors and the environment. Learn more about our investments in the sector through our case studies.

Qualitas Build-to-Rent Impact Fund

Mirvac Build-to-Rent Venture

Mirvac Australian Build-to-Rent Club

report findings

  • The value of Australia’s build-to-rent market is $16 billion and this could realistically expand to be $290 billion within five to seven years.
  • The build-to-rent sector offers a unique alignment of market demand, financial viability, and policy support, making it an ideal conduit for sustainable innovation.
  • Rapid policy changes, the urgency of the climate crisis, and evolving consumer expectations require a multi-faceted, agile approach by developers.
  • The market is increasingly demanding highly sustainable buildings with sustainability a critical risk measure that enhances an asset’s quality and attractiveness in terms of its relevance for future markets and its resilience to future climate positions.
  • The intellectual property a developer can create by leading the race to net zero will give them a significant competitive advantage, especially as the policy environment changes.
  • Buildings not developed through the framework of regenerative decarbonisation risk becoming stranded assets.
Last updated October 2023. Housing, Property, Market reports
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