Building a more resilient Australia starts at home
Suncorp has partnered with experts from James Cook University’s Cyclone Testing Station, CSIRO, and Room11 Architects to design and test one of Australia’s most natural disaster-resilient homes; One House.
Australia is no stranger to extreme weather. Every year we see homes destroyed and billions spent on rebuilding, while our communities carry the emotional toll.
To tackle this challenge, Suncorp has partnered with experts from James Cook University’s Cyclone Testing Station, CSIRO, and Room11 Architects to design and test one of Australia’s most natural disaster-resilient homes… we call it One House.
The project is a conversation starter on building standards, making sure these continue to be reviewed as extreme weather increases and impacts property and communities more than ever.
The current building code is focused on saving lives. It doesn’t give the same consideration to, say, water and wind through windows and doors, as it does to keeping the roof on. So, while a house can be built to code, it can still suffer significant damage during extreme weather.
Suncorp believes the purpose of the National Construction Code should be expanded to include consideration of increasing resilience of buildings, such as floor heights in flood-prone areas, and reducing displacement rather than only loss of life.
We’ve already seen the benefits of stronger homes. Suncorp is a vocal supporter of the Queensland Household Resilience Program which is based on our research with the Cyclone Testing Station at JCU into the drivers of claims from cyclones.
Home improvements funded through the program align to the features recognised by Suncorp’s Cyclone Resilience Benefit, meaning customers can receive a reduction in their premium for making their home stronger and safer.
I have called on the Federal Government to establish similar Household Resilience Programs in conjunction with other state governments and re-focus these programs where necessary to address other natural disasters such as flood and bushfire.
If we can improve building resilience and adapt to a future of more extreme weather, generations to come will be better protected and less likely to be displaced before, during, and after natural disasters.
Importantly, all levels of government, industry experts, businesses, community groups, and individuals have a role to play. One House shows the power of collaboration, and why this is critical to helping make Australia more resilient to natural disasters.
Suncorp Group CEO