Language is everything in new reality TV for sustainable homes

TGL News

Renovate or Rebuild marries the CRC for Low Carbon Living’s research on social behaviour with a desire to make sustainability mainstream.

It’s not often we plug reality television shows, but bear with us because this one’s a bit different.

Renovate or Rebuild is the answer to Greenlister CRC for Low Carbon Livings research on marketing sustainability to consumers and their homes.

According to their behavioural science findings, a large proportion of Australians find sustainability terms such as “carbon emissions” and “greenhouse gasses”  off-putting.

As Jess Eva, a fixture in the show and ex-The Block star puts it, “when you think of sustainable homes you usually think of a hale bale and some spiders”.

So, Renovate or Rebuild swaps out these “controversial” terms for more inviting turns of phrase such as “comfortable” or “healthy”. Although green star ratings and passive house technologies are used throughout, the show is more about creating emotional impressions than pushing these specifically.

Host Dr Josh Byrne who is well known in The Fifth Estate for his highly sustainable Josh’s House not to mention his Gardening Australia appearances, says the idea is to get people excited and then bring them to the website where the “rational brain” can kick in to learn more.

Renovate or Rebuild remains “in discussions with Channel 9 regarding a full series on 9Life,” says strategic partner James McGregor.

The pilot of Renovate or Rebuild is available to watch on YouTube.

CRC for Low Carbon Living

University | Australia