New energy solution offers savings to residents

by Tiffany Paczek
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With energy prices rising relentlessly across Australia and growing environmental concerns, The Orchards masterplanned development in Sydney’s Norwest will offer an energy solution that will provide its residents savings of up to 35 percent on their power and gas as the result of a new approach to energy management.

The developer, Sekisui House, is working with Flow Systems to create sustainable solar energy, electricity and thermal services including cooktop gas and efficient hot water systems. Unlike a traditional energy network, The Orchards will generate its own exclusive power via an embedded power and gas network*, provided by Flow Systems.

The embedded power network will generate power via one of the largest high-rise residential rooftop solar panel systems in the world. The system will be the size of 24 tennis courts and will provide residents with 1GWh of free solar power each year for use in community common areas, including lobbies and corridors, a wellness centre, a swimming pool and an outdoor cinema. That’s the equivalent amount of energy used to power 77,000 homes for one day, planting 5500 trees a year or keeping 800 cars off the road.

According to Sekisui House sales and marketing operations manager, Paul Wainwright, these savings will be passed onto residents.

“Residents in The Orchards will benefit from this affordable and renewable energy source and as a result, will pay lower community levies and strata fees,” says Wainwright.

“Based on an average household spend, the 35 percent saving would feed a family of four for three weeks, cover the cost of clothing and footwear for more than three months and cover more than two months’ worth of medical and health expenses.

“In addition, a state-of-the-art individual monitoring system will provide personalised tracking of how much electricity, gas and water people use, and a bundled energy package to keep a lid on energy costs – an important consideration, given the rising cost of power.”

Located in the newly-named suburb of Norwest and set to be built by global award-winning developer, Sekisui House, The Orchards creates more than four football fields worth of open space for the Hills as usable publicly accessible parkland and leisure facilities. Stage one of the $1 billion, 1300-apartment precinct is already underway, with full masterplan completion expected in 2025.

Imperial, the first stage of The Orchards, incorporates 121 one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments across two buildings. Due for completion in January 2019, Imperial will be followed by six more phases of construction across the 8.8-hectare (88,000-square metre) site.

One of the world’s largest residential development companies, Sekisui House has a reputation for building sustainable communities in harmony with nature and with superior design and technology.  Among its many achievements is an MIPM Best Innovative Green Building award for the landmark One Central Park, Broadway, and the construction of more than 35,000 zero net energy homes in Japan.

The Orchards display apartment, located on Fairway Drive in Norwest, is currently open for inspection. Visit The Orchards online at www.the-orchards.com.au.

*Embedded power networks are private networks that serve multiple premises and are located within and are connected to a distribution or transmission system through a parent connection point. In the case of The Orchards, this parent connection will be provided by Flow Systems, an Australian multi-utility provider that aims to provide next generation utilities and enable self-sufficient communities.

Images courtesy of Sekisui House.

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