Element 27 in Perth is set to become the first Carbon Neutral Certified apartment building in Australia.
The building was designed to incorporate water and energy conservation strategies, greenhouse gas emissions reduction and durable products for minimal maintenance and waste.
Sentinel Real Estate and environmental consultant Stantec have worked together with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and Climate Active over the past nine months to shape a certification methodology through the Green Star Performance pathway that’s applicable to the build-to-rent model.
The partnership believes this first-of-a-kind methodology will set a new standard in the residential market.
Element 27 contains 264 apartments, managed and leased by Sentinel. Key sustainability features include electric car charging stations, a 30-kilowatt photovoltaic system for common area energy use, a rainwater and grey-water recycling system, speciality waste streams, centralised geothermal system access, energy efficient appliances, occupancy sensors, an embedded metering network and an 8-star NatHERS rating.
“The build-to-rent model is recognised to provide a more sustainable living option for many Australians when it comes to quality of living and housing security, says Sentinel president Michael Streicker. “Equally,” he says, “it should target high environmental standards to support a more sustainable future.
“There’s a unique opportunity with build-to-rent as an asset class. The developer’s continued role in management of the building following design and construction means it is possible to track, benchmark and publish residential environmental performance in ways that differ from the traditional residential strata model.
“The developer has a continued responsibility and can ensure the building performs to high sustainability standards once occupied,” says Streicker.
The Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard for Buildings was established through collaboration between the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, the GBCA and NABERS. To achieve eligibility and certification in the new Standard, a number of operational factors – including stabilisation, greenhouse gas emissions, operational waste, refrigerant impacts and transport emissions – are assessed. The GBCA provides Climate Active with validation of projects for certification through industry recognised pathways such as Green Star – Performance v1.2.
“The residential sector is responsible for more than 50 percent of Australia’s building related emissions and the build-to-rent sector has an opportunity to set clear leading goals in this space by bringing investor drivers to the residential market,” says GBCA CEO Davina Rooney.
Streicker adds that his organisation is seeing a strong trend towards environmentally sustainable investments in the investor community.
Element 27 was the first purpose-built institutional build-to-rent community in Australia, with its first phase operational and fully tenanted since April 2019. This second phase is expected to open by September this year.