Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2023 finalists announced

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Nightingale Village

Facility Management takes a look at four of the projects nominated as finalists in this year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards.

Now in its 21st year, Sustainability Victoria’s annual awards program acknowledges the businesses, local governments and communities leading the way in sustainability across the state.

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards has six categories that are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with two winners in each category. The Community Champion Award celebrates individuals and small organisations, while the Industry Leader Award recognises medium and large organisations driving a sustainable future.

The judging panel of independent environmental experts nominated three finalists in the Sustainable Places category this year, including Nightingale Housing, HIP V. HYPE and Riverlee/Helia EHS. In the Future Energy category, a partnership between Yarra City Council and Merri-bek City Council earned a finalist spot.

Electrified housing at Nightingale Village

According to the awards program, Nightingale Housing is “setting a new standard for sustainable, community-centred design” with Nightingale Village. The social housing initiative comprises 203 homes across six buildings in Brunswick, one of Melbourne’s inner-city suburbs.

Designed to support sustainable practices for the lifetime of the precinct, Nightingale Village doesn’t have private car parks, individual laundries or second bathrooms, which increases living space and lowers construction and maintenance costs.

The village is also 100 percent electric, with no natural gas supply. Each building has a certified average NatHERS rating between 7.8 and 9.0 stars, well above the national baseline. Repurposed and locally supplied materials are used wherever possible, along with energy-efficient fixtures and fittings for power and water, plus carbon-neutral tapware and bricks.

Nightingale Village promotes the use of green transport and the precinct houses just 20 car spaces (roughly one for every 10 homes), with 14 reserved for share cars.

Ferrars & York’s green-powered apartments

HIP V. HYPE has created Ferrars & York, 22 carbon-neutral apartments in South Melbourne with an average energy rating of 8.6 stars.

Powered by 100 percent green power, Ferrars & York represents best practice in climate-resilient design and construction, and is among the highest performing and most sustainable apartment buildings in Australia, according to Sustainability Victoria.

Carbon-neutral in construction and setup operation, Ferrars & York represents more comfort for residents due to consistent air temperatures, better acoustic performance, lower energy bills and a lower carbon footprint.

Located on a narrow piece of land adjacent to the South Melbourne light rail, Ferrars & York is designed to foster an active vertical community across its six levels. Six Degrees Architects has incorporated open walkways and a communal roof yard with BBQ, fireplace and landscaped arbour.

Premier's Sustainability Awards finalists

New Epping

New Epping repurposes landfill

A fellow finalist in the Sustainable Places category, Riverlee has been nominated for its world-leading urban renewal and regeneration project, New Epping.

Taking a former landfill and quarry site, and overcoming significant environmental, ecological and engineering constraints with the support of Helia EPS, Riverlee is revitalising the area into a mixed-use community, demonstrating that repurposing landfills can go beyond the common practice of transforming them into parks, ovals or golf courses.

The vision for the site was to plug into the local healthcare sector, the City of Whittlesea’s largest industry, and create a community adjacent to the Northern Hospital. The development plan for the $2 billion mixed-use community includes the regeneration of the

contaminated Edgars Creek and the creation of a 12-hectare green spine, along with walkable neighbourhoods with key worker housing, retirement living, aged care and childcare, a commercial hub, civic heart, and significant infrastructure to support the existing healthcare system, including a new private hospital and accompanying allied healthcare.

Unlocking Sustainable Strata

A finalist project in the Future Energy category is Unlocking Sustainable Strata, a new model for change bringing together apartment residents, the strata sector, local councils and sustainability experts to ensure Victorian apartment residents have access to a safe, affordable and healthy home.

Apartment residents are vulnerable to heat stress and renters remain at a disadvantage in the community.  Developed by Yarra and Merri-bek City Councils in partnership with HIP V. HYPE, owners corporation managers, The Knight, and Strata Community Association Victoria, the Unlocking Sustainable Strata program aims to overcome these challenges by creating five customised, plain English infographic guides for apartment residents, owners’ corporations and strata managers.

The guides contain tailored advice for residents of high-rise, medium-rise, low-rise apartment buildings and townhouses to implement sustainability retrofits and electrification in their own units, and for owners’ corporations to effect across whole buildings or common areas.

To ensure the information within the guides is relevant and informed, Q&A sessions with participating residents were held to learn about challenges and opportunities from residents’ perspectives and workshops held with a range of stakeholders.

Twelve sustainability audits on apartment buildings and individual apartments were conducted across four building typologies: high-rise, medium-rise, low-rise apartments and townhouses to help measure the long-term efficacy of the program.

Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2023 finalists help create a ‘sustainable state’

Matt Genever, Sustainability Victoria’s interim CEO, says he is inspired by the work being done to create a more sustainable state.

“These organisations are showing tremendous leadership and are making significant contributions to a net-zero-emission future for Victoria,” says Genever.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Melbourne on Thursday 23 November.

Photography supplied.

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