Royal Collaboration Delivers Australia’s First 6 Star Residential Building

Romilly Madew

Last week, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) awarded the nation’s first 6 Star Green Star rating to a residential development.

The Prince’s Australian Terraces, a collaboration between the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community and Defence Housing Australia (DHA), has achieved ‘world leadership’ status in sustainable design, after achieving a 6 Star Green Star ‘Design Review’ rating under the Green Star – Design & As Built rating tool.

The impact of this achievement on the building industry cannot be understated.

While around a quarter of Australia’s office stock is Green Star-rated, the multi residential building sector has been slower to embrace sustainability.

The Prince’s Australia Terraces demonstrate that world-leadership sustainable design and construction outcomes in the residential sector are attainable now.prince charles

The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community was created by the Prince of Wales to raise the level of sustainability of homes, workplaces and communities. This is its first Australian project.

Executive Director Victoria Chester has said the project “brings alive” many of the Foundation’s key principles.

The project “evokes the local heritage and uses local materials to create a harmonious and enduring community that focuses on environmental sustainability. Being the very first development in Australia to be awarded a 6 Star Green Star rating is a wonderful recognition of both ours and DHA’s focus on meeting the urgent challenges of urbanisation and climate change,” she says.

Key features of the Prince’s Terrace townhouses include:

  • Emphasis on local, low-carbon materials, including locally-made concrete with a recycled fly ash content, local granite, and bricks re-used from old Bowden industrial buildings
  • Orientation to minimise summer solar gain and maximise natural cross ventilation
  • Façade designed to maximise daylight access and views while managing glare
  • Ceiling fans control the indoor climate, complemented with small but high efficiency air conditioning systems for peak Adelaide temperatures
  • LED lighting and photovoltaic solar panels generating renewable energy reduce the building’s peak power demand
  • High efficiency water fittings, with toilets and laundry fittings supplied with 100 per cent recycled water.

These strategies in combination have resulted in town houses which are predicted to use 50 per cent less energy and 50 per cent less potable water than a typical urban town house, with a carbon footprint also reduced by more than 40 per cent.

DHA’s Chairman the Hon Sandy Macdonald is equally proud of the achievement.

“For our Defence families, this means passing on not just financial savings but a lifestyle that will provide a better future for their children,” he says.

The Prince’s Australian Terraces will be located in the Adelaide suburb of Bowden, which requires all developments to attain 5 Star Green Star ratings. Construction of the terraces will commence in late 2015. Bowden is registered to achieve a Green Star – Communities rating for the entire precinct.

Romilly Madew
Chief Executive Officer, Green Building Council of Australia