A student accommodation project in South Australia has received a $32-million investment from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to develop an energy-efficient building.

The 428-bed apartment complex on Adelaide’s Waymouth Street is a joint venture between Blue Sky Private Real Estate (BSPRE) and Goldman Sachs. The project is being managed by Atira Student Living.

Thanks to CEFC’s investment, the Waymouth Street project will achieve a minimum 25 percent improvement on average standards of energy efficiency. This is in line with the CEFC's efforts to encourage net-zero carbon buildings in the property sector.

"We are very excited to be making our first property-related commitment in Adelaide,” says Ian Learmonth, CEFC CEO. “This project will lift the benchmark for building standards in student accommodation, representing an important step toward achieving net-zero carbon buildings.”

"The CEFC has a clear focus on investing in clean energy in industry sectors with the strongest potential for decarbonisation. We have already committed more than $600 million to the property sector in support of market-leading projects such as this one.”

According to CEFC property sector lead Chris Wade, there has so far been a limited focus on energy efficiency within student accommodation developments. Instead, there is a trend of developers working on these projects to build to minimum standards under the National Construction Code. Typically, this is the lowest cost option.

"We're demonstrating to property developers, owners and managers that constructing the next generation of energy-efficient student accommodation can be rewarded with long-term operational savings and improved amenity, which makes a strong business case for the additional upfront investment," says Wade.

The Waymouth Street project will incorporate energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning, LED lighting, centralised gas water heating, water-efficient taps and a 25kW rooftop solar photovoltaic system. The building – which is within walking distance of campuses for both the University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide – is expected to open in February next year.