Evermore, a new sustainable apartment development in White Gum Valley from the Yolk Property Group has taken out top honours at the prestigious Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) WA Awards for Excellence announced recently. The project also placed as a finalist in the Environmental Excellence category.

The residential project with 24 apartments, which won in the Affordable Development category, is a prime example of ‘green development’ with many firsts to their credit, especially in terms of trialling and implementing new technology and applications to create a world-leading sustainable development.

Yolk Property group director Pete Adams says, “Evermore was the first apartment development for sale in Australia to utilise solar and battery technology in a strata-setting; was the first residential development in the country to use blockchain technology to trade renewable energy; and was the first apartment development in Western Australia to be recognised by Bioregional Australia as a One Planet Community.

“We felt Evermore was a truly unique and cutting-edge project and we are thrilled the Urban Development Institute of Australia has recognised it,” he says.

Judges of the Affordable Development Award were looking for a project that demonstrated both initial affordability as well as the incorporation of ‘whole of life’ sustainable elements allowing for affordability in ongoing running costs.

UDIA WA CEO Allison Hailes said, “This innovative project demonstrates passion and leadership in the installation of solar and battery storage systems and innovative governance systems that allow apartment owners to sell electricity to each other. It was the first apartment development for sale in Australia to utilise such a system.”

Adams said the aim was to go above and beyond the standard sustainability practices employed in the industry to create a new benchmark in green development.

“We were determined to prove that sustainability and affordability can go hand in hand, while also showing there is genuine demand in the market for developments offering more in terms of sustainability, a reduced carbon footprint, genuine cost savings and modern technology,” he said.

The 53.6kW solar system with 150kW of battery storage at Evermore will produce approximately 80 percent of the apartments’ power, with residents expected to benefit from a 30 percent saving on their electricity bills. Consequently, the residents will be less affected by fluctuations in energy prices.

Additionally, research from the project will guide the development of a governance framework and micro-grid system for solar PV and batteries in strata residential developments, helping shape the future of sustainable residential development.

Also, a new structure created by Yolk Property Group within strata bylaws is now being used by the State Government as a template for future development.

In addition to cutting-edge solar photovoltaics and lithium battery technology, green features of the Evermore development also include real-time measurement and recording of water and power consumption to ensure maximum energy-efficiency; passive design with north-facing living spaces and balconies across all apartments maximising sunlight and cross-ventilation; site-wide bore water system; electric vehicle charging point; three-bin waste system with compost tumblers; communal vegetable garden; bicycle repair station; and communal bicycles.

Yolk Property Group partnered with Curtin University, LandCorp, Solar Balance, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Low Carbon Living Cooperative Research Centre and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Centre (CSIRO) to deliver Evermore WGV, with ARENA providing a $280,000 grant to aid Yolk Property Group deliver the project.