A Build to Rent project in Subiaco, Western Australia has become the first Carbon Neutral Certified apartment building in Australia under the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard for Buildings.

Developed by Sentinel Fund Manager Australia (Sentinel), the Australian arm of leading American development and real estate investment firm Sentinel Real Estate, Element 27 is the only Build to Rent property currently active in Western Australia, with the first phase comprising 264 apartments, operational and fully tenanted since April 2019.

Element 27 incorporates a number of strategies aimed at water and energy conservation, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and use of durable products to minimise maintenance and waste. Key sustainability features include electric car charging stations, a 30kW photovoltaic system for common area energy usage, a rainwater and greywater recycling system, speciality waste streams, access to a centralised geothermal system, energy efficient appliances, occupancy sensors, an embedded metering network and an impressive 8-star NatHERS rating.

Sentinel and environmental consultant Stantec worked with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and Climate Active to shape a certification methodology through the Green Star Performance pathway that’s applicable to the Build to Rent model.

The Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard for Buildings has been established through collaboration between the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, the GBCA and NABERS. Eligibility and certification are determined on the basis of a number of operational factors including stabilisation, greenhouse gas emissions, waste from operations, refrigerant impacts and transport emissions. The GBCA provides Climate Active with validation of projects for certification through industry recognised pathways such as Green Star – Performance v1.2.

“We congratulate Sentinel for their leadership setting the standard for the residential market with a net zero rating from Climate Active for their Element 27 development, using Green Star – Performance. The residential sector is responsible for over 50 per cent 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,” GBCA chief executive officer Davina Rooney says.

The second phase of Element 27 is approaching practical completion and expected to open by September 2021, with pre-leasing commencing this month. Construction of the third phase of the project is expected to begin in Q3 2021.