The Nightingale 2.0 in Fairfield by Six Degrees Architects and HIP V. HYPE Sustainability picked up the Multiple Dwelling award at the recently-held 2019 Sustainability Awards at The Star, Sydney.

This is the second Nightingale project to be completed and follows on from Nightingale 1.0 in Brunswick, a triple bottom line development model that delivers homes that are environmentally, socially and financially sustainable.

The goal of each Nightingale project is to provide quality urban housing, to owner occupiers, with high sustainability outcomes, at an affordable price.

Nightingale 2.0 is a free standing, five level + roof top, 20 apartment building with an active ground plane of three tenancies. The project sits adjacent to Fairfield Station, within a small neighbourhood precinct and has been designed with sustainability and community in front of mind.

One of the significant aspects of the Nightingale model is that the client/developer is replaced by the Architects who works in collaboration with the development manager and project team to deliver the project. Equity for the project is provided by a group of ethical investors made up of other architects, past clients, friends and colleagues.

According to the architects, Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) principles at Nightingale 2.0 are a fundamental aspect of the project, while a highly efficient thermal envelope, good insulation, excellent solar orientation, cross ventilation, double glazing, and thermal breaks are provided throughout.

The apartments achieve a NatHERS 8.7 star average, with many of the apartments achieving over 9 stars. Through the use of an embedded network the residents are able to purchase wholesale green power at less than most people are able to purchase black power, say the architects.

This factor along with a policy of no gas, enables the building to be fossil fuel free in operation. Orientation No internal passages are included in the development, allowing all apartments to be designed with cross flow ventilation, significantly reducing their energy consumption and improving their liveability.

Good access to northern sunlight is provided to all apartments. Engaged thermal mass within the apartments, through the use of exposed concrete, further reduces consumption, while providing a comfortable living environment, by reducing the peaks and troughs of environmental temperature change.

A centralised electric heat-pump system provides efficient underfloor hydronic heating and hot water to all apartments. 15kW of solar PV cells are located on the rooftop and an embedded network within the development ensures that all power produced by the PV cells is used by the residents and retail tenants, with none likely to go back to the grid at the paltry rate currently offered.

All savings made through the power produced by the PV cells are shared by the building occupants. As the thermal performance of the apartments is so good, no air-conditioners are required.

Instead ceiling fans are provided to all living spaces and bedrooms and night purging is enabled through cross ventilation. Water harvesting tanks are used to collect rainwater for reuse throughout the development, for both irrigation and WC flushing to the ground floor. Kitchen waste is also composted within a worm farm system on the rooftop, with the waste stream used on the landscaping.

Nightingale projects adopt a strategy of reduction and simplification throughout the design, whereby materials, structure and other non-essential building systems are judiciously minimised where possible.

For example, car parking, second bathrooms, individual laundries, mechanical ducting, ceilings and most applied finishes have all been excluded where practicable.

Similarly, energy intensive and high VOC materials such as aluminium, PVC, polyurethane, and chrome plating have been minimized and replaced with stainless steel and unplated brass tapware and door hardware, FSC certified durable Class 1 timbers, BPA free pipework and low VOC paints.

According to the judges, “The project is innovative, ecological and economical in providing its occupants with a quality design solution which may not have been available to them alternatively. Offering an energetic, exciting and appealing building to the inhabitants and the surrounding community.”