The prestigious Prince’s Terrace project was recently completed in Adelaide, South Australia, with the residential development setting a new benchmark in environmentally sustainable design. Located in the urban precinct of Bowden in Adelaide, the Prince’s Terrace comprises of eight terrace homes and four apartments, and has also been awarded Australia’s first 6 Star Green Star Design rating for a residential project by the Green Building Council of Australia. The certification for a Green Star As Built rating is also expected in 2018.

A unique collaboration between The Prince's Trust Australia, Renewal SA and Defence Housing Australia (DHA), the project was built by Palumbo Building Group of Adelaide with sustainable design concepts underlining every aspect of the development.

The design by Architekton, a UK consultancy associated with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community in London, was further detailed to comply with the Australian building code while integrating aspects of low carbon building from the UK. The homes are expected to use 50 per cent less energy and potable water than a typical urban townhouse, and will generate 55 per cent less carbon emissions in comparison with a standard household. The average NatHERS rating of the dwellings is 7.2 stars.

One of the key strategies applied during the development of the project was local sourcing, according to DHA senior development manager Stephen Hutchinson. With the objective of reducing supply chain carbon emissions and embodied carbon, the project team focussed on local products and suppliers. The project supported the local economy with over 230 local trades and suppliers involved in the build.

Adelaide-based builder Palumbo was responsible for procuring materials that met Green Star requirements. These included 100-year-old bricks salvaged from heritage demolition sites; sustainable concrete from Port Adelaide comprising of a mix of recycled rubble, slag, fly ash and reclaimed water; SA-quarried black granite; Adelaide-manufactured pavers; Adelaide-fabricated wrought iron balustrades; and certified sustainable Australian timbers.

Palumbo and Dsquared Consulting conducted rigorous screening of all materials throughout the construction process to ensure they met Green Star requirements. A number of certified green products such as Knauf plasterboard and Dorma hardware proved that sustainable building needn’t be an expensive proposition.

Based on passive solar design principles, the project also included specific energy-efficient features such as double glazing across all facades, solar PV arrays for all units, zoned, high efficiency air conditioning units, LED lighting, and ceiling fans in all rooms to reduce air conditioner use. Efficient fixtures and fittings optimise the use of potable water while recycled water from the 6 Star Green Star Communities Bowden Village precinct is also utilised.

The external walls of the residential units feature insulated concrete form blocks from ZEGO Building Systems. The ZEGO ICF blocks have ten times the thermal resistance of a standard brick wall, with an R value of 4.0-5.07.

The Prince’s Terrace project demonstrates that green building objectives can be achieved without substantially adding to the budget. For this project, there was an added cost of six per cent for applying Green Star. DHA hopes to share these learnings with industry to help promote sustainability in building.