The first residential project to achieve a Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) 6 Star Green Star rating in Australia uses 50 percent less energy and potable water than a typical urban dwelling.
Delivered by Defence Housing Australia (DHA), The Prince’s Trust Australia, and Renewal SA—The Prince’s Terrace Adelaide in Bowden, South Australia, was designed to respond to the local climate while providing comfortable living spaces for residents.
The project design was informed early on by computer simulation and design analysis. According to the project’s sustainability consultant, dsquared Consultation, this allowed the team to test several scenarios, and choose a building form that was the most sustainable and beneficial for future occupants.
Each of the eight terraces and four flats (built as mews behind the terraces) is orientated to maximise natural cross ventilation as well as the amount of natural daylight received throughout the year.
Ensuring the building envelope was well insulated to ensure energy efficiency was another key sustainability strategy for the team. This includes double glazed windows, which contribute to acoustic comfort, and high levels of insulation in the walls and roofs.
Although the project features low energy heating and cooling systems—ceiling fans and fireplaces—highly-efficient zoned air conditioning systems have also been installed and may be switched on during hot summer days. Energy use is further reduced with help from a 1.5kW photovoltaic system installed on each roof.
A strong emphasis was placed on local and low-carbon material building materials, from the concrete locally made from recycled rubble, slag, fly ash and reclaimed water; to the granite, pavers and wrought iron balustrades sourced and manufactured locally.
Bricks were also recycled from old industrial buildings in the area, and all timber used in the project were sourced from certified sustainable sources.
According to the GBCA, the decision to only specify high-quality and durable materials locally required extra flexibility during the design process.
“The design initially called for black granite benches, however Adelaide’s local granite is red in colour. We worked closely with the design team to make this change – and as a result, we have a material that is not only attractive and locally-sourced, but generates fewer emissions during transport to the site,” Jan Mason, DHA’s managing director, told the GBCA.
“Using natural, locally-sourced materials also supports a more sustainable supply chain – so this project is helping to build skills and opportunities locally.”