Donna Kelly

6 June 2012 – Applications to take part in the City of Sydney’s Smart Green Apartments program close on 15 June.

The program supports buildings to become more sustainable, cost effective and efficient and offers a subsidised building energy audit and water monitoring and efficiency plan, costed options to make buildings greener and more efficient, and increased knowledge and skills for building owners.

The city is looking for 25 apartment buildings to take part in the five-year, two-phase program.

A five-building pilot already underway with Parkridge Apartments, Darlinghurst, Signature Apartments, Redfern, Hyde Park Towers, Sydney CBD, Glebe Gardens, Glebe and Aria Apartments, Waterloo.

Energy audits for the five pilot buildings are subsidised by the Office of Environment and Heritage’s Energy Saver program.

The Smart Green Apartments program, for medium and high density buildings, works by providing individual sustainability assessments.

The assessments identify opportunities to improve energy and water efficiency, provide recycling infrastructure within apartment buildings and help residents reduce household waste.

The 30 case studies will eventually by shared with up to 700 apartment buildings across Sydney.

When the program was launched late last year Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said 75 per cent of the inner city population lived in apartments with half the state’s population joining their lifestyle choice within 20 years.

“Statistics show a person living in an apartment on average accounts for twice the energy related emissions of someone living in a house,” she said.

“This is due to common area services and amenities such as hot water, heating and cooling systems, lighting, car parks, pools and gyms.”

The Green Building Council of Australia advocacy and business services executive director Robin Mellon said boosting the sustainability of existing building stock remained a huge challenge.

“The vast majority of Australia’s buildings are poor performers in terms of energy and water efficiency, as well as indoor environment quality,” Mr Mellon said.

“The Smart Green Apartments program will provide the incentives and share the expertise necessary to show building owners that green building retrofits are affordable and achievable.”