Perth developer Psaros’s latest residential project at West Leederville continues the company’s agenda to set new standards in sustainability with a project that has cut its carbon footprint in half by using lifecycle analysis right from the start.

The announcement comes as Psaros said it had developed the largest residential solar systems in the Southern Hemisphere, with its  Flo development in Rivervale comprising 640 solar panels, with a capacity of 180kW.

The West Leederville development, the Marq, is the first high-density residential development in Australia to get a silver rating through eTool’s LCA process, which means, according to Psaros managing director Mike Enslin, it has a forecast carbon footprint of less than half the average Australian home per occupant per year.

The building, comprising 58 residential apartments and four commercial lots, chalked up multiple wins on the LCA:

Design life and occupancy

First, being a high-density development means that redevelopment potential is low, increasing the design life of the building.

“In the future, it is very unlikely that Marq’s design life will be affected by the normal redevelopment pressure that leads to a building’s demolition due to the large number of strata units which make it extremely difficult for a single person to purchase all lots, a basic necessity for demolition,” an eTool statement said. “This ensures the construction materials are fully utilised.”

Materials and assembly

The LCA noted that the use of concrete was carbon intensive, but was partly offset by the building’s long expected design life. Bamboo flooring reduced the impact of floor finishes in the living areas, and high-quality fittings and fixtures extended their lives, reducing recurring embodied impacts.

Operational energy

Around 70 per cent of the lifecycle carbon associated with the development is estimated to come from operational energy consumption.

This consumption has been reduced with a centralised gas-boosted solar hot water system, an average 6.8-star NaTHERS rating, an efficient floor plan, and, where possible, solar passive design techniques, double-glazed windows and insulation. Energy-efficient air source heat pumps are used to enable HVAC energy use. All lighting for residences is LED and common area lighting are controlled with motion sensors to reduce lamp run time.

High efficiency washing machines, driers and dishwashers are supplied with all apartments, with residents able to add a complete high efficiency appliance specification to their apartment at the point of sale.

Smart energy monitors feature in every apartment to allow users to see where energy is being consumed, and to help with behaviour adjustment, which is expected to lead to a 10 per cent saving in energy use.

Highly efficient elevators with reduced lighting, standby, and hoisting energy consumption, along with regenerative drive systems, significantly reduce lift impacts.

The car park ventilation system features pollutant sensors to reduce unnecessary run time, and electric vehicle charging stations and bicycle parking has also been provided for residents.

Renewable energy

There is roof space available for all apartments to fit a one kilowatt solar PV system, with a 10kW common area solar system installed to reduce grid demand.


Residents have the choice of a standard fitout, or they can opt for an advanced specification featuring roof-mounted solar PV and higher efficiency (4-6 star) fridges, dishwashers and washing machines.

Continuing the sustainability Flo

Another recent development by Psaros has what the developer says is one of the largest residential solar systems in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Flo development in Rivervale comprises 640 solar panels, with a capacity of 180kW – just over 2kW for each of the 86 apartments.

An aerial of Flo taken on 24 April 2015

Together with other sustainability initiatives, energy use is expected to reduce by almost half for a one-bedroom apartment.

“There’s overwhelming buyer support for projects incorporating renewable energy technologies, not only because of the cost-saving benefits, but also because people recognise this is the way of the future,” Psaros head sustainability Chiara Pacifici said.

“When you consider that more than two million Australian households are already fitted with solar panels, it won’t be long before the installation of renewable energy technology is standard across all new residential developments in WA.”

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