A mixed-use residential development with strong green credentials in Melbourne’s inner north sustainability hot spot of Collingwood has been “blessed with consistent sales” during the pandemic. According to the developer group, which includes the project architects, sustainability is usually a talking point in “that part of town”.

A joint venture between Urban, Hamilton Marino Builders and CHT Architects, the 35 apartment residences across nine levels is expected to achieve a NatHERS rating of 7.5 stars at least and a score of 70 with the BESS (Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard), a rating tool that was started by Moreland City Council and the City of Port Phillip.

Double glazed windows and other energy performance considerations are designed to help achieve a 20 per cent reduction in heating and cooling consumption compared to similar conventional dwellings.

The “C&L” building, a mix of retail, residential and hotel accommodation, also has a water sensitive design with objectives to treat 100 per cent of its stormwater and achieve more than a 25 per cent reduction in potable water consumption.

The development team has also managed to keep the embodied carbon down by retaining an existing heritage building that was the Dyason & Co cordial factory.

Other key sustainability features include e-waste disposal facilities, electric vehicle charging, and emphasis on “A-grade air quality” with fresh air recirculating throughout the building. All apartments also have generous access to natural daylight and outdoor space.

A sustainable and healthy housing product is clearly resonating with buyers in the inner Melbourne suburb, even as house prices start to feel the effects of the coronavirus-induced economic downturn.

Bryce Patterson, director at Capital Property Marketing and the sales director on the project, told The Fifth Estate that the apartments have exceeded their sales targets, with the apartment selling range starting at $475,000 for a one bedroom and up to $3.150 million for a merger of two units on the top level.

Mr Patterson said that most projects Melbourne-wide, and Australia wide, have slowed down, so this is certainly an anomaly in the industry.

“We have been blessed with consistent sales during Covid-19,” he said.

“Mainly due to having a great project to start with that was well thought out towards our target market: good floorplans and high-quality fixtures and fittings.”

He said that customers directly ask about sustainability features “over this side of town,” with Melbourne’s inner north home to the Nightingale projects pioneered by Breathe Architecture’s that seemed to kickstart demand for sustainable, liveable apartments in the area.

Mr Patterson also said that the unusual joint venture between the developers, builders and architect has resulted in quality outcomes.

“It is very rare that the developers are also part of the team who are delivering the project.

“The result of this has been they were very keen to listen to customers to deliver them a property they truly want and desired.”

Each dwelling is spacious, with internal spaces starting from 50 square metres for one bedroom and increasing to 320 sqm for a three bedroom. Perhaps reflecting a lockdown-inspired appreciation for more space – at least room for a home office as remote working becomes more accepted post-pandemic – many existing apartments have already been sold to merge into even larger spaces.

On a triple street block of Cambridge, Langridge and Oxford Streets in Collingwood – about 2 kilometres from the CBD – the area is extremely walkable and bike-friendly.

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