Botanica Residences

25 February 2014 — Botanica Residences in South Brisbane has achieved the highest sustainability rating under the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s EnviroDevelopment tool.

The project is now the largest multi-unit residential project accredited under the UDIA scheme, which is mainly used in developments in the north of Australia.

The leaf system relates to achievements over different sustainability categories: ecosystems, waste, energy, materials, water and community – with Botanica getting the tick on all six.

The 180-apartment tower, designed by architecture firm Rothelowman White and developed by ARIA Property Group, sold out within two weeks of its launch and is soon due to commence construction.

The building features Queensland’s largest vertical garden as well as a 28-kilowatt solar array on the northern and western facades of the building, and a 10kW rooftop solar system, together estimated to produce 46.25 megawatt-hours of electricity a year to offset common area power use, with associated savings of around $50,000 a year.

Each unit will also incorporate a smart monitor so residents can better manage their energy and water use.

“As power bills go up and people become more aware of environmental concerns, buyers have become increasingly interested in apartments and workplaces that offer the edge in sustainability, as seen in the demand for Botanica’s residences,” said Rothelowman White principal Simon White.

Rothelowman White said the rooftop of the building had been designed to improve environmental performance through high levels of shading and ventilation, while the apartments were designed to exploit natural light.

Michael Hurley of ARIA’s residential development division said the organisation decided to make some changes to the original building plans in order to gain EnviroDevelopment certification and steer Botanica in a more environmentally friendly direction and differentiate it from the general market.

“It was apparent that with some hard work and smart design changes, we could achieve all six levels of certification,” Mr Hurley said.

“We are continually working to further separate our developments from the market, and achieving the UDIA six leaf [certification] was a very easy decision for us to make.”

Sustainability features leading to the certification included:

  • a smart metering system that extracts data from electricity, water and gas meters then displays it on a web-based system
  • 38kW of solar PV
  • use of LED lighting throughout common areas
  • energy efficient appliances and fixtures
  • a reduction in potable water by at least 20 per cent
  • high recycled content concrete
  • a community garden