An artist's impression of the Tonsley redevelopment.

South Australia’s Tonsley urban renewal project has been awarded a 6 Star Green Star – Communities rating, furthering the state’s lead in sustainability.

The rating is the first 6-Star for an urban renewal project; other projects have achieved the top rating for new developments.

The former Mitsubishi site has been transformed into a 11-hectare mixed-use industrial, retail, residential and education precinct with sustainability at its core.

“Tonsley’s 6 Star Green Star accreditation is an unprecedented milestone for the South Australian building industry,” South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said.

“Tonsley is Australia’s only urban renewal development to achieve this level of certification and is a testament to the world-class design principles which have guided the redevelopment of the former Mitsubishi site.”

Sustainability features of the site include water sensitive urban design in public spaces, integrated transport including walking and cycling paths, and a planned three-megawatt solar array.

“The adaptive re-use of the culturally significant Mitsubishi MAB has prevented the loss of around 90,000 tonnes of carbon emissions embodied in its original construction, a saving equivalent to taking 25,000 cars off the road for a year,” Green Building Council of Australia chief executive Romilly Madew said.

“In addition to this positive environmental impact, the MAB has been rejuvenated with future use in mind. Flexible, modular and pod tenancies that can adapt to changing community needs will ensure this important part of the area’s history, remains an asset into the future.”

Tonsley is also home to a four-year “living laboratory” collaboration between Renewal SA, the CRC for Low Carbon Living and the University of SA to investigate pathways for a more sustainable Adelaide.

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