One Perth apartment complex created with sustainability in mind has seen design intent follow through to performance outcomes, cutting carbon emissions by 64 per cent and saving $20,000 a year in avoided energy costs.

Perth’s 22-unit Bravo, by developer Psaros, underwent a lifecycle analysis to see whether the building’s suite of sustainability initiatives – including solar systems for each apartment and common areas, solar hot water, solar passive design, energy efficient lighting and appliances, and high-performance building materials – translated into tangible outcomes.

According to Psaros head of sustainability Chiara Pacifici the initiatives have paid off in spades, making the development what she terms Perth’s most environmentally sustainable apartment development to date.

“These results are what we have been waiting for – quantitative and scientific evidence of how a green apartment building outperforms all other comparable buildings,” she said.

The lifecycle analysis by eTool found that over a year the complex – which features 16 apartments, six townhouses and two ground floor commercial tenancies – achieved a 64 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with a typical building.

Energy savings were in the order of 58 per cent compared to an equivalent, code compliant building, leading to savings of $500 for every resident a year, and $20,000 for the entire building.

The news bodes well for Psaros’ suite of medium-rise apartment developments, with the above-mentioned sustainability initiatives coming as standard. Each building will similarly be life-cycle audited following completion.

One of the townhouses
One of the townhouses

A quarter of a million tonnes of CO2 saved

Psaros managing director Mike Enslin said there was just a six per cent difference between the predicted and measured outcomes, “so we are anticipating the carbon saving to be in the region of 250 million kilograms across our projects built, or in the process of being built, since 2014 – which will be an incredible achievement and an industry first.”

He said Australia’s signing of the Paris Agreement meant there was an impetus to reduce emissions in the buildings sector.

“With Australia’s reduction target at 26-28 per cent below 2015 levels by 2030, we have 15 years to reduce carbon emissions by nearly a third and if all buildings such as Bravo work to achieve the same reduction targets, then Australia will exceed this target,” he said.

Ms Pacifici said Psaros was committed to making “sustainability a part of the DNA of their apartment buildings”, and that by the end of 2016, when an additional 450 apartments currently under construction come on line, the company would become the country’s number one developer of solar-powered, low-carbon apartments.

“This is the largest number of green apartments by any one developer to enter the market globally with over 1000 strata homes that will generate their own renewable energy and take advantage of enhanced solar passive design.”

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