Nightingale Fremantle
Nightingale Fremantle

Nightingale Housing’s foray into the Perth market is about to take flight, with Nightingale Fremantle set to be launched to the public on Wednesday 6 June.

Don Fini

According to Fini Sustainability’s Don Fini, who has signed on as development and project manager, the building, on the corner of Wood and Blinco Streets in Fremantle, is set to eclipse Nightingale projects that have come before it in terms of energy efficiency.

The average efficiency rating for the proposed 13-15 apartments will be more than nine-star NatHERS, with the minimum 8.6 stars.

“Our goal from day one was to be above the minimum Nightingale standard of 7.5 stars,” Mr Fini told The Fifth Estate.

“I don’t think there’s any apartment in Perth that’s averaging a NatHERS rating above nine stars.”

This translates to an estimated 70 per cent reduction in heating and cooling costs.

As well, the development is looking to incorporate about a minimum of 20 kilowatts of solar PV, which Fini says will save $11,000 a year to offset strata fees, and will also be “battery ready”.

“We want to make these apartments more affordable for people to live in,” Fini says.

Operational efficiency is obviously a major selling point for the apartments, perhaps particularly in a housing market where providing the below market prices Nightingale typically aims for (around a 15-20 per cent reduction) is a difficult prospect.

Nonetheless, Fini says the apartments’ end cost should come in below current market product.

“When it comes to affordability, Nightingale Housing looks at both capital and living costs associated with owning a home.”

And when you take the quality of the development into account, he believes it’s an attractive proposition.

Already there’s about 250 WA residents who’ve expressed interest in the Nightingale model, and 100 people who have expressed interest in this particular Fremantle project.

“We hope the fact that around 250 people have already expressed a strong interest in living in an eco-conscious, ethical, community-minded development will encourage more architectural firms to apply for Nightingale licences,” Fini says.

Nightingale Fremantle interior

EHDO Architecture is the firm behind the project, obtaining a Nightingale licence last year and becoming the first project outside Melbourne to secure land.

It also gained planning approval last month, with Fremantle City Council quickly and unanimously approving the project. Councillor Bryn Jones said if gold stars could be given out for applications, Nightingale Fremantle would be covered in them.

Fini says there’s been real effort trying to provide social and environmental outcomes for Fremantle.

The land itself currently houses an industrial building, the materials from which will be re-used on site. The plan is to invite successful balloters to help wash the bricks to be re-used as a way of providing them a stronger connection with their home.

The concrete flooring will be ground and reused as gabions, while timber trusses will create shade structures and delineations between public and private space.

Fini expects design development to begin after tomorrow night. If all goes well with balloting they can hopefully be on site in August/September, with people hopefully settling by September/October next year.

There’ll be two commercial spaces too – one about 115 square metres and one about 95 sq m. Fini hopes to attract a food providore to help service the community.

A Nightingale Fremantle information night will be held at 7pm Wednesday 6 June at 29 Wood Street Fremantle. Register here. Ballots close Tuesday 19 June.

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  1. Excellent news. Too bad Sydney cannot get its act together in response to the ongoing issue of sustainable affordable housing. Once again the Emerald City falls short due to state govt inaction & developer self interest.