Modulus Bellevue Hill

A new luxury apartment development in Sydney’s eastern suburbs also promises to be one of the country’s most sustainable, being the city’s first multi-resi project to go for both 6 Star Green Star and PassivHaus certification.

The project is being led by new sustainable property developer Modulus Luxury, the brainchild of architect Felicia Whiting, who was involved in Australia’s first floating solar project in South Australia last year, as part of start-up Infratech Industries.

The eight-apartment Modulus Bellevue Hill project also features big names including architecture practice Fender Katsalidis Mirams and landscape architect Sue Barnsley. It will be the first project of the new company, which was established this year, though there are already plans for similar boutique luxury developments, an indication that Whiting sees a strong market for sustainability in the luxury apartment market.

“Our unique approach to building systems, infrastructure and technology in a luxury residential offering has never been done before in Australia,” Whiting says.

“Our building designs have anticipated the effects of both a changing climate and technological advances, and are designed to be relevant and appropriate for future conditions and a luxury lifestyle.”

There’s a range of sustainable design techniques and technology included in the development, which together are expected to cut energy use by 80 per cent and potable water use by 65 per cent.

Passive design techniques like designing with increased daylighting have been used, along with sustainable or recycled materials, including timber.

On the technology front, there’s a “bio-climatically responsive” control system, high-performance glazing, solar PV, a “proprietary energy storage system” (of which further details are currently not available), an EV charging station, high-efficiency water fittings, water recycling and rainwater harvesting, geothermal energy and energy-efficient lighting.

The development will also feature an “edible forest” created by Sue Barnsley, who was behind the award-winning Prince Alfred Park + Pool’s landscaping in inner-city Sydney.

Apartment sizes are being kept modest. There will be one one-bedroom apartment of 50 square metres, one two-bedroom apartment of 75 sq m and six three-bedders of 130 sq m. Prices have not yet been indicated.

While the apartments are targeting anyone who wants a lux, sustainable home, empty nesters are expected to show particular interest due to the size of the apartments and quality of life offered through the green tech features.

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  1. Getting developers to support sustainability has been very difficult as they have been hard-wired to go for maximum profit. This concept should well assist the change process and every step towards this path is a positive one.

  2. There is a difference between passive design principles and passivhaus – this appears to have been confused in the tagging of this document.
    Would be interesting to see if the architect can achieve passivhaus requirements also in this project; in addition to the other notable passive design features.

  3. A “sustainable luxury lifestyle” is certainly better than nothing, but I do hope the developer takes what they learn and pushes this methodology towards the mass market. Because until that happens it’s all a bit like feeling good about driving a hybrid Range Rover.