Brookfield's The Eugene multifamily unit precinct in New York City

Brookfield announces Brisbane build-to-rent projects

Canadian asset manager Brookfield will progress two sites in Brisbane under the build-to-rent model after a federal government tax change which now makes the sector more attractive for overseas investors.

Brookfield has multi-family developments – as they are known in overseas markets – in the US and Canada and has been scouting the Australian market for the past two and a half years.

The government has halved the withholding tax on BTR properties payable by foreign investors to 15 per cent. Foreign investors are considered the most likely to progress BTR developments, given the lack of Australian experience in the sector.

See On Build to Rent: the solution to the “Smashed Avo” problem?

A recent EY report found that the tax change could stimulate the development of 150,000 BTR properties, expanding the sector to account for 0.2 per cent of Australia’s $10 trillion residential property market. There are currently just 72 BTR developments in the pipeline, the majority of which are in Melbourne.

The Queensland state government is holding a build-to-rent pilot project in Brisbane that comprises three developments and 1200 new apartments, just over a third of which will be provided at below-market rents.

Government to improve carbon credit scheme

In case you missed it, Tuesday’s budget contained $18.1 million of funding to implement reforms stemming from the Independent Review of Carbon Credits handed down in March by Professor Ian Chubb.

The review found that the Australian Carbon Credit Unit scheme’s integrity has been called into question over recent years despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.

The review recommended that steps be taken to improve the scheme’s transparency by identifying and separating the key roles of integrity assurance, regulation and administration, remove unnecessary restrictions on data sharing and to improve information and incentives.

It also recommended that the Clean Energy Regulator to be responsible for project monitoring, compliance and enforcement.

Warren & Mahoney use tech to reduce embodied carbon

Architectural firm Warren & Mahoney is using automation software to reduce the embodied carbon emissions of its buildings designs by a minimum of 40 per cent by 2030.

Using Autodesk software, the firm’s staff is able to track the material data in 300 of its active projects and collaborate with 264 other consultants and contractors. The software allows the architects to perform 3D rendering and project management, using AI to automate data mining and calaculations to establish embodied carbon estimates.

The New Zealand based architectural firm has been using Autodesk for nine years since embarking on a project to rebuild Christchurch after the devastating 2011 earthquake. The firm was able to reduce embodied carbon by 60 per cent in the construction of an office tower on 90 Devonport Road in Tauranga, which resulted in a 5000 tonnes of CO2 emissions saving.

CBRE partners with sustainability software provider

CBRE has partnered with Deepki, a sustainability data intelligence platform for commercial property as part of a global rollout.

The deal will see the global commercial real estate agency take a minority stake in  the  software-as-a-service provider.

CBRE will use  the partnership to collect energy, water and waste consumption data to assess how its portfolios and assets under management are performing on environmental metrics. It can also establish investment plans to reach net zero and measure results.

The agency has been using the software in the UK for the past two years, and is now rolling it out in the US and the Asia-Pacific markets in which it operates.

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