Australia's First Green Star Public Housing Project Opens in Sydney

lilyfield public housing photo

Photo Credit: Watpac

Green Star is to Australian commercial and government buildings, what LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is to American structures of a similar ilk. The 5 Green Star rated Lilyfield Housing Redevelopment in inner city Sydney was officially opened this month, making it the first such social housing project awarded such a gong from the Green Building Council of Australia.

One of its claims to green fame is that has eschewed the usual underground car parking found in government housing developments. There is however secure parking provided for bicycles owned by residents and visitors. Energy hogging air conditioning has also been avoided by judicious use of passive solar design and natural ventilation. Yet the thermal performance of the new units is said to be 60% better than a standard residence.Any rainwater falling on the roofs of the redevelopment will harvested and stored in 120,000 litres worth of water tanks under the building, before its used in communal gardens and toilets. Similarly, sunlight is also collected by solar photovoltaic and solar thermal panels to create on-site production of electricity, and gas-boosted solar hot water.

88 modern apartments (one through three bedrooms) have replaced the forty 1950's units that originally occupied the same site. Nine of the apartments will feature disability access features. Once the new residents have moved in, a community vegetable garden will be developed to help foster community spirit, and allow residents to grow their own food. A central courtyard and BBQ area are also intended to facilitate the same neighbourly atmosphere.

Lighting in common areas is activated by both daylight and motion sensors to reduce energy use. Light pollution from outdoor lighting has been especially targeted, with no more than 5% of light output ratio being wasted through escapes skyward. (Apparently poor outdoor lighting in Australia costs the country over a staggering $80 million AUD annually.)

Sources: Housing NSW (owners), WatPac (developers), HBO+EMTB (architects), Green Building Council of Australia (certifiers), ABC
More Australian Green Housing
The Whole Hemp House
Stutchbury and Pape's House of the future : Cardboard
Zero Emission House: A First for Australia?
EnviroDevelopment: Greener Housing Estates

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