New technology could halve cost of electric vehicle batteries

We’ve long extolled the virtues of the electric car – in fact, residents at our latest development Flinders Loft will have access to a shared, carbon zero Mitsubishi iMiEV.

Now, researchers at MIT have designed a ground-breaking new battery for electric vehicles that could lead to the production cost being halved – a move which would bring the cost of an electric car in line with tradition petrol models, making it much more competitive.

The new design is more lightweight and 50 per cent smaller than the current models. According to reports, the technology is even capable of turning recharging into a procedure as quick and simple as refuelling a conventional car.

Read more about this innovative technology here: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/flow-batteries-0606.html

Trigeneration technology could drastically reduce buildings’ carbon footprints

Sydney City Council has revealed an ambitious scheme to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 through what’s known as “trigeneration” – a process which uses carbon efficient natural gas and utilises energy more efficiently than grid-delivered electricity.

The Council’s energy plan, which will create clusters of buildings with low-carbon electricity, heating and cooling, promises a city-wide trigeneration network to supply non-council buildings. Cogeneration and trigeneration technologies make buildings more energy efficient and and lower tenant energy bills, attracting higher quality tenants and ultimately adding to the capital value of the property.

According to estimates, if the rest of Australia’s capital cities signed up to similar schemes, we could save up to 540 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in the next 20 years.

Read more about the process here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/property/on-site-power-a-winner/story-e6frg9gx-1226077078709

Sustainable stormwater harvesting projects to benefit from funding

In the wake of the floods that ravaged many parts of Australia earlier this year, the Federal Government has announced it will fund a third round of grants for stormwater harvesting and reuse projects – to the tune of $100 million.

It’s hoped that this will help secure urban water supplies, ease pressure on drinking water supplies and improve the quality of urban waterways. Successful projects will source 100 per cent of their energy needs from renewable sources or fully offset the carbon impact of the project’s operations.

This initiative, and others like it, is crucial to changing behaviours and encouraging consumers and businesses to investigate and implement more sustainable living practices. In a country of extreme and unpredictable weather conditions, where one state can be in drought while another experiences floods, the ability for communities to effectively harvest, treat and reuse stormwater is becoming ever more important.

For further information visit www.environment.gov.au/water/program/index.html

‘Build it Back Green’ Initiative More Important than Ever

From the floods and fires of Queensland and Victoria through to the Japanese tsunami and, most recently, tornado-ravaged Missouri, natural disasters continue to destroy communities across the world. That’s why we’re so impressed with Green Cross Australia’s ‘Build it Back Green’ initiative, developed in partnership with the Green Building Council of Australia.

Build It Back Green was first designed to help Victorian communities recovering from the Black Saturday bushfires build their homes back in an affordable and sustainable manner. Now, as scientific predictions of more intense severe weather become a reality, the initiative is becoming a global phenomenon. And while we may not be able to fight the powerful forces of nature, what these major weather events do offer is the opportunity to break the greenhouse emissions cycle and rebuild with a reduced carbon footprint.

The goal of Build It Back Green is to make raise awareness of low cost green rebuilding techniques, focusing on energy efficiency, water savings and indoor air quality. Featuring eco-resilience tips, information on the science of extreme weather, a green building guide and information on how to receive tax rebates for sustainable building practices, the website is well worth a visit. www.builditbackgreen.org

Adelaide becomes first Australian city to launch private electric car scheme

In an Australian first, Adelaide is to become home to the country’s first private electric car scheme.

The innovative concept, officially launched today by Federal Senator Nick Xenophon, will see residents of a city centre apartment building take part in a joint car share initiative designed to minimize the building’s carbon footprint and encourage residents to live more sustainable lifestyles.

The scheme is being pioneered at new $16 million apartment building Flinders Loft, currently under development by Adelaide property developer Guava Lime Property Solutions.

Flinders Loft will place a strong emphasis on sustainable living practiceswith a range of green measures planned. Among them, residents will have access to a communal Mitsubishi iMiEV electric car. The car features zero drive time emissions and an electric motor powered by high capacity lithium-ion batteries, which can be fully charged through a household power socket in seven hours or one hour through a quick charge post.

Importantly, Guava Lime is taking the zero carbon emission target even further by powering the recharge points via photovoltaic solar panels on the building’s roof, thereby minimising the reliance on power from coal fired stations.

Guava Lime director Michael Loucas said that the car share scheme formed a major component of the Flinders Loft project and would pave the way for future city centre developments across Adelaide and the rest of the country.

“This is certainly an initiative we expect to see replicated in other CBD apartment buildings,” Mr Loucas said.  “Not only does it offer an environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional petrol-guzzling vehicles, it provides residents with a practical, convenient model of car ownership.

“There are no expensive maintenance, registration or insurance costs, and it keeps the number of parking spaces required in the building to a minimum, enabling us to better utilise that space by creating communal leisure or active areas for residents to enjoy.”

In addition to the electric car, residents will have access to portable folding bicycles that can be easily stowed in the boot of a car or carried.   A global phenomenon, folding bikes are becoming increasingly popular with city dwellers as they can be used in conjunction with multiple modes of travel.

Mr Loucas said that pre-release sales of Flinders Loft have been brisk, with over 50 per cent of apartments sold to early registrants.  Strategically located on the upper levels of the building, the boutique apartments echo the design of the Manhattan warehouse conversions which have revolutionised urban living in New York over the past decade. The ground floor will feature a café and organic food store.

Flinders Loft is located on Flinders Street and in close proximity to parklands, popular retail and dining precincts and Adelaide’s business centre.

The sales office at 276 Flinders Street is now open. For more information or a private viewing, register your interest at www.flindersloft.com.au. Alternatively, contact Julianne Price at the sales office on 0467 276 276.

Green Wall Given Go Ahead

Architecture and Design Magazine recently reported on the news that the South Australian Government and developer Aspen are joining forces to launch a ‘green wall’ project in the Adelaide City Central Precinct.

The idea hinges upon a recent study which found that specially-designed green walls may reduce heat loads in Adelaide buildings. The project is being funded by State Government’s Building Innovation Fund – a joint initiative of the Property Council and the State Government – and is proof that Adelaide is becoming a leading light in the field of sustainable building practices. We’ll be following the green wall trial with interest.

Read more about it here: http://tinyurl.com/3jnuqmr

Adelaide Converts to Loft Style Living

Adelaide’s urban evolution is continuing to take shape with the launch of an innovative new residential development which takes its cue from New York style loft living. 

Flinders Loft, developed by Guava Lime Property Solutions, is a $16 million project to convert a nineties former office block on Flinders Street into one of the city’s most fashionable and forward-thinking new residences.

Featuring double height ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious open plan living areas, Flinders Loft is the first redevelopment of its kind in Adelaide. The building’s 18 boutique apartments echo the design of the Manhattan warehouse conversions which have revolutionised urban living in New York over the past decade.   

Guava Lime director Michael Loucas said that demand amongst Adelaide homebuyers for high quality, design-led residences in the city centre is increasing.

“Adelaide may be Australia’s most liveable city, but modern city dwellers are looking for more than just a central location,” Mr Loucas said. “As our population grows and cultural renaissance continues, we need to deliver innovative and inspiring accommodation options that go far beyond the standard high density, compact apartment living.

“With Flinders Loft, we are offering residents an aspirational lifestyle that combines the convenience of a city centre location with spacious, innovatively-designed and ecoresponsive living spaces not seen before in the CBD.  The emphasis is on work, live and play all within the same precinct. This is what sets Flinders Loft apart from other developments on the market.”

Flinders Loft will place a strong emphasis on green living practices. Residents will also be encouraged to embrace more sustainable lifestyles, with a range of green measures planned including a shared pool car.  

“Once complete, the building’s green credentials will be considerable,” Mr Loucas said. “Ensuring the development is sustainable has been a priority from the start – it’s one of the reasons we chose to convert an existing building which had redevelopment potential rather than sending in a demolition crew or building from scratch.”

Buyers will have the opportunity to mix and match from a range of premium, contemporary finishes that include timber floors as standard fitout and complemented by high quality finishes including Miele appliances and innovative joinery.

Apartments will comprise the upper levels of the building, while the ground floor will feature office space and a ground floor café or organic food store.  Flinders Loft is centrally located on Flinders Street and in close proximity to parklands, popular retail and dining precincts and Adelaide’s business centre.

The sales office at 276 Flinders Street will be open from 30 April. For more information or a private viewing, register your interest at www.flindersloft.com.au. Alternatively, contact Julianne Price at the sales office on 0467 276 276.