ART Apartments and its Practical Completion

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Guava Lime’s Flinders Street precinct celebrates another major milestone this week with the practical completion of ART Apartments, an executive living residential development which sold out in record time.

Alongside this, we also saw the final finishing touches on ART Apartments’ eight storey installation on the exterior of the building. Considered the tallest in South Australia, it was commissioned by Guava Lime and completed by artists from the Kaurna Meyunna community, traditional owners of the land.

The aim was to create a piece of community art which captures the vibrance and rich culture of the Flinders Street precinct. Using a variety of indigenous and contemporary symbols, it depicts the traditional year cycle, carefully balancing female and male aspects of Kaurna culture.

 

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Guava Lime Transforms Eastern Quarter of Adelaide into a Cosmopolitan Precinct

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In nine short years Guava Lime has transformed Flinders Street, in the eastern quarter of Adelaide, from a tired block of commercial buildings into a modern and vibrant precinct.

With five projects complete and one about to commence, our vision for the revitalisation of our 45,000 square metre Flinders Street precinct is well under way and includes residential apartments, rooftop gardens, offices, a hotel, restaurants and cafes. It marks a cosmopolitan direction for the South Australian capital.

However, if you see yourself living or investing in the precinct, your window of opportunity is small. After the success of the first stage of Zen Apartments, which sold out last year in just ten weeks, it is expected that the newly launched Zen2 Apartments won’t be on the market for long either.

For those who are unfamiliar with the burgeoning laneway culture of east Adelaide, you will find quality coffee shops, restaurants, public and bike transport, art, theatre and music venues at every turn.

From an investor perspective, there is only a limited number of inner-city developments available in Adelaide and Zen2 Apartments is the only one on the market in the eastern part of the city.

 

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Small Changes To Sustainability

A new book on sustainability encourages small steps to transform the way we live to become more sustainable.

Motivating Change: Sustainable Design and Behaviour in the Built Environment encourages designers, architects and planners to get people motivated to change their behaviour through their design of urban areas.

Edited by University of South Australia’s Professor Steffen Lehmann and Dr Robert Crocker, the publication is the second edited by Prof Lehmann in the Earthscan Series on sustainable design.

The book is a collection of essays by academics from around the world who they hope will inspire those involved in urban design to play their part in the issues of climate change.

Prof Lehmann said people only needed to make basic changes to change the way people live.

“We live in a disposable culture where we build and buy for the short-term,” Prof Lehmann said.

“We see it in all aspects of life: we are building houses that are only made to last 30 years at the same time as we are tearing down 100-year-old buildings without reusing the materials with which they were constructed, and our mobile telephones are redundant after just a couple of years’ use.

Prof Lehmann said the most important issues needed behaviour changes at many levels – the city to the individual – and it needed to be long-lasting.

 

 

 

 

 

Citizen Involvement in Green Developments

Not only do eco-cities have to be green and environmentally sustainable, they also need to be socially inclusive, consider residents’ wellbeing and affordable.

This is the call from experts at the International Green Building Convention.

These environmentally sustainable cities are being built across the world including Serenbe in the US, Eco-City and Binhai New Area both in China, Vauban in Germany and the African Eco-City in Zimbabwe among countless others

Dr Thomas Schroepfer spoke about five eco-cities in Europe and said one, Vauban in Germany, gave residents the chance to design their homes and a say in what their city would look like.

He said car-owning citizens agreed to buy a carpark in one of two parking lots on the edge of the development, then walk to their apartments.

The cities, therefore, became playgrounds and areas where people could socialise, which improved people’s health because they were moving more and, thus, reducing their chance of heart disease and stroke.

Dr Schroepfer said that involving people in the design of their cities could also mean they would be more afford because citizens were directly involved in all aspects of planning and design.

“Future eco-cities need to create a more positive correlation between affordability and innovation,” he said.

“If we don’t find a different way to approach such projects, they might remain in the realm of high-end housing, and that is certainly not the role of sustainable development.”

Cooler Lighting, Greener Houses

Melbourne residents are being encouraged to hang up their power hungry traditional light bulbs, for energy-efficient LED lighting.

cherryLED and Sustainable Melbourne Fund have partnered for the ‘Lighting that Pays for Itself’ program.

The initiative will see 400 homes change to LED lighting for a small upfront cost and repay the remainder with a 36-month plan.

cherryLED general manager Ben Wright said the average home would save money back straight away.

“With their involvement in supporting similar community projects, such as solar neighbourhoods, we are proud to have secured Sustainable Melbourne Fund as our supporting partner for the ‘Lighting that Pays for Itself’ program,” Mr Wright said.

Sustainable Melbourne Fund CEO Scott Bocskay said the project would reduce the city’s carbon emissions and was exactly the product they looked for to finance energy efficiency ideas.

By signing up to the ‘Lighting That Pays For Itself’ program people can save up to 89 per cent on their lighting electricity bill.

Compared with halogen down lights, which radiate heat of 200 degrees Celsius, LED lighting operates at 55 degrees, which keeps homes cooler, reduces the load on air conditioning systems and reduces the risk of ceiling fires.

Sustainable Melbourne Fund has already helped reduce the carbon footprint of office towers across Melbourne city by providing building owners with up-front capital to pay for retrofit projects.

 

Greening The Heart of the Home

Prince Charles has put his designer hat on to promote affordable sustainability

The Daily Mail reported that Prince Charles toured a model home built by Plain English for The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community in 2011 and was so impressed with the craftsmanship that the company set about researching how to bring green designs to the mass market.

Plain English now have a more affordable range of cupboards that they are selling online, with customers having to collect and install the British Standard cabinets themselves.

Prince Charles is known for his passion for eco-friendly living and building, but he understands that it will never get taken up if most people can’t afford it. Hence, the idea for the affordable royal-inspired kitchen.

A whole kitchen of this type costs about £5,000 while an individual single floor cupboard costs £400, which is affordable when compared with the original kitchen that inspired the idea, which would have cost about £35,000 to have installed.

As well as having sustainable materials used in the design of the kitchen, other ways of greening a kitchen, particularly if it’s an existing kitchen, is by choosing appliances that save water and electricity.

Countertops also come in a variety of recycled stone and timber variations and, if designing from scratch, using less space to get more and positioning the kitchen to use as much natural light as possible are other ways to green up the space.

Having ready access from the kitchen space to an outdoor herb and vegetable garden also increases sustainability of the space.

 

Greening the ‘Fifth Facade’

As interest grows in reducing carbon footprints and finding new and sustainable ways to live, green roofs continue to grow in popularity.

Sourceable contributor Kristen Avis writes that there is an increased use of a building’s ‘fifth façade’ – the rooftop- and commercial developers are looking for ways to implement green infrastructure into their developments.

These rooftop gardens are also a great way to grow vegetables in the middle of cities, and have already been embraced by schools and restaurants.

South Australia has stipulated that all new and refurbished commercial buildings that have flat roofs must have a cool roof integrated into their designs before the development can be approved. Have a living roof reduces a building’s occupants’ reliance on artificial heating and cooling, thus reducing their demand on fossil fuels and energy.

As well as protecting those inside their buildings, green roofs reduce pollution and stormwater runoff outside as well.

Therefore, landscape architects have been found to be critical when it comes to reducing the effects of and slowing climate change through how green areas are used and what is planted.

They can also work to influence other architects to integrate green features into the built environment, such as green roofs, green walls and increase the energy efficiencies of buildings and developments.

 

Sustainable Schools, Better Teaching, Better Learning

Bosses are finding employees work better in sustainable, healthy buildings and the same is found for students of sustainable schools.

The Green Building Council of Australia chief operating officer Robin Mellon said she believed that investment in quality learning environments was as essential as investment in quality teaching and resources.

Sourceable reported that studies on green schools found that there was a 25 per cent improvement on test scores and a 41 per cent improvement in health can be achieved by providing good lighting and ventilation.

They also found students who have plenty of daylight in their classrooms progress 26 per cent faster in reading and 20 per cent faster in maths and a student’s academic progress could be affected by up to 25 per cent by the classroom environment.

The UK’s University of Salford and Nightingale Architects released research this year that showed a student’s academic achievement could be affected by up to 25 per cent by their classroom environment.

Sustainable schools also give students a hands-on approach to green living, with school gardens, which deepens their understanding of what they are taught.

A better work environment also means teachers have a better place to teach, with studies showing better workplaces attract better workers.

 

Growing Green Buildings Globally

Sustainable building is proving it’s not just a green fad as its popularity accelerates across the world.

A new study from McGraw Hill Construction showed that both the public and private sectors are more willing to embrace green building and to make energy efficiency a priority.

However, studies have also found upfront costs and regulations could impede this progress.

The McGraw Hill study surveyed 800 organisations from 65 countries and more than half planned for more than 60 per cent of their work to be green by 2015, which is up from 28 per cent in 2012 and 13 per cent in 2009, according to Jessica Cheam of Eco-Business.

The reasons for going green are also changing, with market growth being driven by building owners being more focused on sustainability as well as client and market demand for green buildings. Therefore, sustainable buildings and environmental awareness is good for business.

“The acceleration of the green building marketplace around the world is creating markets for green building products and technologies, which in turn will lead to faster growth of green building,” McGraw-Hill Construction industry insights and alliances vice president Harvey Bernstein said. “And the fact that green is growing in all parts of the world indicates that there are market opportunities in both established markets as well as developing countries.”