A property group in Western Australia is aiming to deliver the most sustainable apartment development in the state while also breaking new ground as the first property developer in Australia to utilise shared solar technology in a large scale strata setting.
Yolk Property Group’s innovative Evermore WGV project at LandCorp’s WGV estate in White Gum Valley will deliver 24 highly sustainable apartments powered by cutting-edge solar photovoltaics and lithium battery technology.
Co-Director of Yolk Property Group Pete Adams said Evermore WGV aims to go above and beyond the standard sustainability practices currently employed in the industry to create apartments others will use as a benchmark.
“Every aspect of this development is being shaped by our goal to make these apartments as sustainable and close to zero-carbon as possible – we want to create the greenest apartments Perth has ever seen,” Mr Adams said.
Evermore WGV will play a role in a pilot program led by Curtin University at the WGV estate, examining how to increase the uptake of solar photovoltaics in strata residential developments, in partnership with LandCorp, Solar Balance, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Low Carbon Living Cooperative Research Centre and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Centre (CSIRO).
Jemma Green, a research fellow from the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute who is leading the program, said their research has developed a governance framework and micro-grid system for solar PV and batteries in strata residential developments, a first for Australia.
“Our research has revealed that solar PV and lithium battery storage technology can supply up to 80 percent of power needs leading to a significant saving on power bills as electricity from the grid is reduced dramatically,”
“Traditionally developers have not used this technology due to the higher cost of batteries, but with these costs now reducing rapidly and the with the assistance of ARENA we are able to demonstrate at Evermore WGV how this technology can work to the advantage of apartment owners,” Ms Green said.
It has been forecast that the technology will produce approximately 80 per cent of the apartments’ required power at Evermore WGV; with strata fees injected into a strata body sinking fund to pay for any upkeep or upgrades to the technology, residents are expected to benefit from a 30 per cent saving on their electricity bills.
While the Solar PV battery technology and associated strata governance system has been trialed on a small scale at a demonstration project (of three small dwellings) in the estate, Evermore WGV will facilitate the first practical, large-scale application, with those that buy an apartment becoming some of the first in the country to benefit from this cost-saving system.
In addition to the pioneering technology and system, other initiatives that will be incorporated into the development include: real-time measurement and recording of water and power consumption to ensure maximum energy-efficiency; clever use of passive design with north-facing living spaces and balconies across all apartments maximizing sunlight and cross-ventilation; a third-pipe and grey water treatment and reuse systems; site-wide bore water system to reduce potable water and for use in landscape irrigation; electric vehicle charging point; compost tumblers, worm farm and communal vegie planters; bicycle repair station, communal bicycles for resident’s use and bicycle storage for each apartment.
Mr Adams said Bioregional’s One Planet Living framework will be used to guide development and aid in the holistic and long-term approach to sustainability.
“Bolt-on solutions have no place at Evermore – what we are aiming to produce is an apartment that encourages sustainability long after residents have been handed the key, hence the incorporation of transport and food initiatives,” Mr Adams said.
“We expect purchasers to be those that are passionate about preserving the earth’s resources for future generations and are committed to reducing their carbon footprint; they are really the ideal resident,” Mr Adams said.
With Yolk Property Group the first property developer in Australia to utilize the solar PV battery technology and governance system in an apartment setting; and with the ambitious One Planet Living framework for sustainability guiding development, Mr Adams expects the industry will be watching.
“We’re taking a bit of a risk because this hasn’t been done before and this is a development that won’t necessarily appeal to the masses, but we’re happy to play the ‘guinea pig’ if it encourages more sustainable development,” Mr Adams said.
Construction at Evermore WGV is expected to commence early 2017 and conclude early 2018. Of the 24 apartments, there will be 12 x one-bedroom, 8 x two-bedroom and 3 x three-bedroom. Prices start from $349,000 and can be
purchased off the plan from today by calling the Evermore WGV Sales Agent Sarah Broisma on 0407 939 931. For more information visit: www.evermorewgv.com.au.
Yolk Property Group has partnered with Curtin University, LandCorp, Solar Balance, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Low Carbon Living Cooperative Research Centre and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Centre (CSIRO) to deliver Evermore WGV, with ARENA providing a $280,000 grant to aid Yolk Property Group deliver the project.
WGV estate is LandCorp’s Innovation Through Demonstration project which aims to demonstrate modern, sustainable design and is Australia’s first residential project to achieve national recognition through Bioregional’s One Planet Living initiative.