17 May 2018 When it comes to green homes, the proof is in the stars

  • The Prince’s Terrace Adelaide project has claimed another first and is now the highest rated Green Star project in South Australia.
  • The project has just become the first building in South Australia—and the first multi-unit residential complex in the country—to receive a 6-Star Green Star ‘as built’ rating.
  • This follows on from it being the first residential development in Australia to achieve a 6-Star Green Star rating for design.
  • First residents have just moved in.

In 2015 Defence Housing Australia (DHA), Prince Charles’ personal charity, The Prince's Trust, and Renewal SA shook hands on an ambitious project to design and deliver some of the most efficient and sustainable homes in Australia.

They set their sights on designing a row of terrace homes in the heart of Adelaide, aiming to achieve world recognition for energy efficiency, liveability and sustainable design. Their holy grail was a top rating from the Green Building Council of Australia’s rigorous Green Star system.

The Prince’s Terrace was the first residential development in Australia to receive a 6-Star Green Star rating for design. Now, it has set a new record becoming the first building in South Australia and the first multi-unit residential complex in the country, to achieve a 6-Star Green Star as built rating. This takes it to the top of the leader board for Green Star ratings in the state and proves that the finished structure has truly delivered on its visionary design.

GBCA’s Green Star is an internationally-recognised sustainability score. The assessment takes into account an extensive range of environmental and liveability factors, including work practices on the building site. It only applies to larger commercial and multi-residential developments. The highest possible rating is six stars with most Australian projects aiming for four or five.

By comparison, most single unit dwellings in Australia are rated according to the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS)—another star system (out of ten) that rates the energy efficiency of a home, based on its design. Under the NatHERS system, six stars is the current minimum standard for new houses and there is no as-built test.

Located in the trendy inner-city renewal area of Bowden, The Prince’s Terrace is a cluster of eight three-bedroom townhouses and four coach mews apartments, with historic inspired facades, contemporary floorplans and the latest features in clever, sustainable design embedded in its DNA. The first Defence members have just moved in.

DHA has been quick to recognise that energy efficiency, liveability and other sustainability factors have growing market appeal. Besides their ethical value, it is an extra layer of quality that can be added to its new housing product.

Sustainability experts, dsquared, have been overseeing The Prince’s Terrace project from the beginning, working closely with DHA, the architects and SA builders Palumbo Construction.

‘The GBCA’s Green Star As Built program brings a high level of accountability through the construction process to ensure all sustainability features are truly integrated into the finished building,’ said dsquared sustainability consultant Ken Long. ‘This process gives the client a clear understanding of the standards they can expect and a specific benchmark for the project team to strive for. The teamwork here has been amazing.

‘It’s been a big challenge and a huge credit to everyone involved, particularly the builders. Every single component and product used in the build was screened to ensure materials would meet Green Star criteria and the project would reach the levels of energy efficiency and thermal comfort anticipated in design.’

According to the GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew, the project is a stand-out in the Council’s fast-growing community of Green Star certified projects.

‘The Prince’s Terrace Adelaide is a trailblazing project that shows size is no barrier when it comes to achieving the best sustainability outcomes,’ Ms Madew said.

‘Projects like The Prince’s Terrace are helping to build a better, more sustainable housing future that benefits residents and improves the well-being of communities. We congratulate DHA on this outstanding achievement.’

DHA is one of the biggest residential developers in the country, with a development pipeline topping $2.5 billion and 18,500 properties under management. Its core business is providing quality housing for Defence personnel and their families—an important contributor to talent retention in the Forces.