06/02/2020 - 09:17

Sustainability standard at Knutsford

06/02/2020 - 09:17

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Sustainable building practices have moved past being a niche marketing tool to a buyer expectation, according to boutique apartments developer OP Properties.

Sustainability standard at Knutsford
OP Properties’ East Village project is the second DevelopmentWA precinct to incorporate One Planet Living principles. Image: OP Properties

Sustainable building practices have moved past being a niche marketing tool to a buyer expectation, according to boutique apartments developer OP Properties.

OP Properties was recently appointed by DevelopmentWA to deliver a $20 million, 33-apartment project at the East Village at Knutsford, located close to Fremantle.

The development will feature a range of apartments over four levels, several designed to achieve platinum livable homes status, in line with National Disability Insurance Scheme eligibility requirements.

OP Properties collaborated with Hillam Architects to incorporate One Planet Living principles into the project, a global movement focused on helping communities, companies and cities respond to climate change.

One Planet Living Principles include energy efficiency initiatives such as solar power generation and battery storage, monitoring of electricity and water use and waste management.

The project is DevelopmentWA’s second to incorporate the framework, following its WGV apartments development, which is being built by Swedish company Serneke in White Gum Valley.

The East Village, which will comprise two stages, will feature a microgrid supply network for water and power, with residents expected to save up to 50 per cent on energy bills.

“Previously, sustainability principles were a nice marketing tool for a project,” OP Properties director Nic Osboine told Business News.

“But now, purchasers have a far more in-depth understanding of a project’s impact on the environment, and the desire to incorporate sustainability principles into a project therefore goes beyond reducing running costs and towards a desire to reduce their impact on the environment right the way through the full life cycle of a building.

“These principles will only become more important, not only at a purchaser level, but as a part of our responsibility as developers.”

Mr Osboine said One Planet Living principles would feature heavily in OP Properties’ future projects, particularly as the framework was focused on enhancing the health and wellbeing of residents.

“What’s interesting about the OPL principles compared to other sustainability frameworks is the focus on encouraging residents to live more happy, healthy and connected lives in addition to just being more environmentally sustainable,” Mr Osboine said.

“So that’s exciting and something we think will resonate with the local community.

“The challenge for any apartment developer in Perth wanting to push the sustainability boundaries is not finding the technology, that’s been available for a while, it’s delivering a product that is cost competitive with less sustainable apartments in the area, and accepting higher approvals risk on account of challenging the business-as-usual approach with the various government agencies.”

OP Properties expects to launch a marketing campaign before the end of 2020, with the project to take around 18 months to construct.

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