It is Mirvac’s first rollout of the Solar PV, battery and Evergen app inclusion in NSW and will be offered free to new buyers of two select apartments.
Marrick & Co in the inner-west Sydney suburb of Marrickville is Australia’s first large scale One Planet Living community and was selected for the trial based on the high level of buyers whose purchase has been influenced by the adoption of a broad range of sustainability inclusions encompassing environmental, social and economic principles.
More than a quarter of Australian homes have solar panels on their rooftop but the challenge in the apartment sector is the lack of roof space to generate sufficient power to meet the needs of all residents.
With Mirvac aiming to push the benchmark for sustainable living at its first One Planet Living community, solar panels will also power the lighting in the lobbies of both Marrick & Co’s Livingstone and Lilydale buildings, and the fire stairs throughout. Taking sun power direct to the apartment is the great leap forward required to advance Mirvac’s ambition to be net positive by 2030; generating more energy than is consumed.
The solar and battery trial will allow Mirvac to gain deeper insights into what drives customer behaviour and the value placed upon sustainability features in apartments.
Mirvac has been able to establish customer appetite for sustainable energy in Queensland with around 20 per cent of buyers expressing an interest in purchasing a solar and battery upgrade at its Brisbane Racecourse development, Ascot Green.
At Marrick & Co, a team within Mirvac’s innovation program, Hatch, is hoping to determine whether there is the same high level of interest in adopting solar energy. In the homes market, Queensland has the second highest rate of solar panel take-up in Australia at 30.2 per cent whereas NSW has the second lowest at 17.7 per cent.
Mirvac’s General Manager of Residential NSW, Toby Long, says the Marrick & Co experiment will help to shape the future course of residential development across the Mirvac portfolio.
“By testing out new ideas on a small scale we are able to determine market demand as well as the performance of new technologies or products before rolling them out company-wide,” said Mr Long.
“This is an important aspect of our promise to customers, to test and retest every design, finish and appliance for quality and performance before including it in a Mirvac property.
“It also allows us to establish the commercial consequences of innovations – whether the benefits outweigh the cost and if customers view it as a value add.
“Our experience at Ascot Green in Brisbane showed a high level of interest in solar upgrades, and now we are interested to see if the allure of solar is comparable in NSW.
“Marrick & Co is the perfect place to test the market, with many of our buyers strongly motivated to purchase because of the One Planet Living principles that have been adopted.”
Residents within the 225 apartments and terrace homes at Marrick & Co will live in apartments designed and oriented to maximise natural heating and cooling with additional energy savings from installation of energy efficient appliances and LED lighting.
The inclusion of solar to power some common areas will help to reduce on-going strata costs and contribute to a reduction in the use of resources for energy.
There is also a focus on sustainable transport through the provision of electric vehicle charging stations, car share spaces and bicycle parking.
Rain water will be harvested and recycled on site for use in gardens and throughout the construction of Marrick & Co, Mirvac is aiming to divert 95 per cent of construction waste from landfill through recycling of materials and retention of heritage buildings.
Other One Planet Living initiatives include provision of a rooftop residents’ kitchen garden and tool shed to encourage them to produce their own food.
To make it easier for residents to live a sustainable lifestyle, the community kitchen garden will include a worm farm and composting facilities, saving food waste from ending up in landfill. Kitchens have been designed to make it easier to separate recyclable waste.
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