Prince Charles has always shown great interest in the conservation of nature, so it is not surprising that the property he owns in Adelaide, the capital and most populous city of South Australia state, is to become the most sustainable and ecological in the country. It is a complex of low energy consumption residential houses.
Known as The Princes Terraces, their development is the result of joint collaboration between the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community (PFBC), the Government of South Australia and the organization Defence Housing Australia (DHA). The construction of these houses will begin in late 2015.
Located in Bowden, in the west of the city of Adelaide, the houses he has built have become the first residential development in the country to achieve 6 Green Stars qualification awarded by the Green Building Council of Australia. Its chief executive, Romilly Madew said “the impact of this development in the construction industry can not be underestimated.”
“The offices and residential sectors markets mechanisms are different – when buying a home sustainability is still being given little value, so this project will help educate people about the benefits of green homes – and ultimately increase demand, ” added Madew.
Features of the houses
The houses use local materials, low carbon, including local concrete made with fly ash, local granite and recycled bricks from old industrial buildings in Bowden.
The orientation of the building has been designed to minimize solar gain in summer and maximize natural cross ventilation, while the facades of the terraces have been designed to maximize natural light and manage glare.
Other features include photovoltaic solar panels to generate renewable energy and reduce peak power demand of the building, low power LED lighting, ceiling fans and accessories for high efficiency water.
The ceiling fans will also control the indoor temperature, and be complemented with high-efficiency systems in air conditioning for the higher temperatures peak characteristic of the summer in Adelaide.
The mechanisms that regulate the water also incorporate a high degree of efficiency, with sanitary systems that reuse 100% recycled water.
The combination of these strategies enables to use 50% less energy and 50% less water than what is used in a typical townhouse, along with a reduction by more than 40% of the carbon footprint.
Benefits of sustainable construction
“While a quarter of the office buildings in Australia have the Green Star certificate, in the field of multi-residential construction it is being much slower to embrace sustainability. The Princes Terrace demonstrates that it is possible to be a world leader in design and sustainable construction in the residential sector. “
The PFBC was created by Prince Charles to raise the level of sustainability of households, small businesses and neighborhoods around the globe. This is his first Australian project.
Victoria Chester, executive director of the Foundation, said the project “gives life” to many of the fundamental principles of this institution. The project “evokes the local heritage and uses local materials to create a harmonious and sustainable community that focuses on environmental sustainability. Being granted 6 green stars is a wonderful recognition and confirms what the right track is to meet the urgent challenges in urbanization and climate change, “she added.
For his part, President of DHA, Hon Sandy Macdonald, concluded “for us it means that sustainable building is not only built thinking about saving money but it is a lifestyle that will provide a better future for our children.”