U City development awarded highest ‘green’ design rating in SA

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Adelaide’s new U City development has been recognised as South Australia’s ‘greenest’ building design to date. U City is predicted to use 45 per cent less energy and 30 per cent less water than a comparable new building.

The Green Building Council of Australia assessed the design of the 20-storey development against the benchmarks established in the robust Green Star rating system.

“With a design rating of 84.9 out of a possible 100, the U City development represents world leadership in sustainable design and has achieved more Green Star points than any other project in South Australia,” says Romilly Madew, the CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia.

Created by Uniting Communities, U City will include retirement living apartments, specialist disability housing, short-term respite disability apartments, commercial and retail tenants, and a hub for social services offered by Uniting Communities, including Lifeline Adelaide.

Some of the key design features that contributed to U City’s Green Star rating include an embedded electricity network, a 55 kilowatt solar PV array on the roof, gas-boosted solar hot water, natural cross ventilation, double glazing, and shading features on the façade. U City will also have water efficient fixtures and fittings, bicycle racks, a community bus and five electric car-charging stations.

Uniting Communities undertook full lifecycle assessments of all building materials as part of the design ethos, choosing environmentally-conscious products where possible.

Uniting Communities is the first South Australian organisation and the first registered charity in Australia to officially certified by the National Carbon Offset Standard as ‘carbon neutral’. Earlier this year, the organisation was also appointed as the inaugural Ambassador for Carbon Neutral Adelaide.

“This recognition from the Green Building Council of Australia is testament that in addition to our carbon neutral status, we have a tangibly genuine commitment to sustainability and the outcomes it achieves,” says Simon Schrapel, the Chief Executive at Uniting Communities.

Simon explains that the acknowledgement of the strength of the sustainable ‘design’ of U City was only the first step in the ongoing assessment of the building.

“We know we have a long way to go, but we are committed to ‘walking the talk’ when it comes to sustainability and I’m confident that after this stellar start and recognition, we will continue to deliver.”

The U City development is scheduled for completion in early 2019.

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