One of Melbourne’s most sustainable new apartment complexes has got a bit of a buzz about it.
With beehives and vegetable patches on the rooftop, and a 7.5-star NatHER’s energy efficiency rating, the Breese Street development has now sold two-thirds of its 59 apartments.
Designed as a collaboration between DKO and Breathe Architecture, it’s the latest in a Brunswick neighbourhood known for its sustainable developments including Nightingale 1, The Commons and the in-progress Nightingale Village.
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Smart use of concrete to create thermal mass will keep temperatures inside between 18C and 27C, with hydronic heating and ceiling fans plus the option of an airconditioner to ensure comfort with minimum energy use.
A sawtooth roof is a throwback to the suburb’s industrial past, but also makes the most of a 30kw solar power system. Gas connections have been scrapped in favour of fossil-fuel-free energy from green power sources to support the electricity coming from the rooftop.
A 20,000-litre rainwater tank collects water from across the property to irrigate the rooftop garden spaces.
But it’s the community-sustaining features that have drawn many of the buyers to the mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes, according to Milieu sales and marketing director Patrick Cooney.
“There’s an appreciation of the neighbourly aspect and the rooftop combination,” Mr Cooney said.
Residents will have the chance to learn about managing the building’s two beehives alongside professional checks of the hives and vegetable gardens throughout the year.
“It (the bees) adds to the overall story at the property and really pushes the sustainability behind the project,” Mr Cooney said.
Location is also a good fit for the sustainably minded, with trains and trams about 50m away, cycling paths on the doorstep and share-car options also nearby.
Construction starts next week, with a demolition party held to introduce buyers to each other.
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The majority of the apartments will be two-bedroom floorplans with a $685,000-$785,000 asking price.
Some one-bedroom apartments are still available from $465,000-$495,000, while the final three-bedroom pad costs $1.025 million.