SA student housing gets top marks with energy efficient design
Sustainable solutions for students
A 428-bed student accommodation project in Waymouth Street, Adelaide, is helping set a new benchmark in energy efficient design.
reduction in energy use
While liveability and sustainability are key considerations for today's students, we also expect to create benefits through reduced operating costs by integrating technologies that significantly lower base building energy usage.Nick SingletonInvestment Director, BSPRE
The CEFC committed $32 million in debt finance to the project to lift the benchmark for student accommodation and encourage emissions reduction in the property sector. Managed by specialist student accommodation provider Atira Student Living, the off-campus, purpose-built student apartment complex was a joint venture investment between Blue Sky Private Real Estate (BSPRE) and Goldman Sachs, with BSPRE also developing the Project. It opened in early 2018. The CEFC finance was repaid in September 2019 when BSPRE and Goldman Sachs sold their student accommodation platform, which included Waymouth Street, to Scape.
The student accommodation in Adelaide's CBD – within walking distance of campuses for both the University of South Australia (UniSA) and the University of Adelaide – was expected to achieve a minimum 25 per cent improvement on energy efficiency compared with business as usual, delivering a significant reduction in the building's carbon intensity, as well as lower ongoing energy costs.
Initiatives incorporated into the Waymouth Street project included energy efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, energy efficient equipment, LED lighting, centralised gas water heating, water efficient taps and a 25 kW rooftop solar photovoltaic system.
Adelaide has a significant student population, including more than 65,000 full-time higher education students, according to the 2016 Savills’ market report into Australian student accommodation. The same report found there were only 5,371 beds provided by universities and commercial operators in purpose-built student accommodation, catering for less than 10 per cent of enrolled students and illustrating the significant undersupply of this type of accommodation in Adelaide.