The first stage to achieving Younghusband’s sustainable vision

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Environmental performance is key to Younghusband, with our vision for the development to become Victoria’s first carbon and water neutral adaptive reuse precinct. As part of our commitment, we’re aiming to achieve an equivalent five-star NABERS rating across the entire project, and planning to apply Passivhaus principles to all new builds.


With our architects, Woods Bagot, we think of sustainability and environmental performance as an integrated system rather than as an overlay. Therefore, we conceive of the precinct as an inter-linked ecology. The precinct will feature smart building systems, providing live data streams and performance monitoring. Other sustainability initiatives include 140 bike parking spaces in the first stage, a community fruit orchard and herb garden, and eco-friendly car share schemes.

Our long-term goal of carbon and water neutrality would mean the site will effectively have net zero emissions and import virtually zero portable water. It’s an ambitious goal, making water and energy systems a key part of the site.

We're working with industry-leading environmentally sustainable design specialists to incorporate steps towards our goal during the first stage of development. The first stage will involve upgrading the heritage red-brick woolstore, retaining and reusing the existing structure and fabric in a bid to reduce embodied energy. In the short-term, while we work within the heritage footprint, we're minimising the embodied energy by restoring the existing fabric and materials.

The first stage of the woolstore rejuvenation will include:

  • A commitment to retain and reuse the existing structure and fabric
  • Zoned areas of the building to reduce energy use for heating and cooling
  • A new 442 kW photovoltaic system to generate a significant amount of the energy required for the two buildings
  • Energy efficient services in the form of low temperature variable air volume HVAC, and organic response LED lighting
  • Increased roof insulation and new double-glazed windows, improving the thermal performance
  • Retention and reuse of as much rainwater as possible, with a future proofed plumbing system to take advantage of treated rainwater for use in toilets, landscaping, and showers
  • A zero waste strategy
  • A green travel plan

Although we’re not legally required to cut down water and energy use within the site to this level, we believe it is the responsible approach given the impact cities and developed countries have on climate change, and the immediate need to take action and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Liveable and creative spaces are also known to attract new businesses and create a more comfortable environment for residents and tenants. If well designed and managed, these innovations generally provide lower cost solutions over a long term lifespan.

This is our intent. We have a long road to travel and things may change however we are working hard to ensure these values are retained. We’ll remain flexible in our planning and development to accommodate new technologies and connect to precinct wide services and initiatives in later stages of the project.


Amalia Ridwan