World leading design earns 84.9 points and a 6 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

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

South Australian Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, the Hon. Ian Hunter MLC today announced that an independent assessment had confirmed that the carefully-considered design of the new 20-storey U City CBD building is Adelaide’s most environmentally efficient and sustainable.

The Green Building Council of Australia assessed the design of the new, multi-use $100 million development under construction on the corner of Franklin and Pitt Streets, to against the benchmarks established in the robust Green Star rating system.

Green Building Council of Australia CEO Romilly Madew, commended the design as exemplary.

“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.”

Some of the key design features which contributed to the stunning rating include an embedded electricity network, a 55 kilowatt solar PV array on the roof providing renewable energy, gas boosted solar hot water, natural cross ventilation throughout all living spaces, double glazing and shading features on the façade to reduce its heat load.

U City will have water efficient fixtures and fittings throughout, bicycle racks, a community bus and five electric car-charging stations. Uniting Communities also undertook full lifecycle assessments of all building materials as part of the design ethos, choosing environmentally conscious products where possible.

Minister Hunter congratulated the community services organisation, saying the rating came after an enormous amount of time and work had been invested in clever design and identifying and sourcing ethical and sustainable elements.

“This goes way beyond Uniting Communities simply providing affordable power and water for occupants. This is genuine leadership in reducing consumption of natural resources and lowering carbon emissions, and we’re delighted with their passion and commitment,” he said.

“Our overall goal is about working towards creating more sustainable buildings and communities across South Australia. We hope U City will now be a great example for others to follow.”

Uniting Communities Chief Executive, Simon Schrapel said: “With a mix of specialist accommodation for people living with a disability, commercial spaces, retirement apartments, a function centre, retail and a range of social service offerings the value of delivering South Australia’s greenest building design is significant and we are extremely proud to have received this honour”.

“I would have to say this process has not been without its challenges. But as an organisation we are committed to world’s best practice as part of creating this unique community offering,” he says.

Uniting Communities is the first South Australian organisation and the first registered charity in Australia to officially certified by NCOS (National Carbon Offset Standard) as ‘carbon neutral’.

In the past month, the organisation has also been appointed the inaugural Ambassador for Carbon Neutral Adelaide, acknowledging its leadership in tackling carbon emissions.

“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,” said Mr Schrapel.

Launched by the Green Building Council of Australia in 2003, Green Star is Australia’s national voluntary rating system for buildings and communities. Green Star helps improve environmental efficiencies in buildings, while boosting productivity, creating jobs and enhancing the health and wellbeing of communities.

Mr Schrapel said the acknowledgement of the strength of the sustainable ‘design’ of U City was only the first step in the ongoing assessment of the building.

“Following the completion of construction, we will then be assessed on what we’ve delivered as distinct from what we have designed,” he said.

“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.