Here comes the Nightingale Model, scaling up now in Fairfield
Sandra Edmunds | 10 March 2016
Melbourne’s next apartment complex to be created using the triple-bottom-line Nightingale Model will have an eight-star design and fossil-fuel-free operation that is nationally significant, according to the project team. It will exist as a beacon to developers to show there is a market of purchasers chasing an alternative development outcome.
Nightingale Model projects are architect-led mixed-use apartment developments that aim to deliver environmentally, socially and financially sustainable dwellings.
The proposed zero-car development at 72a Station Street, Fairfield, in Melbourne’s inner north, has been submitted to the City of Darebin for approval. Six Degrees architects is leading the project with support from entrepreneurial firm HIP V. HYPE Sustainability as development manager.
“We see our project’s aims across all aspects of sustainability, and particularly the focus on eliminating fossil fuels, maximising renewable energy and designing to respond to future climates,” Six Degrees director James Legge said.
HIP V. HYPE’s Liam Wallis said the development location was perfect as it combined both public transport – being immediately adjacent to the train station – and proximity to services.
“The local Fairfield shopping precinct has all the basic amenity – your supermarket, bank, bakery, butcher, café that will allow residents to walk to their daily needs,” he said. “That is a big component of going to a zero-car development – basically ensuring that almost all of your daily needs are within a short walk. And then obviously you have the train station, bike path into the CBD and bus access.”
Station Street is the second Nightingale Model project and is known as Nightingale 2.0. Breathe Architecture led the first project, Nightingale 1.0, in Brunswick’s Florence Street also with support from HIP V. HYPE. The Brunswick development is opposite the model’s inspiration, The Commons, also designed by Breathe.
See our stories:
- Radical apartments: After The Commons, The Nightingale keeps ruffling feathers
- The Commons apartments – a community, not “your own little box”
“Our design for Nightingale 2.0 builds on the knowledge and experience of both Nightingale 1.0 and multi-award winning predecessor project The Commons to propose an architecturally significant, highly sustainable and liveable community,” Mr Legge said.
“We think that 72a Station Street Fairfield (Nightingale 2.0) and 6 Florence Street (Nightingale 1.0) both share similar attributes in terms of location to public transport and multiple forms of public transport,” Mr Wallis said. “We think they are prime locations for zero carbon development in inner Melbourne.”
The proposed five-storey building will house three retail tenancies and 20 apartments including four one-bedrooms, 12 two-bedrooms and four three-bedrooms. The apartments will feature high ceilings, northerly aspects, cross ventilation and natural light to habitable rooms.
Nightingale 2.0 is targeting an energy efficiency rating of eight NatHERS stars including zero fossil fuels and 100 per cent renewable energy through GreenPower purchases supported by a 15kW rooftop solar system.
Other sustainable features include:
- double-glazed timber windows
- high levels of insulation
- recycled timber floors
- low or zero VOCs in materials and finishes
- rainwater reuse for toilet flushing and irrigation
- a shared rooftop laundry, veggie garden, bee hives and clothesline
Negotiations are also underway for a green waste dehydrator to reduce waste leaving the site.
Mr Wallis said the team has taken an integrated approach across each of the building’s systems and is “aiming to do the best we possibly can within the context of the project”. For example, the developers are negotiating with the power authority for an integrated PV battery storage facility.
No aircon, no gas
The building will have no airconditioners, no gas and will have 100 per cent renewable power.
“We are working with an embedded network provider to ensure that all electricity supplied to the building – that can’t be produced by the building – is sourced by 100 per cent green power.”
The Green Travel Plan incorporates sustainable transport including car-share vehicles and 46 secure bicycle parks. HIP V. HYPE is working closely with council to integrate the zero on-site parking and zero parking permit concept, and has been in discussions with car-share provider GoGet to investigate having pods out on the street.
“From our experience with The Commons and also Nightingale 1.0, the demand profile of car share locating close to these sorts of developments, we see the demand profile increase drastically for those car share clients,” Mr Wallis said.
- See our previous articles on challenges to the original Nightingale’s plans for no onsite parking Nightingale sings despite VCAT snare, plus other stories on Nightingale
Showers in the ground-floor retail tenancies will provide end-of-trip facilities for riding or running to work. The Owners Corporation fees will include a sustainable transport levy to fund incentives such as car-share usage, Myki credit, bicycle maintenance, Uber and/or taxi credits.
The Nightingale Model seeks to be a catalyst for industry change through projects that deliver sustainable buildings while making a fair (but not excessive) return on investment. It creates effective urban housing templates.
One bathroom is enough (and cheaper)
Nightingale simplifies both the development process and the building itself. Mr Wallis says one simplification is to construct just one bathroom instead of two.
“We’re finding that our market is interested in that as an offer,” he said. “That is another component of the project that is reducing costs for our purchasers.”
The car-free element dramatically reduces apartment costs while encouraging a shift to sustainable transport.
“Zero car parking isn’t for everyone everywhere,” Mr Wallis said. “But it is very clear as the city transitions we need to look at new modes of living within the city. There is definitely a group of people that are looking towards living within the city without owning a car and it’s important to note that the Nightingale is a model that is attempting to supply housing for that group of people.”