Apartment development of the week

Lean, green, luxury living: The Burcham is sustainable living of the future.

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Editorial by Maggie Kelly

 

The word ‘sustainable’ has become a major buzzword of the last few years.

In everything from food production to fashion, media and advertising have truly made green the new black. Sadly, it’s a term that has been diluted so much by commercial overuse, it’s almost lost it’s meaning.

But every now and then a commercial concept hits the market that is so innovative, so progressive, and so genuinely sustainable; we once again understand what the word means. The Burcham development in Sydney’s Rosebery is one of these concepts.

Sustainable living is an approach that strives for as little impact on the planet as possible. So how on earth can a $110 million dollar apartment complex possibly commit to being environmentally friendly? By being clever. The Burcham Rosebery is leading the way in Australian residential developments with it’s world-class solar energy system, electric car charging garage, and host of other ‘green’ features that, in years to come, will be demanded as basic features for a home.

At the nucleus of the three-building Burcham cluster is the heritage listed Wrigley’s Gum Factory, built in 1918 – a fact alone that begins to hint at developer Stable’s attitude towards the project.

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Nothing is wasted. Everything from the original concrete floors to the original brickwork will be lovingly restored to mint condition. Remarkably, the 98-year-old cast iron lights that once adorned the Wrigley’s factory doors in Chicago were actually flown to Sydney to adorn the entrance of The Burcham. Even the original, iconic water tower that has sat on top of the building since it’s opening will be revived to be a fully functioning water catchment tower once more. The attention to detail is second to none.

But it is the modern additions on the heritage heart of the building that are the most impressive. The Burcham is semi-powered by solar energy: 77,000 kWh, to be precise. In fact, The Burcham will be generating so much solar power that (along with purchased wholesale energy) it’s even got its own embedded network, ‘Burcham Energy’.

More than just a title, Burcham Energy will actually be saving residents considerable money, as it sells back energy at a much lower price than traditional retail companies. And that’s not just a temporary hook – that’s an ongoing promise.

What’s more, the Body Corporate’s strata energy costs are estimated to effectively be eliminated (!) and what’s more, profits from a sizeable income generated from the electricity, will go further to reduce the strata levies. This is at the very heart of all sustainable concepts; creating systems and processes that benefit people and the environment not just today, but for years to come.

Of course, there are elements to home living that are hard to streamline into being clean and green – temperature control being one major concern. But The Burcham has tackled the problem of energy-consuming heating and air-conditioning systems by giving you efficient systems, including hydronic heating in the Heritage building. This is an energy system that is based on giving YOU back the control. From your smartphone, a customised app will allow you to switch on, switch off, or adjust temperature control in your home from wherever you are.

Your environmental footprint is now, quite literally, in your hands.

But sustainable living isn’t all about mega energy structures or high-tech gadgetry – The Burcham has paid careful attention to the smaller aspects of a ‘green’ existence in their extraordinary design, too.

Across the shared community spaces, you’ll find an edible garden, where residents are free to grow and harvest their own food. And, below the recently restored water tank is a rooftop cinema setup, where friends can gather and watch a movie together, rather than secluded in their own home. Sharing, creating, growing – all crucial factors in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly existence.

As the world tilts further and further towards greener (and smarter!) lifestyle choices, so too must the world of property and design keep pace. With driverless cars and electric vehicles set to take over our roads in just the next few years, The Burcham is one step ahead with its EV (electric vehicle) charging bays in the garage – the first building in this country to do so.

It is no longer acceptable for developers or buyers to continue creating unsustainable living spaces. We are seeing a major generational trend towards making smarter choices for the planet, and it is therefore so promising to see developers like Stable Group deliver sustainable living spaces.

We’re so excited to see The Burcham when it’s completed in early 2018, and the other spaces it will inspire in years to come.