Solar panels, vegetable patches, fossil-fuel free, green-only power and community-enrichment — Breese Street in Brunswick is an innovative example of how sustainable architecture can marry with exemplary design.
Developer Milieu brought together architectural teams from DKO and Brunswick-locals, Breathe Architecture, to co-create these new environmentally friendly and community-focused homes in a vibrant and culturally diverse pocket of Melbourne’s inner North suburb of Brunswick.
Milieu conducted the Breese Street Liveability Survey, and 430 prospective buyers responded. Over 99% of the answers prioritised sustainability and community-living. Milieu has incorporated sustainable communal facilities that will likely see more genuine use than gyms and swimming pools — which only raise strata bills, despite rarely being used.
Breese Street is sensitive to the impact of urban carbon footprints. Inside, each apartment features the intelligent use of recycled materials and energy efficient appliances. Timber floors will be reclaimed hardwood boards, eliminating the use of toxic glue, while fixtures are Australian-made from rumbled brass. Interiors feature paints with low VOC (volatile organic compound) content, and all residences have double glazed windows to increase thermal efficiency.
In fact, concrete floors and ceilings, as well as inter-apartment walls, act as insulation, ensuring each residence maintains a temperature between 18°C and 27°C all year round. Appliances that use fossil fuels, like gas heaters, are unnecessary and will be replaced by hydronic heating and ceiling fans.
Neighbours can chat in the shared laundry on the rooftop (individual laundries at each apartment are optional) where 30kw of solar panels provide electricity that directly benefits the residences and all common areas, lowering strata and account costs for homeowners. Residents can connect over the shared vegetable patches, or sit back and enjoy the landscaped surrounds featuring natural lawns, native plants and garden beds.
There are many unique aspects to Breese Street, rendering it one of the most innovative developments to hit the market in 2018, but there are a few features buyers have come to expect in premium residences. Large well-designed floor plans, kitchens featuring induction cooktops, internal storage and additional storage cages in the basement carpark, security via electronic and passive surveillance — the necessities are all there.
At Breese Street residents will be surrounded by Brunswick’s cafes with coffee beans that are roasted on-site, hidden hole-in-the-wall bars, and a range of cuisine options. One end of Sydney Road, closer to the city, has cafes, bars and pubs while the other end has a range of Lebanese bakeries and Greek restaurants.
If there is any doubt that there is a shift towards environmentally friendly apartment developments, you need only know that in 2013, when a similar project by Breathe Architects was on the market, a two bedroom residence sold for $490k. Last month, an apartment in the same building sold for $750k. That’s a 53% growth rate in only 5 and a half years.
Breese Street is an innovative development of the future. With savings on building costs, and individual electricity and water bills, thanks to solar panels and recycled rainwater, Breese Street homes are paving the way for sustainable living.