It’s the economies of scale and defined boundaries of precincts that make them deliver – big enough to allow for the sharing of services and pooling of resources, but small enough to facilitate innovative green technologies.
1. Think outside the building boundaries An innovative approach to finance, delivery, management and operation of sustainable infrastructure and services in precincts can make it affordable to build green. Key to overcoming market, regulatory, political and technical barriers – which have historically prevented the take up of sustainable solutions and systems in new developments – is an innovative business model. This model needs to: • k eep the long term benefit within the community • e xtract value where there would typically be cost • a void a dependence on financial incentives or positive policy frameworks To begin a trend towards sustainable precinct development, there are seven rules the industry and government authorities can follow:
Precincts lend themselves to sustainable development because of their size and mix, their ability to control product lifecycle, influence behaviour change, extract value from waste products, and because of their total purchasing power of the community. While sustainability can be achieved in individual buildings, it’s the economies of scale and the defined boundaries of precincts that make them deliver – big enough to allow for the sharing of services and pooling of resources that can bring down costs, but small enough to facilitate innovative green technologies and systems. The mix – or combination of residential, commercial and community buildings – is also essential, allowing demand/supply models to be balanced. For example, too much commercial stock compared to residential leads to a lack of wastewater from which to generate recycled water. The right mix of uses and producers is required to deliver financially viable low carbon energy solutions.