Sustainable living

From food scraps to solar: Glebe building taking steps towards sustainable living

Green champion supports strata committee to pursue City of Sydney grant and make eco-friendly upgrades

Building test

When Glebe resident and owner-occupier Melinda began looking into sustainable options for her apartment building, she started with the food scraps recycling service trial.

“I wanted to start small,” she said. The strata committee “hadn't really talked about sustainability much before it all, so I was pleasantly surprised how enthusiastic they were.”

That put greener options on the agenda. Before long Melinda was online researching what other stratas were doing and how to get assistance with steps towards sustainability she could bring to strata meetings. Energy auditors pointed her towards the green building grant and away she went.

We make buildings more resource efficient on the quest to achieve net zero through our green building grants. This grant program supports owners’ corporations and building owners in the residential and accommodation sector undertake environmental ratings, certifications, audits and assessments for existing buildings to be resource efficient and achieve net zero emissions by 2035.

Leading the process, Melinda got the rest of her strata committee on board.

“That was quite easy, and the auditors gave me lots of information and the City of Sydney was fantastic. Soon as I made the committee aware there was possible money to do these things, everyone was enthusiastic.”

Owner-occupier Melinda received a green building grant on behalf of her strata committee and owners corporation
Owner-occupier Melinda received a green building grant on behalf of her strata committee and owners corporation

A grant of $6,500 allowed the 6 level, 30 unit apartment building to carry out an energy assessment and first year NABERS energy and water sustainability rating. It also included a solar feasibility study and electric vehicle (EV) charging assessment.

“Based on the audit, the Strata Committee agreed that we’ll move our common electricity to green power,” Melinda said.

While the owners won’t immediately add solar to their building, they’ll keep their options open to futureproof infrastructure as part of a roof upgrade. “We put in the roof specifications in a way that we can go down the solar path if this is something the owners corporation want.”

Melinda felt the grant provided clarity about reducing their environmental footprint in measurable and tangible ways.

“The audit gave us good direction. It made it a bit more concrete and specific. What do we mean when we say we want to 'reduce the environmental footprint of the building'? So, it gave some concrete actions and some meaning to it all. We measured our water and electricity consumption, so we've got some figures to work with now. It’s definitely beneficial.”

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Published 7 August 2023, updated 9 August 2023