CEFC backs developer’s vision for 100% renewables apartments


The federal government-owned Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has issued an $80 million loan to Mulpha Australia to support the construction of the first stage of the developer’s proposed $1 billion Norwest Quarter master-planned community in the New South Wales capital’s northern suburbs.

The CEFC capital is being matched by an $80 million green loan from ANZ Bank.

The first stage of the planned nine-tower Norwest Quarter precinct, located 35 kilometres northwest of Sydney’s CBD, will include two residential towers featuring 196 “net zero-ready apartments” and 3,500 square metres of retail and commercial space.

Mulpha said the apartments will consume 50% less electricity from the grid and will be powered by 100% renewable energy with an all-electric and gas-free design.

Both towers will feature rooftop solar and electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities and the apartments will include energy efficient appliances, LED lighting, induction cooktops and heat pump hot water systems.

With the residential sector contributing 12% to Australia’s total carbon footprint and residential buildings responsible for about 24% of Australia’s overall electricity use, CEFC Chief Executive Officer Ian Learmonth said the project showcases how low-emission buildings can be achieved with existing technology.

“Sustainable high-density residential buildings have a leading role to play in the future of our cities and are particularly relevant to growing areas like north-western Sydney,” he said.

“Norwest Quarter is an ambitious development that has innovated by taking a holistic approach to optimise sustainability at every level of the building process. We need to lock in this approach to all new and existing buildings as we target net-zero emissions.”

The developer said each apartment in Norwest Quarter will consume two thirds less energy than a typical code compliant apartment and will underpin residents’ aspirations for zero carbon living at up to 25% less cost.

Mulpha Head of Developments Tim Spencer said the project is one of the most ambitious residential projects in Australia in terms of sustainable practices, initiatives and design considerations.

“The design of both buildings far exceeds standard sustainability regulations with best practice passive design principles and high-performance environmental initiatives throughout,” he said.

Mulpha said the 196 apartments will have an average 7-star Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) rating and will emit over their projected lifetime 30,132 tonnes of carbon dioxide less than the conventional equivalent.

When complete, the Norwest Quarter master-planned community will span more than 3.8 hectares and comprise 864 apartments over nine towers and 6,000 square metres of retail and commercial space.

The precinct is forecast to be completed in four to five stages and take eight to 10 years to complete.

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