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Adelaide student accommodation building awarded $32 million in “green funding”

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The federal government-owned “green bank” Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has announced its first major property investment in Adelaide.

In a press release on Friday, the CEFC revealed that is has committed debt finance of $32 million to the 428-bed student accommodation project being built at 231-243 Waymouth Street. Although the building is unfinished, Adelaide city councillor Sandy Wilkson called it “an eyesore” in June, adding it is “completely at odds with everything around it”.

The apartment complex will be run by specialist student accommodation provider Atira Student Living, which is a joint venture between Blue Sky Private Real Estate (BSPRE) and Goldman Sachs.

“We are very excited to be making our first property-related commitment in Adelaide. This project will lift the benchmark for building standards in student accommodation, representing an important step toward achieving net zero carbon buildings,” said CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth.

“The CEFC has a clear focus on investing in clean energy in industry sectors with the strongest potential for decarbonisation. We have already committed more than $600 million to the property sector in support of market-leading projects such as this one. With inefficient property contributing to almost a quarter of Australia’s emissions, any improvements in this area will have much broader benefits.”

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CEFC Property Sector Lead, Chris Wade, said that the new building would raise the bar on typical student accommodations, which tended to eschew energy efficiency in favour of low-cost building options.

Through the CEFC’s finance, the Waymouth Street development will achieve a minimum 25 per cent improvement on energy efficiency compared with business as usual. This improvement will deliver a significant reduction in the building’s carbon intensity, as well as lower ongoing energy costs,” Wade said.

The Waymouth Street building will include energy efficient heating, ventilation, lighting, air conditioning and a 25kW solar photovoltaic system of the rooftop.

The building is situated within walking distance of both the University of South Australian and University of Adelaide’s campuses. It is scheduled to open in February 2018.

The CEFC was established by the Australian Government under the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act of 2012. For five years starting from 2013, the CEFC has been credited with $2 billion each July 1st to invest in the clean energy sector.