Milieu Flexes its Sustainability Credentials on Brunswick Projects


Milieu Property has taken two different tacks to achieve its sustainability goals for residential projects in one of Melbourne’s most popular suburbs. 

The projects in Brunswick in one case have adopted best practice for a new build and embraced reuse in the other

The developer’s Brunswick East project at the corner of Lygon and Edwards streets is the only project to achieve all standards on the Merri-bek Council’s Design Excellence Scorecard initiative to date. 

This included it being the first new build to adopt a fossil-fuel free stance with an embedded network that uses grid power from renewable sources and supplements other power needs with solar power. 

A social tenancy on Cocoa Jackson Lane named after the Melbourne boxer is also part of the initiative’s requirements.

It comprises 43 apartments plus a commercial space on the ground floor along with a hospitality tenancy

The building has a 7.5 NATHERS rating and at least 70 per cent BESS.

Construction is scheduled to complete soon as Milieu looks for tenants for the office and hospitality spaces.

▲ A prior project Breese Street completed in 2020 by Milieu who has been developing socially-minded Melbourne projects for more than a decade.

For its Park Street project, Milieu director Shannon Peach said it had made more sense to retrofit and restore an block of 1960s-era apartments.

“We just thought that somebody would probably buy the property and demolish it, and then that building would end up in landfill,” Peach said.

“Whereas with a mild renovation the residents can be extremely comfortable, which is much more sustainable than demolishing and building again.”

The project comprises 17 apartments—a three-bedroom unit, a studio apartment and the remainder one-bedroom apartments.

The Women’s Property Initiative will take over managing the studio apartment, making it available as affordable housing for a client, while Milieu will retain control of the rest.

Breathe Architecture designed the plans which involve retrofitting the apartments for comfort and high environmental standards. 

Around 90 per cent of the concrete outside the building will be removed and garden areas planted.

There will be no car parking but bicycle storage will be provided along with a communal barbecue area and a vegetable garden.

The project will be fully electrified and will include water tanks, a solar power system with a heat pump for electric hot water and battery storage. 

“Given the current risks associated with planning and construction we are excited to use this type of project as a case study for retaining the building and retrofitting it and introducing more efficient heating and cooling, battery storage and solar panels and removing gas to make great apartments for renting,” Peach said.

Consultants on the project, Goodbye Gas will design the battery storage and system once the users move in and their power usage is determined. 

Construction on the project is due to begin in the third week of February.

Melbourne-based Milieu recently completed its residential project Bedford in Collingwood.  Prior projects include Breese Street in Brunswick and 231 Napier Street in Fitzroy. 


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