US build-to-rent giant Sentinel Real Estate’s maiden development in Perth has claimed the title of Australia’s first purpose-built, institutional-grade build-to-rent project.
The first stage of Sentinel’s Element 27 development in Subiaco is now certified as the first carbon neutral project of its kind.
The 93-apartment first phase of the flagship development has been open since April, 2019 and is fully leased.
In this TUD+ Briefing, Sentinel’s Keith Lucas, now managing director of its Australian arm after serving in a similar capacity in New York, discusses the group’s longstanding build-to-rent strategy, its approach to sustainability and the long-term viability of the nascent build-to-rent sector.
“Element 27 is managed by one single landlord, with 170 residents currently across the 93 units,” Lucas told The Urban Developer.
“Importantly, the key component to our build-to-rent strategy is that the residents are the focus of the business model.”
The three-stage development with 264 units was designed to incorporate environmental strategies to conserve water and energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimalise maintenance and waste through durable products.
“A lot of effort has gone into achieving this accreditation and we have produced a building which is highly energy efficient,” Lucas said.
“There has been a lot of work between Sentinel, our design consultants, the Green Building Council of Australia and Climate Active to come up with a strategy to benchmark a project like this.
“The biggest challenge was working through available data from the housing market and [build-to-rent] apartment properties to benchmark performance.
“This project will now set the standard for what energy performance looks like and how it gets improved.”
The building has now been recognised as the first carbon-neutral certified apartment building in Australia under the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard for Buildings.
The second stage of the project is approaching practical completion and is due to open in September, while construction of the approved final stage of the project is expected to begin later this year.
Sentinel, which has much of its $10-billion real estate portfolio tied up in build-to-rent properties, currently has upwards of 1000 build-to-rent apartments in various stages of development in Australia.
Lucas said the group was now planning to deliver a further 5000 to 10,000 units during the next three years.