4 eco-apartments that are making urban living green

While we move into an eco-conscious future, apartment living is also making changes.

With sustainability now at the forefront of design, architects are thinking greener when designing apartment buildings. By using sustainable or recycled materials, designing natural air conditioning and communal amenities to reduce waste, the design serves both the residents and the environment.

But forget mud brick walls and candle light -  these eco-apartments are in a league of their own in terms of efficiency and design. 

Here are some of the best:

88 Angel Street in Newtown, Sydney

Image: Sean Lee

Designed by developer and architect Oliver Steele, the inner city building is three conjoined houses, each with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a statement green, garden roof which has a multitude of benefits. A grass roof acts as a layer of insulation, reduces sound travel, conserves energy and reduces air pollution, amongst other things. The entire structure of the apartment is sustainable, as well as the ethically sourced materials which landed the award for Australia's Best Green Building in 2016. 

The Commons in Brunswick, Melbourne


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As the first model for Melbourne's Nightingale apartments, The Commons was the first project to lead the way in Australia's sustainable apartment design. In the heart of Brunswick, the urban building focuses on efficiency and community - complete with a communal rooftop garden, communal laundry space and added living area for mingling. Each apartment has natural temperature control, as well as the material being sourced sustainably and ethically. The progressive design has earned the building over 13 awards, as well as international recognition, inspiring other companies to continue the trend.

Nightingale 1, Brunswick, Melbourne


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This building is the first to be completed as part of the Nightingale project, inspired by its sibling - The Commons. Designed by Breathe Architecture, the focus was to create a community-led apartment building desiged for residents, and not investors. Just like The Commons, Nightingale 1 builds spaces for the sense of community in an inner city apartment, as well as using only sustainable materials in its build. Being 100 per cent fossil-fuel free and harvesting rainwater for irrigation and common-area toilets, the apartment has won at least 15 awards for its progressive design. 

Milieu, Fitzroy, Melbourne

Also designed by Breathe Architects, this building serves its residents and the environment with equal priority. With several communal spaces for the residents to engage with such as the rooftop garden,  this inner city building puts function and efficiency to its core. Each apartment has been orientated a certain way to make air conditioning redundant, incorporating unique glazing and external shading. All heating is hydronic, and the energy is produced by fully sustainable sources, such as the rooftop solar panels and GreenPower purchasing.  Following the success of this build, two more projects are in the making. 

Main image courtesy of Breathe Architecture

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