From 29 April 2022, Compass Housing Services became Home In Place.

Community housing provider Home in Place has won the HIA Australian GreenSmart Multi Dwelling Development Award at the national 2023 HIA Australian GreenSmart Awards announced on August 25.

The seven storey 16-unit social housing and affordable housing apartment complex in Wickham near the Newcastle CBD achieves an impressive 7.5-star energy rating that provides comfortable living for tenants and big savings on power bills.

The award winning complex was designed by CKDS Architecture and built by North Construction and Building with planning support by Barr Planning. Passive solar design contributes to the building’s energy efficiency. All units benefit from north-facing aspects, deep balconies and the effective use of eaves and screening to accommodate the changing seasons. Each apartment features 5-star rated efficient water fittings and fixtures, low energy LED lighting, and solar energy to supply hot water and feed back to the grid. Commercial grade glazing to the windows and doors provides thermal efficiency and noise reduction.

Home in Place Project Manager Property Development and Acquisition Michael Nolan accepted the award on behalf of Home in Place.

CEO Australia Lyndall Robertshaw said the project illustrates Home in Place’s commitment to excellence in providing sustainable, accessible and affordable housing.

Ms Robertshaw said Home in Place works to achieve environmental sustainability and social justice nationally and internationally.

“As well as building sustainable housing, we have aligned our business planning and operations to the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” Ms Robertshaw said.

“We are working to achieve Net Zero by 2030 through a range of initiatives from transitioning to electric vehicles to reducing waste through reducing purchases of single-use items, more recycling and participating in the circular economy,” she said.

“We follow good sustainability practice to reduce the environmental impacts of all our activities and to help our tenants, stakeholders, partners and the wider community to do the same.”

“Home in Place is a Gold partner in the NSW Government’s Sustainability Advantage Program and were the first Hunter-based not for profit organisation and first community housing organisation to sign up to the Plastic Police® recycling program.”

HIA Managing Director Graham Wolfe said HIA Australian GreenSmart Awards recognise HIA members who deliver the latest in environmental design excellence and sustainable building practices.

“With the incoming changes to the National Construction Code, energy efficiency, water saving and condensation are important considerations for clients, designers, builders and material suppliers alike,” Mr Wolfe said.

“HIA’s commitment to sustainable building outcomes through environmentally focussed design, innovation and construction has not altered over the 23 years the HIA GreenSmart program has been running. Our members demonstrate that comfort, security, innovation and value for money can co-exist in a sustainable built environment.”

“Each winner and finalist is congratulated for achieving success at a national level. They are at the top of their field and are committed to building sustainable homes for their clients.”

Home in Place was in the running for the national award after winning the GreenSmart Sustainable Home of the Year Hunter 2022 HIA-CSR Hunter Housing and Kitchen & Bathroom Awards HIA Award in October 2022.

Completed in 2021, the housing complex is a partnership between the NSW Government, City of Newcastle, and Home In Place. It was one of nearly 500 properties, across 19 Hunter and Central Coast sites, Home in Place delivered under the NSW Government’s Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) program. Council joint funded the project through the Building Better Cities program.

Ms Robertshaw thanked HIA and award partners for their support in encouraging and recognising sustainable home building.

The national award won by Home in Place was sponsored by Bondor Metecno. Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) is the national awards major sponsor and CSR sponsored the Hunter Awards.

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