How Green is Green Square?

Green Square’s town centre has the highest possible rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

We look at what this means, why it matters, and why sustainable features are increasingly high on buyers’ wish lists for both houses and units.

As climate change, and how it will affect our future, becomes ever more top of mind, sustainable, eco-conscious features are increasingly important in home and building design and town planning. Green Square, in Sydney’s inner south, is not only one of the City of Sydney’s fastest growing communities but also one of its most sustainable.

Green Square’s town centre has a 6 Star Green Star – Communities rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, the highest possible rating. It is the first community in the City of Sydney to have achieved the coveted 6-Star rating.

What are Green Star ratings?

The Green Building Council of Australia Green Star ratings is a voluntary, holistic certification system for buildings, fitouts and communities that is designed to reduce the impact of climate change. Its ratings for communities look at the sustainability of planning, design and construction of large-scale development projects.

Six stars is the highest possible rating for a community, denoting ‘world leadership’ in the five areas assessed: Governance, livability, economic prosperity, environment and innovation. Communities must be recertified every five years.

What makes Green Square so green?

Green Square’s urban renewal project, which also spans parts of Waterloo, Rosebery, Alexandria, Zetland and Beaconsfield, set ambitious goals in creating green, liveable spaces.
Some of the features that have contributed to the town centre’s Six Star rating are:

Green Square Library and PlazaGreen Square Library and Plaza have won global architectural awards. The large underground library, with its amphitheatre, reading garden, café, technology lab, music room, dedicated children’s area and outdoor plaza for community events, has been a real boon to the area. The library building has a 5 Star Green Star – Design rating for its wastewater system and low energy displacement ventilation system.

Gunyama Park aquatic and recreation centre – Opened in 2020 (notwithstanding COVID closures) the centre is the largest pool complex to be built in Sydney since the 2000 Olympics. Its indoor and outdoor heated pools, gym, outdoor yoga deck, café, crèche, and multipurpose outdoor sports facilities make for a wonderful place for locals to exercise, unwind and connect. The centre also has its own locally produced energy system.

Green Square community and cultural precinct – This award-winning precinct in the heart of the town centre features heritage buildings that have been refurbished as a creative centre, community shed, park and public artwork, childcare centre and green infrastructure centre.

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Public art – An ambitious Public Art Strategy has made Green Square an indoor and outdoor art gallery with permanent and temporary artworks that explore the area’s history and culture.

Stormwater system – A new, two-kilometre underground stormwater drain from Epsom Road in Zetland to Shea’s Creek channel in Alexandria has significantly reduced the risk of flooding in the town centre, which sits on a floodplain. A nearby water recycling plant site treats water from the drain, so it can be used by residents across the town centre for washing clothes, flushing toilets, or in parks and gardens.

Plenty of parks – There are now more than forty parks built, or being built, across the wider Green Square area, from large open spaces like the Drying Green and Gunyama Park to many community pocket parks.

Streets network – A major feature of Green Square’s redevelopment was hundreds of new street trees, as well as extra-wide footpaths, pedestrian-only zones, separated cycleways and low-speed streets, bright LED lights, and wayfinding signs highlighting Green Square’s history. All combine to make the area greener, safer, and more cyclist-friendly.

Why Green Star ratings matter

Whether you’re buying, building or selling, we’re finding that eco-friendly features are high on homeowners’ check lists. Sustainable homes tend to be highly marketable and a high Green Star – Communities rating gives buyers confidence that they are buying into an area which will be livable long-term, as well as doing their part to combat global warming.

Plus, research conducted in 2020 by the University of Wollongong’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre found that homes with energy-saving features could be worth up to 10% more than homes without such features.

Talk to us if you’re interested in making Green Square and its surrounding suburbs your new green community.

Article by Brendon Clark
‘The details matter - through every part of the process.’ With decades of runs on the board alongside a fresh outlook, Brendon is co-director of Clark - and one half of one of Sydney’s most dynamic and successful real estate duos. Having carved out a reputation for results in the… Read More
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