2019 CHU Strata Community Awards: Strata Community Environmental and Engagement Award winner – Waratah Apartments

Strata Committee Chairman for the Waratah Apartments, Fred Tuckwell, accepts the award.

The 2019 Strata Community Environmental & Engagement was awarded to Waratah Apartments, Strata Plan 38936 for their commitment to reduce impact and preserve the environment as well as their engagement in the community in their strata.

Located in Sydney’s Potts Point district, Waratah Apartments is a lifestyle community completed in 1987. This Strata Scheme is self-managed and has implemented a significant number of building environmentally focused projects. Winning this award is a great acknowledgement of what has been achieved by the engaged committee of Waratah Apartments.

Fred Tuckwell who is the Strata Committee Chairman said that “we have been early adopters of sustainability schemes like the City of Sydney (CoS) Smart Green Apartments (SGA) program, the NABERs program and waste recycle programs”.

The Award also reflects the very strong engagement with owners and tenants that the strata committee has been working hard to achieve over the last couple of years: “we have worked to make sustainability part of our ethos” Fred said.

In contributing to a reduction in their environmental impact and to save costs, this strata scheme has implemented a number of projects the last 12-24 months, including:

  1. Lighting upgrade program: the LED replacement program in common property was progressively rolled out.
  2. SGA program: the scheme was very active with this program during the initial first year engagement. The actual projects that they have implemented include modernising the water pressure pump, replacing and/or reconfiguring inefficient fans, updating emergency lighting, planning to replace inefficient pool and spa heaters, and improving our recycling
  3. SUMS: they have continued to use their SUMs equipment, originally installed as part of the SGA program to monitor and help manage power and water efficiency.
  4. NABERs: this strata scheme strongly believes in the NABERs program as a measure of the environmental impact they have undertaken the assessment process and an expert group has been initiated to discuss and conduct a development plans for continuous improvement in ratings and therefore improving the environmental impacts over time.

According to Fred “our LED replacement program has saved an estimated $15,000 pa in energy costs, which translates directly to energy consumption and reducing the environmental impact and our SGA programs have saved or will save over $25,000 pa in energy cost”.

The scheme’s approach is to keep owner engagement high to provide a simple assessment and justification of projects, including taking advantage of the various rebate schemes that are available.

Environmental benefit plus cost saving is the simplest and easiest way to justify these projects and key to our approach, but we know you must be proactive to get everyone over the line” says Fred.

Over the years, exceptional relationships have been built with the City of Sydney as a result of working closely together to set-up various initiatives and projects to reduce environmental impact.

Being the only self-managed large scheme of the all nominated for this award was challenging but this is the best reward for all our community and an excellent way to communicate about our engagement toward sustainability and how to manage well cost savings.”

“You need to be genuine of our approach and in terms of cost savings by demonstrating what the savings were.”

A holistic approach of all the sustainability aspects seems to be a success-factor.

“We actively engage with our owners and have improved capability for and use of waste recycling, clothing recycling, collection of large household item and alternative transport to encourage the use of bicycles we have installed bicycle racks at convenient locations in the building.”

Congratulations to the Waratah Apartments.