MARQ by Psaros

Psaros is a leading mid-tier developer and builder in Perth with a strong commitment to reducing its environmental footprint through intelligent design and sustainable design principles in their buildings. With MARQ, they’ve taken a bold step in future proofing the development and looking after the environment at the same time. MARQ is the first high-density residential development in Australia to achieve an eTool Gold Rating with a carbon footprint per occupant per year less than half that of the average Australian residential dwelling over its design life. Situated in the heart of West Leederville and close to Perth’s inner city, the project offers a 21st Century green lifestyle without compromise, including cityscape views, a communal pool and generous living space both inside and out.

  • Date: January 2013
  • Developer: Psaros
  • Location: West Leederville, Perth

Results Summary

Impact AreaTotal CO2e / Year / occupant (kg CO2e)% Saved Against BenchmarkeTool Medal
Embodied Carbon68324%etool bronze medal smll MARQ
Operational Carbon87972%Gold medal MARQ
Total Carbon1,56261%Gold medal MARQ

Project features

Design Life & Occupancy

At the end of the day a building\’s core function is to provide shelter, preferably lasting a long time and for a good number of people. The relatively high density of the building means the redevelopment potential is low, so MARQ has achieved a very long predicted design life. In the future, it is very unlikely that MARQ\’s design life will be affected by the normal redevelopment pressure that leads to a building\’s demolition due to the large number of strata units which make it extremely difficult for a single person to purchase all lots, a basic necessity for demolition. This ensures the construction materials are fully utilised. Occupancy is also quite high on a persons per m2 of floor space basis which is due to the economic use of space achieved by the Psaros design team.

Materials and Assembly

Although the materials in the MARQ building are very carbon intensive, particularly the use of concrete, the extended design life somewhat makes up for this. Further to this, the use of bamboo flooring reduces the embodied impacts of floor finishes in the living areas. Fittings and fixtures are also of a high quality and will last longer than standard alternatives reducing recurring embodied impacts. The construction methods chosen will reduce project build time and waste which positively effects the embodied impacts associated with assembly.

Operational Energy

eTool LCA\’s modelling estimates that approximately 70% of the life cycle carbon associated with each dwelling comes from its operational energy consumption. A number of innovative measures have been employed in the building to reduce the operational impacts. A centralised solar hot water system with gas boost has been installed to reduce the reliance on electric storage heaters that are currently widely used in apartment buildings. The apartments have a high thermal efficiency, with an average NatHERS rating of 6.8 stars and an efficient floor plan. Where possible, solar passive design techniques have been used, along with double glazed windows and insulation.  The air source heat pumps are being specified to ensure efficient delivery of the required heating and cooling loads when needed (high COPs and EERs).

Smart energy monitors will be installed in every apartment allowing occupants to understand what appliances and devices are demanding the most energy, and adjust their behaviour accordingly. Typically such devices enable a 10% average saving in energy consumption. Psaros have specified high efficiency (3-4 star) washing machines, driers and dishwashers which will be supplied with all apartments. Residents can also choose to add a complete high efficiency appliance specification to their apartment at the time of sale, further increasing the energy efficiency of the building. The refrigerator cabinetry will also be designed to maximise ventilation and aid fridge efficiency as explained by Henrique. All lighting for residences will be LED and common area lighting will be controlled with motion sensors to reduce lamp run time. Highly efficient elevators with reduced lighting, standby, and hoisting energy consumption, along with regenerative drive systems significantly reduce lift impacts. The car park ventilation system will be activated by pollutant sensors to reduce unnecessary run time, electric vehicle charging stations and plenty of bicycle parking has also been provided for residents.

Renewable Energy

eTool LCA really highlighted the potential advantages of Solar PV; so much so that Psaros have allocated enough space on the roof for every apartment to install a 1kW solar system (offered as an upgrade feature to all buyers) and a 10kW common area solar system is being installed to reduce the grid demand for running the building. The roof space also incorporates a solar thermal hot water system providing a proportion of the dwellings hot water requirements.

Additional Features

When purchasing the apartment residents are given two options: they can buy a standard fit-out apartment containing all the features detailed above or an advanced specification apartment that is also equipped with a proportion of the roof-mounted solar PV as well as higher efficiency (4-6 star) fridges, dishwashers and washing machines.

For more information about the project, visit the MARQ website.

This assessment was conducted by Pat.