Case Studies - Owners Corporations

One of the best ways to learn is from what others have done. Sharing your stories will help us all.

If you’ve taken any action that has made a difference in your own building, we’d love you to share it. Even if you think it is minor; if the results were not as good as you hoped; and even if things went horribly wrong – your experiences will benefit many.

You can use the following form to help us capture the information. It is quite comprehensive, but you only need to complete what you think is relevant.

Community

Signature Apartments takes every opportunity to engage residents and owners to take pride in and participate in the management of the complex.

A Building Information System brings this closely knit community even closer and is a one-stop shop for Palermo.

This online systems offers a number of services for residents, owners, the executive committee and building management. 

An individual’s composting project had an unexpected outcome – a greater sense of community between everyone in the block.

The gardening group manages the communal compost bin to ensure that it's balanced and breaks down for use in the garden.

Signature Apartments started with a rooftop community garden - and then added another 50 planter boxes for residents to grow food.

A small block converted its lawn area to an edible permaculture garden.

A well designed and implemented green roof conversion has delivered environmental, community and property value improvements to its residents and owners.

Going beyond stardard council waste services, residents got together at Altair to arrange their own in-house waste sorting and additional collection/disposal services.

Residents of a 14-lot warehouse conversion complex implemented a rooftop garden featuring edible plants and using mostly recycled materials for garden containers.

Energy

The BMS provides internet access to monitor alarms, logs and reports.

Mondrian installed carbon monoxide (CO) sensors to control the carpark ventilation fans at a cost of $7,800 plus GST. Energy consumption decreased on average by 40 kWh per day (7%) and the payback period is two years.

Regatta Wharf upgraded the car park ventilation system to incorporate carbon monoxide (CO) sensors and variable speed drives (VSDs). An investment of $34,000 is on track to save them over $35,000 p.a.

90 evacuated tubes and 2 gas boosters replaced an ageing gas bolier with a payback period less than 2 years.

Nexus upgraded a central gas hot water system to a gas-boosted solar hot water system that paid for itself in 30 months

Replacing lighting in its car parks and installing solar panels on its rooftop saves the 60-lot complex over $8,000 per annum in power bills and many tonnes of CO2 pollution.

Replacing fluorescent lights with LED's, installing motion sensing light switches and adding supplementary solar panels delivers solid energy and pollution reduction benefits in a low-rise over 55's building.

Botany Cope upgraded lighting in the internal common areas, fire stairs and garage in 2 stages and achieved a 42% reduction in energy consumption

A large high-rise apartment building (twin 28 story towers) achieved significant energy usage reduction by replacing halogen lighting in common areas with LED's.

A large11 year old strata building in Chatswood, Epica is reducing energy consumption by replacing common area fluorescent lights with LED's and installing sub-metering to monitor the energy usage of its air conditioning boiler.

In 2010 Freshwater's committee appointed a consultant to audit the complex's energy usage and develop a 5 year electricity reduction strategy. Staged implementation of the strategy is underway with large projected energy and cost savings. Individual unit owners were given to opportunity to purchase LED's for use in their unit at the bulk purchase price, assisting overall reduction.

A 17-unit over 55's complex replaced all its car park flourescent lights which ran 24 hours a day with LED lights with built in sensors to reduce its energy consumption and bills. The payback for the up front cost of the replacement was achieved in 1.5 years.

Located in Sydney's CBD, Hyde Park Towers achieved large power reductions by replacing car park fluorestent light with T8-T5 adaptors, replacing fire Stair lighting with motion sensor LEDs and replacing Foyer down-lights with LED's. Savings in energy bills paid off the cost of these replacements within 6 months.

Awareness of minimum lighting standards and availability of new lighting technologies allowed Nexus to make simple, energy saving changes to their lighting in car parks and fire stairs. Changes included removing unnecessary fluoro tubes from fittings and installing new motion sensing LED's in Car Parks and Fire Stairs.

With 2 towers,190 apartments and 600 residents, the Abode complex achieved  a 25% reduction in total energy use through fire stair and car park lighting changes. Energy cost savings paid back the total cost of changes within 1.6 years.

An energy audit of the Presidio building showed that lighting of commom areas accounted for 41% of total common property energy use. Changes to fuorescent carpark lights and replacement of halogen with LED lights in foyer hallways were achieved at no cost due to NSW Energy Saving Certificates.

With lighting changes and installation of an automated swimming pool cover, Bayview Apartments in Port Melbourne, Victoria, more than halved their building's total energy consumption between 2007 and 2011.

Energy auditing and monitoring have been the stimulus for multiple initiatives resulting in energy and cost savings at this apartment complex.

A pool pump failure at Parkridge prompted its Committee to investigate historic energy consumption of the pump, leading to replacements that significantly reduced elecricity and gas consumption and reduced use of pool chemicals.

 Power Factor Correction units are valuable equpment additions that store and provide ready "start-up" power requred by lifts, fans and pumps, delivering saving on elecricity bills. Nexus installed such a unit and enjoys ongoing savings as a result.

Installing a Power Factor Correction unit and changing fluorescent light tubes from T8 tubes (magnetically ballasted) to electronically ballasted T5's saves Parkridge $1,400 pa and payback was 2.8 years.

Chloe, a top-floor resident in a small unit block gained permission from its owners corporation to replace a small in-bathroom electric hot water system with a rooftop solar hot water system.

This case study from "WallisView" demonstrates some of the dynamics of decision-making in Strata complexes and how results can be achieved with good communication and flexibility.

Botany Cope installed a 4.9 kW solar system that is meeting 23% of its common property electricity demand

A very detailed and informative case study of issues in installing a solar pv system in one of three townhouses in a small strata scheme.

Measuring energy usage is fundamental to choosing, implementing and evaluating energy reduction strategies. Bauhaus Apartments describe the low cost energy monitoring system they pieced together in this case study.

Having implemented sub-metering to get a handle on their buildings energy usage, Bauhous Apartments installed 5 energy controllers. Continued metering proved the reduction in energy usage achieved and the dollars saved.

Water can be considered another form of energy, especially considering the pumping of mains water to buildings and then up and down high-rise apartment buildings. Reducing water wastage by fixing leaks and replacing inefficient fittings saves a lost of energy and money, as demonstrated by Mirimar's experience.

Parkridge Apartments reduced its building-wide water consumption by 20%, saving over $11,500 per annum with a payback less than 2 months

Hyde Park Towers reduced its water consumption by 20% saving over $10,000 annually. It continues to proactively monitor and manage consumption to quickly address problems if they arise.

Gardens & Grounds

An individual’s composting project had an unexpected outcome – a greater sense of community between everyone in the block.

Signature Apartments started with a rooftop community garden - and then added another 50 planter boxes for residents to grow food.

A small block converted its lawn area to an edible permaculture garden.

A well designed and implemented green roof conversion has delivered environmental, community and property value improvements to its residents and owners.

The Horizon installed a 20,000 litre rainwater tank. Residents use a hand-held hose connection for washing cars, and water is pumped to the gardens for automatic sprinklers & drip irrigation.

Residents of a 14-lot warehouse conversion complex implemented a rooftop garden featuring edible plants and using mostly recycled materials for garden containers.

A new resident at Iora Apartments in Neutral Bay obtained permission from its Owners Corporation to renew a neglected garden bed with low maintenance native plants indigenous to the area. The garden is thriving, provides valuable habitat for native fauna and gives pleasure to residents and visitors.

Management

A Building Information System brings this closely knit community even closer and is a one-stop shop for Palermo.

This online systems offers a number of services for residents, owners, the executive committee and building management. 

The BMS provides internet access to monitor alarms, logs and reports.

Transport Support

Demand for secure bicycle storage at Signature Apartments continues to grow. This is how it evolved.

Waste

An individual’s composting project had an unexpected outcome – a greater sense of community between everyone in the block.

The gardening group manages the communal compost bin to ensure that it's balanced and breaks down for use in the garden.

Thoughtful action by the Committee and residents of Nexus results in substantial reduction of waste accumulated from "Junk Mail"

Bauhaus Apartments established a Recycle Depot in a car space purchased by the owners corporation specifically for that purpose

Going beyond stardard council waste services, residents got together at Altair to arrange their own in-house waste sorting and additional collection/disposal services.

Replacing several large recycling bins in the basement of Park Apartments with two smaller bins on each floor resulted in a five-fold increase in the overall volume of materials recycled.

The Princeton redesigned its garbage room, dedicating bins to segregate recycling

Signature Apartments' motivated Committee have applied the sentiment of "one man's trash is another's treasure" by creating a "Swap Room" in an unused common area, reducing waste going to landfill as a result.

Water

The Horizon installed a 20,000 litre rainwater tank. Residents use a hand-held hose connection for washing cars, and water is pumped to the gardens for automatic sprinklers & drip irrigation.

Chloe, a top-floor resident in a small unit block gained permission from its owners corporation to replace a small in-bathroom electric hot water system with a rooftop solar hot water system.

Water usage in at this low-rise apartment block decreased substantially in less than 4 months following the WaterFix® and Toilet Replacement programs carried out in their complex.

Water can be considered another form of energy, especially considering the pumping of mains water to buildings and then up and down high-rise apartment buildings. Reducing water wastage by fixing leaks and replacing inefficient fittings saves a lost of energy and money, as demonstrated by Mirimar's experience.

Parkridge Apartments reduced its building-wide water consumption by 20%, saving over $11,500 per annum with a payback less than 2 months

Water and energy savings achieved Crown Gardens demonstrate the vaue of water "Smart Meters" to keep track of water usage and alert building management to keaks or other spikes in consumption.

Hyde Park Towers reduced its water consumption by 20% saving over $10,000 annually. It continues to proactively monitor and manage consumption to quickly address problems if they arise.

A new resident at Iora Apartments in Neutral Bay obtained permission from its Owners Corporation to renew a neglected garden bed with low maintenance native plants indigenous to the area. The garden is thriving, provides valuable habitat for native fauna and gives pleasure to residents and visitors.

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