Lilyfield Redevelopment


5 Star Green Star in the Lilyfield Redevelopment

The Lilyfield redevelopment project was the first multi-unit residential project in Australia to be awarded a 5 star Green Star rating and the first social housing scheme in Australia to gain a Green Star rating. The design was completed in accordance with the Green Building Council of Australia PILOT rating tool for residential developments.

A 5 star rating represents ‘Australian Excellence’ in environmentally sustainable design. This project sets a new standard for social housing developments and demonstrates that environmental, economical and social sustainability outcomes are achievable.

Green Star is a comprehensive, national, voluntary environmental rating system that evaluates the environmental design and construction of buildings. It is awarded by the Green Building Council of Australia, a national not-for-profit organisation that is committed to developing a sustainable property industry for Australia by encouraging the adoption of green building practices. For further information about the Green Building Council of Australia visit www.gbca.org.au.

What was built in Lilyfield

The Lilyfield redevelopment project involved the demolition of 40 low rise residential dwellings in Precinct A of the Lilyfield Orange Grove Estate and the construction of an 88 dwelling multi unit housing facility. The selection of the site was based on stock condition, safety concerns, location and size. In the former development the high proportion of 3 bedroom units did not match the demand profile of the area, in which 1-2 person households predominate. The redevelopment provides additional housing in an inner city location and was designed to meet current and future housing priorities.

The new dwellings are located in six separate low-rise, two and three-storey buildings, which are arranged around the perimeter of the site. The buildings consist of one, two and three-bedroom configurations with entries oriented to the street and private balconies or courtyards oriented to the large central courtyard. This layout provides a high level of engagement and good community integration. The redevelopment is wheelchair accessible and some units are designed for disabled access to ensure accommodation is also available to wheelchair users.

The Lilyfield redevelopment has low energy and water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, is visually appealing, safe, functional and user friendly. The development also provides a strong sense of community and encourages an active lifestyle.

All dwellings face the central courtyard and the street All dwellings face the central courtyard and the street
All dwellings face the central courtyard and the street

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How 5 star Green Star was achieved


The Lilyfield redevelopment includes a number of energy efficient systems that reduce energy consumption and costs for both Housing NSW and tenants. A 4kW grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) system provides the majority of energy needed for common area lighting. The panels are installed only on north facing roof surfaces and offset an estimated 7 tonnes CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions annually, whilst also reducing peak demand in hot periods.

Compact fluorescent lamps are used in common areas. Automatic movement and daylight sensors in common areas ensure that lights are not left on unnecessarily during the day, whilst also providing security at night.

The dwellings are designed to maximise natural ventilation and light in order to reduce electricity needs for tenants and make the dwellings more comfortable in summer and winter. Profiled roof structures, north and east facing living areas, adjustable shading devices, low-e glazing, insulation, adequate sized windows, weather seals and light coloured surfaces all improve comfort levels and allow tenants to make further savings on their electricity bills.


A 120kL rainwater storage tank is located underneath the building, and the water collected is reused for irrigation, toilet flushing and washing machines. This saves an estimated 360kL of drinking water from being wasted each year.

Carefully selected water efficient fixtures and fittings are installed in all kitchens, laundries and bathrooms. The water-wise landscape design minimises reliance on water, and water meters inside dwellings allow tenants to keep track of their own cold and hot water consumption.


Waste was considered during the construction phase and on completion. The amount of construction waste going to landfill was significantly reduced through the recycling of 80 per cent of demolition and construction waste, such as metal, timber, glass, cardboard, bricks, ceiling tiles, plaster and cement.

Materials were also selected to minimise onsite wastage. This included the recycling of terracotta roof tiles into crushed terracotta to be used in the landscaping and top soil. An AFS prefabricated wall system was also used to minimise on site material wastage.

The building design incorporates dedicated spaces for recycling and waste storage to allow tenants to easily access recycling services. Compost bins provided near the green space dedicated for a future community garden will allow green waste to be reused as compost.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) system
Solar photovoltaic (PV) system

Communal compost bins reduce waste
Communal compost bins reduce waste

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Indoor and outdoor bicycle storage facilities are provided to encourage tenants to use more environmentally friendly transport alternatives and live an active lifestyle. Due to the ample on-street car parking spaces available in the area, no car parking facilities have been included in the development, saving concrete and allowing more recreational space.

Public transport is in close proximity to the site with a bus stop across the road and a tram stop 400 metres away. All dwellings are easily accessible off the streets, further encouraging residents to walk or cycle to the outdoor recreation areas located near the development.


The selection of all major construction materials was based on carrying out Sustainable Material Assessments, which involved the analysis of each material’s embodied energy, life cycle and recycling potential. The carefully chosen resources included, wherever possible, natural materials over synthetic materials, reused or Forest Stewardship Council timber, recycled materials, lower pollutant emission materials, High-Density Polyethylene instead of PVC for water and stormwater reticulation systems, thermal insulation free of ozone depleting gases and the avoidance of products containing non-environmentally friendly substances.

Community and Biodiversity

The Lilyfield redevelopment fosters a sense of community and healthy living amongst the tenants. The orientation of dwellings to face the street encourages interaction with the community. Ample open communal space within the development, comprising 32 per cent of the total site area, provides tenants with secure and private space for socialisation. The large central courtyard, including a BBQ area with a pergola for shade, works to develop a sense of community within residents. Access through the central courtyard is facilitated by a user-friendly pedestrian layout, to maximize activity in the common area.

Space for a community garden was included to provide opportunities for social interaction and a chance for tenants to grow their own vegetables and produce. This benefits tenants and the environment by reducing carbon mileage of food transportation for fresh produce. The development also includes native landscaping and gardens that require minimal maintenance and water and blend with the existing urban landscape.

Indoor & outdoor bicycle storage facilities encourage activity & reduce car use
Indoor & outdoor bicycle storage facilities encourage activity & reduce car use

Awards and Recognition

The Lilyfield redevelopment project has received recognition for its outstanding contributions to environmental innovation, leadership, efficiency and sustainability. Below is a list of awards that recognise the Lilyfield redevelopment project and Housing NSW’s environmental achievements:

  • UDIA NSW Austral Bricks Sustainable Development Excellence Award 2011
  • Housing NSW Public Sector Sustainability Award Winner – Green Globe 2011
  • Housing NSW Highly Commended Public Sector Energy Award – Green Globe 2010

The Lilyfield redevelopment sets a new standard for sustainable social housing in Australia
The Lilyfield redevelopment sets a new standard for sustainable social housing in Australia

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