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Green with Envy

Friday, 04th October 2013

It's never easy gaining approval to build a large-scale apartment development, regardless of the location. The challenge is magnified in long-established suburbs with divergent architectural styles created over many generations and parochial residents naturally protective of their neighbourhood.

Balmain is one of Sydney's most historic areas so knowing that the 202 apartments at Union in Terry Street are under construction tells you two important facts:

The architecture must blend into Balmain's heritage streetscape, and the built form must meet stringent environmental standards.

Anka Property Group brought together the formidable team of Turner Architects, SJB Interiors and Aspect Landscaping to ensure a 5-Star sustainability rating for Union, both inside and out.

With landscaping being fundamental to residents' health and psychological wellbeing, Union places great emphasis on green sanctuaries, permaculture initiatives and passive energy saving innovations.

Its sprawling rooftop park will become a tranquil environment for both relaxation and socialising.  It will have distinct grassed zones, traditional lawn areas, shade trees, barbecues, meandering pathways and strategically-positioned seating.  Asian inspired giant bamboo will add a 'green screen' to enhance privacy and provide added relief from the sun.

Anka also plans to establish community gardens on the rooftop for those 'green thumb' residents who hanker to cultivate their own vegetables, herbs and flowers.

On the ground level an open park will act as an urban oasis, complemented by sculptural stone gardens.

The scale, diversity and quality of the landscaping at Union goes far beyond 'green dressing' because it doubles as a stormwater biofilter and a heat sink.

Sustainability continues inside each apartment with highly efficient appliances, enhanced insulation, passive and solar-boosted energy, smart meters, natural ventilation , and reduced lighting loads.

"Full praise must go to the developer for the lengths to which it went creating this this environmentally-sensitive building," said Ben Stewart of CBRE Residential Projects. 

"Not only does the architecture of Union add to the appeal of Balmain but he 'urban ecology' initiatives will help ensure a sustainable community for future generations."

For more information go to or call 1800 331 321.

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