Powering sustainable placemaking

28 April 2022

Much goes into the creation of sustainable places which leave a positive impact over the long term. Each site is unique, each project too, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach. But if the goal is the broader elevation of placemaking, to create more holistic and impactful change, there are some fundamental elements in the placemaking approach which are common.

In our view, a carbon neutral energy supply must be one of those founding principles.

Rory Martin is the Sustainability Manager at Frasers Property Australia. In this article for Frasers Property’s Live Proud magazine, he expands on the concept of sustainable placemaking, how scale matters and why working with like-minded people elevates the sustainable outcomes for everyone.

Real Utilities is proud to supply 100% carbon neutral energy to many of the projects Rory discusses. We’re also proud to contribute to the principles he highlights as the keys to successful, sustainable placemaking, including the need for collaboration, the importance of building resilience and the willingness to experiment.

Real Utilities was founded on the principle of collaboration. Prior to our 2017 establishment, Frasers Property, motivated to remain at the forefront of sustainable development, had been implementing energy infrastructure such as solar PV and central thermal plants into many of its projects. Recognising the opportunity to take control of the  energy infrastructure being delivered, combined with Frasers Property’s understanding of property, was what led to the creation of Real Utilities.

Now, we collaborate with project teams  early in the design phase to ensure that when it comes time to switch on the lights, a bespoke and tailored carbon neutral energy solution is powering the property, precinct and place.

In his article, Rory discusses resilience. An embedded network which reduces energy demand, has the capacity to generate some of its energy needs and export surplus energy to the grid, and provides carbon neutral energy, increases resilience. This is one of the main reasons Real Utilities likes to be involved in new projects in the early concept phase, as designs are being workshopped. In this way, we can ensure the embedded network is fit for purpose.

The culture of experimentation we have at Real Utilities resulted in the pioneering carbon neutral energy solution for the industrial sector which redefines how industrial owners and tenants think about energy. Our integration of rooftop solar – a clear opportunity for large-scale sheds – with on-site battery storage and biodiesel generation means logistics and distribution facilities can now maximise renewable energy generation on-site and access green power for the price of brown whilst increasing their own resilience to operate during grid outages.

Irrespective of sector, making sustainable places is something we all have an interest in. Those that succeed raise the bar for everyone else. It starts with a carbon neutral energy supply.

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