The South Australian Government has been awarded the first 6 Star Green Star – Communities certification for an urban renewal project at the former Mitsubishi manufacturing site at Tonsley.

Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) CEO, Romilly Madew, said by achieving 6 Star Green Star – Communities certification, Tonsley has become an exemplar for high quality, sustainable urban renewal both in Australia and around the world.

South Australian Treasurer, Tom Koutsantonis,  said the 6 Star accreditation is an unprecedented milestone for the South Australian building industry.

"Tonsley is Australia’s only urban renewal development to achieve this level of certification and is a testament to the world-class design principles which have guided the redevelopment of the former Mitsubishi site," he said.

The project brings together industrial, retail, residential and education facilities to create a vibrant and sustainable precinct, now officially recognised by the GBCA as demonstrating ‘World Leadership’ in masterplanned communities.

Sustainability has formed the cornerstone of the entire Tonsley redevelopment and a number of exceptional environmental outcomes contributed to the 6 Star Green Star rating.

Public spaces are designed using water-sensitive urban design principles, walking and cycle paths are fully connected for easy access to public transport, and plans for a 3 MW solar array installed on the Main Assembly Building (MAB) roof will produce sustainable and affordable energy for residents.

“The adaptive re-use of the culturally significant Mitsubishi MAB has prevented the loss of around 90,000 tonnes of carbon emissions embodied in its original construction, a saving equivalent to taking 25,000 cars off the road for a year," Madew said.

"In addition to this positive environmental impact, the MAB has been rejuvenated with future use in mind. Flexible, modular and pod tenancies that can adapt to changing community needs will ensure this important part of the area’s history, remains an asset into the future.”

Tonsley has become one of Australia’s first ‘Living Laboratories’ through a unique collaboration between Renewal SA, University of South Australia and the Low Carbon Living CRC.  The Adelaide Living Laboratory project brings industry, government and researchers together to find collaborative solutions to low carbon outcomes in the built environment.

The State government is investing more than $253 million in the project that will integrate industry, education, training, research, residential living and community.  Tonsley is forecast to attract more than $1 billion in private investment.

Situated 10 kilometres from Adelaide CBD and covering 61 hectares, the redevelopment will ultimately house approximately 1,200 residents in 650 homes, plus cater to a daily population of 2,000 students. A total of 6,300 full-time equivalent workers will have been employed during the construction phase.

Mitsubishi ceased manufacturing operations at Tonsley Park in 2008.

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