The new U City building on Franklin Street was recently opened by the Governor General, who praised its unique mix of attributes at an emotional ceremony.
The attractive building is referred to as a ‘vertical’ community and is now home to a large number of retirees and people living with disabilities, allowing them easy access to the best lifestyle the city has to offer. U City is moments from the iconic Adelaide Central Market, Chinatown and the popular restaurant precincts on Gouger and Waymouth Streets.
For many new residents, a car is now no longer required, as almost every corner of the city can be reached on foot, via a short ride on public transport or in a taxi or Uber. This alone allows residents to reduce their personal carbon footprints while making the most of the lifestyle opportunities city living brings.
Even before it was officially opened, in 2018 U City was recognised as South Australia’s ‘greenest’ building design by the Green Building Council of Australia, with a 6 Star Green Star design rating. It is designed to use 45 per cent less energy and 30 per cent less water than a comparable new building. The building also has a 7.5 Star NatHERS (Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme) Rating for energy efficiency through clever design with reduced consumption of natural resources, lower levels of carbon emissions and sustainable practices and materials.
Key design features of the building include a 55-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array on the roof providing renewable energy, water-efficient fixtures and fittings, sustainable transport options such as bicycle racks and end-of-trip facilities, such as showers and changerooms, and electric-vehicle charging stations.
The design incorporated 96 per cent of materials recycled from the previous structure on the site.
The northern window façade features shading to reduce heat load and the building was constructed using recycled reinforced steel.
Balcony doors can be opened without compromising the energy optimisation of the building, and there is natural ventilation in all residential living areas.
In addition, the majority of lights are LEDs on timers and sensors, which adjust to the amount of natural light available, thereby reducing power use.
U City offers an exciting and environmentally sustainable alternative for retirees looking to make the most of their city as part of a strong and supportive community.