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'World's greenest building' wilts under council and community scrutiny

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The future of a proposed South Brisbane development dubbed the “world’s greenest residential building” remains up in the air with Brisbane City Council now wanting further big cuts to the tower’s height and stronger evidence of its environmental credentials.

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Developers Aria Property Group want to build a 250-apartment tower on the corner of Merivale and Glenelg Sts, promoting the project as an “urban forest” with “backyards in the sky” accommodating up to 1000 trees.

However, the project has attracted strident community opposition since it was announced last year, prompting the developers to reduce the proposed building’s height from the original 32 storeys to 24.

Now, the council’s senior urban planner Justin Lynham has written to the company wanting more changes to the building’s height, chiefly because developments in that area of South Brisbane should be capped at 12 storeys under the local neighbourhood plan.

The letter asked Aria to submit amended plans for a reduced height, more landscaping at ground level and more appropriate plantings.

“The proposal intends to deliver a 5-star green start rated residential building,” Mr Lynham’s letter states.

“However, the proposal has not demonstrated a clear commitment and pathway to achieve this outcome (e.g. registration with the Green Building Council of Australia).”

“Submit further information or detail on how this proposal will deliver on a 5-star green star building.”

Aria is seeking a so-called “performance outcome” to allow an increased height limit, arguing that the overall development complies with the aspirations of the neighbourhood plan.

It has also argued its revised proposal addressed overshadowing issues in nearby Musgrave Park.

When it released plans for the Koichi Takada designed development last year, Aria said it would set a benchmark for sustainable and subtropical built form.

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