New 8-star Northcote project shows sustainable townhouse design is doable

Client: Metro Property Development
Services: Publicity + Communications

Townhouses could be the sweet spot for people looking for inner city housing that has enough room to comfortably work-from-home. The trouble is, this housing type is notoriously hard to make energy efficient. But a new residential development in Northcote, Melbourne, looks like it can change all that.
The pandemic has people yearning for more space but with land at a premium and the need to avoid urban sprawl that cuts into food bowls and natural habitats, the need for higher density housing hasn’t gone away.

These covid-affected conditions have the townhouse market looking healthy, according to the Dr Andrew Wilson, chief economist at Australian property platform Archistar.

While demand for all higher-density dwelling types are subdued compared to detached homes, which have benefited from government stimulus programs such as HomeBuilder, townhouse construction continues to outperform units. Townhouses now make up 42.7 per cent market share of overall higher-density development.

From a sustainability perspective, the trouble with townhouses is they are an inherently inefficient building typology because they span multiple levels, sometimes as many as three or four.

This creates heat transfer between the different levels with hot air rising to the top level, SDC director Ben De Waard explains.