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At ESM Strata, we have been thinking about how we can further help Strata Companies improve their property and the wider community around them. With the changes to the Strata Titles Act, improvements to common property (including sustainability infrastructure) are now encouraged and we want to remind council members how easy it is now to make positive and long lasting contributions by implementing sustainability improvements.

With the changes to the Strata Titles Act 1985, Strata Companies are now empowered to make improvements to common property. Previously Strata Companies were restricted to using strata funds to maintain, repair, renew or replace. The amendments to the Strata Titles Act, which came into effect on May 1st 2020, empower strata companies to improve the common property – not just maintain and repair. 

The extra special part of this, is that if those improvements are classified as sustainability infrastructure improvements, such as solar panels onto common property, these changes can be authorised via an ordinary resolution (passed by a majority vote) rather than a special resolution.

Under the Sustainability Infrastructure bracket, Strata Companies can make positive contributions to the environment both in the immediate community as well as the greater efforts for climate change.

Why would I want to consider sustainability projects for my building?

The term Sustainability Infrastructure can be thought of as ‘Green’ or ‘Smart’ concepts used to achieve a better result compared to other and more traditional methods of achieving functionality. Environmentally friendly buildings are better for the bottom line, better for owners and occupants and better for the planet.

There’s a reason why companies are embracing sustainability initiatives and people are making the move to greener living. While it may seem like a big task at first, there are so many small steps that anyone can take to improve the environmental footprint we leave, and these steps can be amplified when implementation can be achieved on a big scale, such as within your Strata Complex.

Sustainability infrastructure is designed or is likely to avoid, remedy, or mitigate adverse effects on the environment.

What could this include?

This may include:

  • LED lighting upgrades & lighting sensors – This can reduce electricity costs by up to 80%
  • Energy saving controls for equipment and pumps.
  • Water & energy meters and monitoring – Ask your strata manager to have an embedded network consultation, it could save you huge $$$.
  • Solar Panels – Get them installed or at least have a policy in place for owners to get it arranged easily.
  • Installation of bike racks or clotheslines – Simple and desirable.
  • Increasing green spacese. gardens, veggie patch, community gardens.
  • Wastewater recycling – Grey water can be easily separated in many drainage systems in complexes, ask your Plumber to have a look.
  • Rainwater tanks – Reduce the common water usage drastically over summer!
  • Edible Gardens (Fruit trees, Herb or Veggie patch) Make a costly garden space a productive asset.
  • Nesting Boxes and Beehives – A small gesture to the ecosystem we live in.
  • Window tint – Increase energy efficiency, Privacy, Uniform presentation of lots and Desirability. Contact your Strata Manager before installing tint.
  • Roof insulation The roof cavity is often a strata boundary, it’s a great place to make an impact.
  • Electric Car power stations – Encourage desirable residents and be future ready!
  • Verge Gardens instead of lawn – Put the retic to better use and stop cars parking on the verge.

I’m in, what do I do next?

If you are interested in exploring some of these for your property, the next step is to contact your Strata Manager who will guide you through the process of how to grow your ideas into reality.