Sustainability is a term many associate with “being green” but in architectural terms it also pertains to social sustainability – connecting people to each other and creating communal spaces that encourage meaningful interactions. Innovation, in this way, can be a great code word for finding design opportunities in less likely places. And so we have JCB’s proposal for Chapel St Apartments, which explores sustainability on several levels.

With a design that targets ‘net-zero’ energy use, as well as a 5-Star Green Star and 7-Star NaTHERs Rating, features include vertical landscaping and a community garden devised by Aspect Studios. The aspiration is for the building to also use new state-of-the-art solar capture technology. Built adjacent to Windsor Station, the building will be the first residential project to be constructed over a working railway in Victoria. Its design is being touted as a creative solution to the shortage of well-located sites for housing development in metropolitan Melbourne. The proposal includes street-level retail space, three levels of car parking space, a single level of office space, and 45 apartments across the remaining 15 levels. Public comment on the proposal closed last month.