Real Estate The IIG Kensington Property Trust asset


A project to deliver a carbon and water-neutral mixed use precinct, rejuvenating a historic Kensington woolstore and two neighbouring properties.

Published: November 22, 2017

About Younghusband

The Younghusband project will produce some of our deepest social and environmental impacts, to be realised in a pocket of Kensington, Melbourne.

The site sits at the north west corner of the City of Melbourne’s wide-reaching Arden-Macaulay plan to sustainably accommodate the area’s expected threefold growth in residents and jobs.


The Woolstore is at the heart of the 1.5 hectare Younghusband site. Our plans are to rejuvenate that building first, bringing out the character from its materials; redbricks, iron, glass and wood. Respecting its legacy, while upgrading the services and environmental performance.

There are five levels in the woolstore that will accommodate work spaces, communal areas, food and drink spaces, retail, arts, fitness and wellness studios.

Upon completion, this will be a great place to work and gather. It is walking distance from train lines and buses, a bike ride from the CBD, and a 20 minute drive to the airport.

With the neighbouring sites, we intend to open up new public space, and produce new buildings with the highest possible environmental and social performance.

At each stage, we’re engaging the people who work in and around the site, the neighbours and Kensington community.

Asset Type

Mixed Use Commercial Real Estate


2-50 Elizabeth Street, Kensington, Victoria
1-7 Elizabeth Street, Kensington, Victoria
2-12 Barrett Street, Kensington, Victoria

Acquisition Cost

$30.25 million

Date Acquired

December 2016

Current Net Lettable Area



We want this to be a marquee project. It will show how a built environment can make peoples' lives better, improve its neighbourhood, and give the planet a future that sustains human life.
Carbon and water neutral in the long term

Our long-term vision is that Younghusband will be carbon and water neutral over the entire master- planned site. It’ll take the full multi- year project, encompassing each of the buildings, to realise that vision. There’s only so much environmental performance to wring out of the heritage buildings we’re working with in stage 1, but we have included a lot of sustainability features in this first phase.

Selected environmental works specified for stage 1 include:

  • installation of 442kW of rooftop solar
  • provision for battery storage
  • implementation of rainwater harvesting and reuse scheme
  • installation of energy-efficient lighting in common areas
  • smart building management systems to reduce usage of energy and water
  • embedded network
  • energy-efficient heating and cooling
  • green leases
  • a productive community garden
  • an industry leading green travel plan.

As the project expands from rejuvenating the heritage woolstore to, in later stages, developing the new buildings and urban park, the options increase for driving environmental performance. Although we have the masterplan, and have developed drawings and models for the later stages, they aren’t fully decided yet, and we’re a long way from having the detailed plans needed to apply for the necessary permits, but we have considered what’s possible.

Our whole-of-precinct, whole-of- project intentions include:

  • 991 kW photovoltaic system
  • a power purchase agreement for the remainder of electricity usage
  • using Passivhaus (Passive House) principles for new builds
  • significant rainwater collection system, with treatment and reuse at appropriate locations
  • closed loop waste systems and bio-digesters to process organic material.
A light touch on the existing heritage buildings

Discussions about environmental performance can miss an important point: the woolstore buildings in the Younghusband precinct are quite rightly honoured for their beauty and listed for their heritage. One of the most environmentally sustainable things we can do is keep old buildings alive and useful, instead of demolishing them, wasting their materials and constructing new buildings that have huge embodied carbon emissions. So, from the very start of the project, our plan has been to treat the existing heritage buildings with a light touch. We are rejuvenating the wood, the redbrick, steel and glass – the noble materials that visitors love.

We’re using ‘One Planet Living’ framework

Younghusband is using One Planet Living as its environmental and social sustainability framework.
In the words of one of its designers, Pooran Desai, One Planet Living helps “make it easy for people to live happy and healthy lives within the environmental limits of the planet”.
It was created by Bioregional in 2003 after the development of the BedZED ecovillage, which is an 82-home housing development in London designed for zero carbon emissions. One Planet Living has now spread from the UK to projects in South Africa, Canada, Europe and Australia. It was the basis for the London 2012 Olympic Games’ sustainability plan and is being used in the 220-apartment redevelopment by Mirvac of the old Marrickville Hospital site in Sydney’s inner-west.

The 10 principles of One Planet Living are:

  • Health and happiness
    Encouraging active, sociable, meaningful lives to promote good health and well being
  • Equity and local economy
    Creating bioregional economies that support equity and diverse local employment and international fair trade
  • Culture and community
    Respecting and reviving local identity, wisdom and culture; encouraging the involvement of people in shaping their community and creating a new culture of sustainability
  • Land use and wildlife
    Protecting and restoring biodiversity and creating new natural habitats through good land use and integration into the built environment
  • Sustainable water
    Using water efficiently in buildings, farming and manufacturing. Designing to avoid local issues such as flooding , drought and water course pollution
  • Local and sustainable food
    Supporting sustainable and humane farming, promoting access to healthy, low impact, local, seasonal and organic diets and reducing food waste
  • Sustainable materials
    Using sustainable and healthy products, such as those with low embodied energy, sourced locally, made from renewable or waste resources
  • Sustainable transport
    Reducing the need to travel, and encouraging low and zero carbon modes of transport to reduce emissions
  • Zero waste
    Reducing waste, reusing where possible, and ultimately sending zero waste to landfill
  • Zero carbon
    Making buildings energy efficient and delivering all energy with renewable technologies