GBCA Chief Executive Davina Rooney says South Australia has long been at the forefront of waste management and climate action. Image: Canva
  • An action plan has been unveiled to strengthen a circular economy in South Australia
  • A circular economy has three principles; design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems
  • The action plan points to three case studies that have successfully used these principles

An action plan to prop up a circular economy, the first of its kind for an Australian state or territory, has been revealed at the first Green Building Day in Adelaide.

Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) Chief Executive Davina Rooney says South Australia has been at the forefront of waste management, renewable energy and climate action.

“The South Australian Government’s commitment to achieve a circular economy through target setting, policy development, regulation and investment in innovation will set the state on the path toward a thriving circular economy,” she said.

The action plan outlines a few opportunities to emphasise the principles of a circular economy; regenerate natural systems, keep products and materials in use, and design out waste and pollution.

It’s structured around the following stages:

  • Plan, design and construct
  • Operate, renovate and refurbish
  • Reuse, recycle and manufacture

There’s to be a particular focus on the commercial and residential building sectors, underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources.

Moreover, the plan provides guidance for the built environment, addressing key challenges including material selection, prioritising low emission products and suppliers and opting for local options for products and materials.

“We know that there are already exciting innovators operating in South Australia across the country, and this report identifies opportunities for government, industry and community stakeholders to connect, share knowledge and collaborate to boost circular outcomes,” Rooney said.

Case studies

The action plan also presents three case studies from projects with a commitment to sustainability and circularity.

U City

Image: Supplied

A 20-storey building containing retirement residences, accessible serviced apartments, retail spaces and more, U City is predicted to use 45% less energy and 30% less water than a comparable new building.

It’s recognised as one of Australia’s greenest buildings and has achieved a 6-star Green Star Design and As Built Rating.

Yitpi Yartapuultiku

Image: Supplied

Currently under construction and set to be completed in December 2024, this project which is otherwise known as the Aboriginal Cultural Centre, is to be an authentic place to be immersed in Aboriginal culture.

Yitpi Yartapuultiku has already been recognised for its collaborative planning and design with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, winning the Planning with Country award for South Australia in the 2022 Planning Institute Australia Awards.

Lot Fourteen

Image: Supplied

Currently undergoing construction on the 7 hectare site of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital and set to be complete in 2028, Lot Fourteen will be a globally significant collection of diverse industries and organisations dedicated to research, education, art and culture.

The state government has committed to significant adaptive re-use of heritage buildings onsite and construction of new commercial buildings to accommodate industries of the future.

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