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This Southbank building future-proofed with EV charging, and how you can do the same

This Southbank building future-proofed with EV charging, and how you can do the same

By The Knight - Body Corporate Managers

Owners’ corporation (OC) managers are seeing increasing demand for retrofitting electric vehicle (EV) charging across their portfolios.

The Knight recently spoke with David Hamilton, an OC committee member at Triptych and an EV charging solutions consultant. He graciously agreed to share with us his experiences with EV charging in strata.

The Knight: Starting with your OC, Triptych, could you explain what drives your sustainability ethos?

David: Triptych was designed to be a building with extensive sustainability features incorporated into it from its conception in 2007, so it was ahead of the curve as far as Melbourne high-rise apartment developments back then, and even today.

Sustainability has been a key attraction for many owners and renters over its history but more so today with greater awareness of climate change and the need to transition to a low carbon economy. In a building where the ethos is sustainability, it is an easy step for people to understand the benefits of becoming EV ready. In fact, some of us started thinking about what would be needed as far back as 2016.

The Knight: How can we help facilitate the community wide decision to adopt EV charging?

David: OC managers and committees need processes that bring people on the journey towards sustainability and avoid divisive debates. You need to recognise you are living in a community and there is a collective responsibility to improve the lot of all owners, rather than preserve the status quo or sectional interests.

OC committees have a duty of care to all owners and to protect and preserve the common property in a way that enhances the value of all owners’ assets, especially their building’s image and individual apartment values.

A good starting point is to ask residents and owners their views and let them see what is possible. Engaging via surveys is great, not just about sustainability and EV but about important common property issues. Surveys educate people but more importantly, they show the committee is listening. They also have the benefit of airing and addressing objections and revealing where the majority of residents stand on a topic.

The OC can then formulate a strategy around sustainability and not waste time on objections that are unsupported by the broader community.

The Knight: What do you see as the future of EV charging in strata?

David: Soon, there will be two classes of buildings: those that have the facility and those that don’t. By the end of this decade, the bulk of new vehicle models available for purchase will be EV and strata buildings (including existing buildings) will have no choice but to adjust to that reality.

The National Construction Code is likely to be amended as early as 2023 requiring in-carpark EV charging infrastructure to be part of the base build. Today’s strata committees should recognise the need to facilitate this now or face competition from new buildings and other developments which have made that move. Owners in those buildings will have a significant competitive advantage over buildings without EV charging.

Surveys I have run show that even owners who do not plan on owning an EV recognise this risk and are willing to support retrofitting so that the entire building is EV ready, and their apartment’s value is maintained to prospective purchasers.   

David Hamilton works as an EV solutions charging consultant. You can find out more and contact him at ghic.com.au

To read more of our interview with David, head to theknight.com.au/our-news-and-insights

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