Real estate investment management firm Qualitas has created Australia’s first property debt fund to elevate minimum sustainability criteria into its investment criteria. The Fund is also Australia’s first dedicated build-to-rent (BTR) debt platform. The Qualitas Build-to-Rent Impact Fund (QBIF, or the Fund) will finance housing that meets strong sustainability standards and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 35 per cent compared with the current building code. Improved energy efficiency means lower energy consumption for residents and asset owners. The QBIF is backed with a cornerstone investment commitment of up to $125 million from the CEFC, as part of its goal of increasing the availability clean, green rental stock and extending the benefits of clean energy to Australian renters.
To qualify for QBIF finance, projects must demonstrate minimum sustainability standards, including a 7-star average NatHERS rating and a 5-star NABERS for Apartments Energy rating, as well as criteria for appliances and solar generation on the available roof area. These standards will be achieved through a combination of passive design, upgraded building fabrics such as insulation and glazing, high-efficiency HVAC plant, energy efficient appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators, and on-site solar systems.