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Christa Orcullo sits in the living room of her teilhaus

"No space goes to waste”: inside our customer’s compact and considered home

March 1, 2024
December 14, 2022

Bank Australia customer Christa used our Clean Energy Home Loan to purchase an apartment in one of Melbourne’s Nightingale developments. She takes us on a tour of her sustainable ‘Teilhaus’ home.

In the middle of 2022, perioperative nurse Christa Orcullo moved into a brand new apartment. But Christa’s home isn’t your standard apartment; it’s a 37sqm space-efficient Teilhaus apartment (which translates to ‘part of a house’) in Nightingale’s new Anstey development.

“It has everything I need and want in a home,” Christa says. “No space goes to waste.”

It was Nightingale’s environmental and sustainability credentials that drew Christa to the project. “I love that my building is fossil fuel-free, well insulated and 100% carbon neutral in operations,” she says.

The Nightingale approach is an exciting one. Homes are built sustainably, utilising reclaimed and recycled materials, electric appliances, and zero fossil fuels. A collectively owned embedded energy network lets residents bulk buy 100% green power at reduced rates (this is supplemented by rooftop solar panels). Apartments are built with the community in mind, with plenty of shared spaces, and are only sold to residents and community housing providers, not investors.

Christa was able to purchase her apartment using Bank Australia’s Clean Energy Home Loan. “This goes to show that Bank Australia understands the Nightingale model, which is quite different to the typical apartment developments,”  she says.

Christa Orcullo sits in the living room of her teilhaus. She talks with another woman in the room

Christa’s little home packs a mighty design punch, using unpolished and partially recycled brass tapware, reclaimed timber flooring, Australian-made terrazzo tiles and exposed concrete. “The apartment also has great thermal insulation, double-glazed windows and hydronic heating, which kept me warm during the winter months,” says Christa, adding that her place has a NatHERS rating of 9 (the regulatory requirement on all new buildings is 6).

Christa became a Bank Australia customer in 2019, just after she moved to Australia from the Philippines.

“I love that a bank can be B-Corp certified and, like Nightingale, is 100% carbon neutral. I feel like Bank Australia and Nightingale share a lot of values that also align with my own,” she says. “The fact that BA does not invest in or fund fossil fuel projects but rather in ethically sound projects is something I care about a lot. It’s so nice to know that my money is used in a way that doesn’t contribute to the many problems of our time but rather tries to help solve them.”

When thinking about a climate-positive future, Christa would love to live in a world with better public transport, safer bike lanes, and less dependency on cars.

The interior design of Christa's teilhaus

“I would love to see Melbourne transformed into a less car-centric city. I imagine a place where more space and money is dedicated to public transport, walking and cycling. I would cycle much more often if it was safer to do so,” she says. “One of the things I love most when visiting European cities is that so many more people are outside, walking and cycling. It changes the whole vibe of a place and brings people closer together. Cities that encourage alternatives to private car ownership tick a lot of great boxes – the emission reductions are just a bonus.”  

Read more about our Clean Energy Home Loans.

All images courtesy Nightingale Housing.

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