New South Wales is living up to its green building commitments with the state’s latest endeavour attempting to go where few major developments have gone before: completely off-grid.
Works are to begin in September on The Chimney Sustainable Village, a completely self-reliant community to be located on a 14 hectare site on Camden River, just south of Port Macquarie in NSW.
Mitchell Builders has been appointed by Ian Bailey and Annie Georgeson, the architects, planners and owners of the development, to construct the village.
The project relies on a developmental philosophy that is in line with ‘current best practice for sustainable building.’
“The materials prescribed are selected for their qualities and colours so as to achieve maximum durability and performance; to achieve easy and fast construction; to avoid incorporating materials which have very high embodied energy; to avoid materials which have embodied toxic elements; to avoid materials which require high maintenance; and to achieve a cohesive development,” say the developers.
A holistic development ideology will be undertaken, with self-reliance standing as the most important of developmental inclusions.
The construction team plans to complete 66 dwellings; of which six will act as ‘home business’, eight of which will be townhouses and one will act as an educational trust in order to monitor the running of the development.
The layout of the village includes the development of micro-communities of six to eight dwellings apiece, with each micro-community including small community areas. These smaller communities will be centered around the larger central common space which will also include amenities and facilities.
Each of the residential buildings will generate renewable energy, which could later be sold back onto the grid. Solar heating and lighting will aid community facilities such as a pool and tennis court.
In terms of its proposed off-grid features, the development will be include a portable water supply – further bolstered by the harvesting and use of stormwater – that will give residents access to their own water. The implementation of a self-reliant sewerage treatment centre and will cut off a reliance of public sewerage works and the aforementioned dwelling-to-dwelling renewable energy production systems will keep energy needs off-grid.
Two major bushland areas have been set aside in environmental protection zones. Two historic chimneys near the front of the village will also be presented in a ‘Heritage Protection Zone.’
The development is being hailed as the next big thing in green building Australia, with praise going to the entire development team for their ingenuity and commitment to holistic sustainability in every aspect of the village.
“This project has the ability to have far greater impact than ever imagined,” says Australian International Design Awards program director Stephanie Watson. “It could become the yardstick for any new development in Australia and the world looking to lead by sustainability, not to mention practicality, economy and speed to market. It is a testament to Australian ingenuity and entrepreneurship.”