26 May 2016

25 May 2016
Please click here to view the original article

WGV, the experimental sustainable-living suburban-infill housing development, on the former Kim Beazley school site in White Gum Valley, has won a National Planning Institute of Australia award for excellence.

The 2ha development to showcase smart, affordable, sustainable housing including a Gen Y Demonstration Housing Project, is a LandCorp project devised to challenge perceptions about housing, urban renewal, infill housing and sustainable communities.

LandCorp chief executive Frank Marra said some project elements, including water saving design and rooftop solar systems and battery storage, had captured the public imagination.

The project is designed to deliver a diverse range of housing styles and living options, including the Gen Y Demonstration Housing Project (with) flexible and sustainable dwellings for the next generation.

He said the award, in the Best Planning Ideas, Small Project category, proved the wider development industry was paying attention. “At the heart of WGV are cutting-edge initiatives delivering high levels of energy and water efficiency that will save residents about $1200 a year in bills,” Mr Marra said.

“The project is designed to deliver a diverse range of housing styles and living options, including the Gen Y Demonstration Housing Project (with) flexible and sustainable dwellings for the next generation.”

Mr Marra said the award recognised the collaboration between LandCorp, government departments, the City of Fremantle and planning and design firms Urbis and CODA.

Urbis director Kris Nolan said one of the exciting elements of the project was the way LandCorp and others were educating the community about “payback periods” for some of the infrastructure, including solar panels and a community bore, and “how many of these initiatives are well worth the money” even in the medium term.

CODA practice director Emma Williamson said one of the challenges for CODA, the WGV estate architect, was to ensure the suburban infill project blended with the “green amenity” of White Gum Valley.

LandCorp is also working with Curtin University, the CRC for Low Carbon Living, Solar Balance, Balance Group and the CSIRO to work out how to improve renewable energy uptake more generally in strata residential developments across Australia.