As WGV launches its 2018 One Planet Living review, Ben Gill shares how this innovative housing project is showing that we can create net zero energy communities that are also great places to live
WGV at White Gum Valley
Pioneering sustainable and affordable housing
WGV at White Gum Valley is a DevelopmentWA 'Innovation through Demonstration' project that created a vibrant and highly sustainable community of more than 80 homes with a people-friendly, rather than car-dominated, layout and lots of green space. It is 3km from the centre of Fremantle, which is a One Planet City.
WGV includes single lots for self-build detached dwellings, maisonettes and apartment buildings. There are also several demonstration housing projects aimed at providing affordable housing to people in their twenties and thirties and an artist’s cooperative developed by Access Housing (now Housing Choices, Western Australia’s leading not-for-profit housing provider).
As the buildings were delivered by private developers and individuals, the development required a highly innovative approach to ensure sustainability standards were met.
How we worked together
Bioregional worked with DevelopmentWA and land developer, LandCorp, to draw up WGV's One Planet Action plan to overcome this challenge. For example, the zero-carbon energy principle was applied relatively straightforwardly for all housing types.
All self-builders and developers were also encouraged to build sustainably with climate responsive design and significant investment in renewable energy and battery storage with assistance by ARENA (the Australian Renewable Energy Agency).
Bioregional also supported DevelopmentWA to:
- Create a resident engagement plan
- Monitor its progress throughout construction
- Train the Design team in One Planet Living
Inspiring new One Planet Communities
Yolk Property Group is one of the developers that bought a lot to create a residential development. It used the One Planet Living principles throughout design and construction for the Evermore WGV apartments and its One Planet Action Plan has been recognised by Bioregional Australia.
WGV has already won several awards for its sustainability commitments, including the 2017 Urban Development Institute of Australia's (UDIA) Western Australia Sustainable Urban Development Award.
Equity and local economy
15 affordable dwellings built for younger people and local artists
Local and sustainable food
100% of homes have access to local food-growing space
Zero carbon energy
On track to achieve 90-100% renewable energy
At first, I thought that One Planet Living was just some ‘sexy marketing’. But I’ve since realised that the framework helped to drive the design guidelines for the individual homes and the community-centred approach of this pioneering development.Craig Bailey, (Ecovision), who built a number of homes
Highlights from the One Planet Action Plan
- Free ‘Sustainable Upgrade’ package for single lots to ensure zero carbon buildings, provision of a rainwater tank and a mature deciduous tree for shading
- Private-public partnership funding for battery storage of solar-generated electricity for 50% of all dwellings
- Multi-residential car parking to average less than one space per unit (very low in car-dependant Perth)
- Water efficiency measures including a site-wide community borehole for irrigation, dual plumbing (one pipe of mains water, one of recycled water) to all houses, rainwater harvesting for toilets and irrigation and efficient appliances and fittings – targeting a 70% reduction in potable water consumption compared average Perth consumption
- Tree canopy returned to 30% of the site and 30% of trees in the public domain to have edible fruits
- Creating an attractive to a diverse range of people, including the creation of an artist’s cooperative, to create a vibrant community.
Learn more about One Planet Living in Australia.