Last month, I attended the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s national conference in Queensland and, coincidentally, spoke at the CRC Water Sensitive Cities conference in Brisbane the same week.
I was speaking on our Aquarevo project in Melbourne, which has some amazing initiatives to save water, particularly using rainwater through the hotwater system and a smart meter called OneBox that also uses the rainwater tank as a flood mitigation tool.
Another feature is that all the later stages of the project are being supplied with a five-kilowatt battery to really entice people to maximise their solar efficiency.
There’s a real drive among the development community to install as many sustainable initiatives to save power and water in new communities as possible.
For those who are serious about sustainability and want to visit a site that is ticking all the boxes, they should drive to the Cape Paterson eco village just past Wonthaggi.
There are some display homes down there that have achieved nine and 10-star ratings. You can walk in the front door on a 36-degree day outside and the temperature inside is only 23 degrees, purely due to clever design, orientation and the thermal qualities of the fabric of the house.
There are residents who have been living for 12 months in the homes with a negative power bill.
The proof is in the pudding. You can live carbon neutral and, in fact, have power companies sending you a check instead of a bill.
Some other really cool attributes include their stormwater system, which runs through a community garden system, acting as its filter before it exits to the sea.
It might seem strange that one developer is promoting a project by another developer, but it is really worth the drive to Cape Paterson to see what I regard as a leading initiative – one that you can touch and feel that’s far in advance of any metropolitan project.