National Lifestyle Villages, Perth
National Lifestyle Villages may contain a number of the following features but it has been identified by the Steering Committee specifically because it:
|Mixes people from diverse socio economic levels|
|Caters to a range of age groups|
|Offers a diversity in service types|
|Employs community engagement in the development process|
|Is an innovative model designed to accommodate ageing in place|
|Provides housing options for a particular population groups|
|Has undertaken conversions and/or changes of use of existing facilities|
|Uses mixed financial funding bases|
|Has demonstrable Environmentally Sustainable Design features||Y
The following project description combines information prepared by National Lifestyle Villages with information obtained from their website www.nlv.com.au
The Bridgewater Lifestyle Village (BWLV) is the third lifestyle village developed by National Lifestyle Villages (NLV). Bridgewater has integrated environmental management for the entire community. The project shows a commitment to Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) in its creation and ongoing development.
Located in Mandurah, WA, it is a community seeking to attract “Lifestylers”: people over 45 who are “too young, too fit and too healthy for a traditional retirement village”.
Why it is an innovative project
Bridgewater Lifestyle Village is a working exemplar of a sustainable village, operating in the general housing market, with housing solutions designed for older people who seek a viable, environmentally conscious alternative to retirement villages.
According to NLV, around half of the residents chose to live in the village primarily because they wished to live more sustainably. The NLV business model taps into this interest. The marketing strategy draws largely upon the improved environmental footprint that the village offers with environmental initiatives a focus of marketing, in the display village and in website and press advertisements. Residents engage with the environmentally sustainable elements of the village by constructing the chicken run, helping with the worm farm, recycling and separating waste.
The observation that people who live in caravan parks often experience a dual sense of holidays and community was the inspiration for NLV. The villages combine a high level of communal facilities with high density broad-acre village-style housing.
BWLV consists of 390 factory-built relocatable homes, with one to three bedrooms. A holistic approach was taken to its design to ensure environmentally-sustainable philosophies underpinned design, documentation and development. The BWLV model is dedicated to ESD, which is reflected throughout the village, including the density of housing. The average density of housing at BWLV is at 25 houses per hectare, which is double that of Perth, allowing reduced use of resources.
Facilities of BWLV include:
Tennis, squash and badminton courts
Bocce green, Bowls green and Croquet courts
Fully equipped gymnasium
Pool and darts room
Indoor heated swimming pool, spa and sauna
Gourmet, industrial-sized kitchen
Extensive outdoor entertaining areas with a pizza oven and barbecues
Family Centre with outdoor swimming pool for entertaining visiting families and friends
Communal vegetable patch, orchard, chook pen and worm farm
Professionally maintained and selected Australian landscaping, using water-wise native plants
Secure caravan and boat parking area, along with wash-down area
A secure, gated community with video connection to the main gate
A village bus
Eco-designed 3-storey clubhouse with stage and dancefloor
74 seat cinema
Library and Internet kiosk
Art House for arts and crafts
Social club with a busy calendar
The Sustainable Development Model incorporates the following eight environmental strategies:
Concept design to save every significant tree and work with existing ground levels.
Wildlife corridors and nesting boxes in existing trees.
Village vegetable allotments and orchard.
Cadastral layout ensuring 100% of houses have good solar access.
All houses with long east/west axes, zero lot line to south and garden courtyards to north, with solar pergolas and extensive glazing for winter solar access.
Solar hot water systems, gas-boosted, standard to all homes.
Energy-efficient luminaries and appliances throughout as standard.
Wall, roof and underfloor insulation to all homes.
Roof sheeting limited to off-white throughout, to maximise thermal efficiency.
All homes efficiently factory built, minimising construction waste and construction time – being re-locatable also makes them easily re-used.
Photovoltaic’s offered as a recommended optional extra for houses to supply power for lighting.
Narrow floor plans providing good natural lighting and cross-ventilation for all buildings.
Greywater recycling standard to homes and community buildings, utilizing sub-surface reticulation or evaporation/transpiration trenches.
All stormwater used to recharge aquifer, utilizing roadside swale system.
Greywater use ensures recharge balances groundwater extraction.
Rainwater harvesting standard on all homes and community buildings.
AAA rated taps and plumbing fixtures as standard in all homes and through village.
Landscape design uses indigenous cultivars and minimum turf to minimize water use.
Co-ordinated waste management strategy, with three village Asset Recovery Centres (ARC) for community re-use and recycling; centres utilize recycled shipping containers as basis for buildings.
8-bin recycling system (aluminium, steel, plain/coloured glass, 4 different plastics). Plus recycled batteries, electronics and rags.
Organic waste feeds village chickens, supplying village-scale composting and worm farm.
Paper recycling – on-site paper mill making art papers.
“Re-use Room” storing furniture, removal cartons, containers and distributing surplus comestibles.
“Planet Ark” cleaning materials provided as free samples to new residents (thereafter supplied at cost) to minimize phosphorus loads.
Village bus - rostered shopping trips, links to public transport network, social outings.
Light and noise pollution
Photovoltaics on community buildings generating power for street and area lighting.
Area lighting minimising light spillage and insect attraction.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Comprehensive site analysis undertaken prior to design phase - flora and fauna surveys, groundwater patterning, soil analysis and micro-climate.
This model is aimed to enable all design and development decisions to be tested in terms of the underlying principles that are understood by the project team.
The BWLV project has been the subject of significant research and innovation in environmental sustainability, with the assistance of staff and students from the Environmental Technology Centre (ETC), Murdoch University.
Murdoch University data shows BWLV households have ecological footprints of 66% of typical suburban households in Western Australia. Comparisons with Perth (medium density housing) averages:
As a large-scale, commercially-viable example of sustainable living, BWLV has inspired others in this area. NLV welcomes this and encourages other developers to follow environmentally-appropriate development. In November 2006, NLV was the Overall Winner of the Western Australian Environment Awards. In April 2007, the Bridgewater Lifestyle Village won the HIA GreenSmart Award for Development of the Year.
BWLV is a community for people over 45, designed for “active people who enjoy resort-style holiday living”. The buildings do not meet universal design specifications and no care support services are provided in the service model. National Lifestyle Villages are not designed to accomodate ageing in place.
Who the project serves
The residents BWLV seeks to attract are “youthful” over forty-five year olds who are “child-free and looking to make the most of life and their accumulated assets, while they’re still fit, healthy and active.” The BWLV marketing which pitches the village as an environmentally conscious alternative attracts residents with a vested interest in environmental sustainability.
BWLV is marketed as a base for residents’ “other adventures” by offering housing that is designed to be affordable enough to leave residents with enough money to pursue other activities. The provision of affordable housing allows for a more diverse mix of residents.
NLV is a private company operating a for-profit business model. BWLV residents own their homes, but lease the land from NLV. Therefore residents on pensions can claim Commonwealth Rent Assistance. A one-bedroom home at BWLV can be bought from $179,000 while a three-bedroom home are priced from $375,000.
BWLV is a Western Australia Water Corporation Waterwise Display Village and NLV has received a number of grants to pursue its ESD agenda. These include:
Murdoch University’s ETC received a Western Australia Premier’s Water Foundation grant to research and demonstrate the use of greywater recycling at a village scale.
BWLV is receiving a Strategic Waste Initiative Scheme grant for a study on reducing kitchen waste through composting and vermi-composting.
NLV designs, builds, markets and manages village residential communities in Western Australia. They currently operate 6 villages, with 1 more under construction and 5 others in the planning process. Once completed, these villages will accommodate 2,775 households, or approximately 4,400 people.
NLV is currently developing its “Green Steps” project. Based on their new Tuart Lakes village, to be constructed in successive stages over 5 to 7 years, the aim is to incrementally improve practices at every development stage to achieve a carbon neutral development.
The project will commence with an assessment of carbon emissions to benchmark the starting point. By identifying the bigger emitters, there will be a series of projects/consultancies which will lead to practices that gradually reduce the carbon footprint. Incremental improvements will then be pursued over the successive stages of the Tuart Lakes Lifestyle Village – “lifting the bar” at each stage until by the end of the project NLV will be operating the project as a carbon neutral village.