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National Lifestyle Villages, Perth

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.

National Lifestyle Villages


Project Selection

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

Project Overview

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.

Built Environment

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:

Sports/Recreation facilities

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


Cooking/Entertaining facilities

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

BYO bar

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


Social Activities

Eco-designed 3-storey clubhouse with stage and dancefloor

74 seat cinema

Library and Internet kiosk

Art House for arts and crafts

Communal workshop

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.

Energy Efficiency

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.

Water Management

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.

Waste Management

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.

Atmospheric Management

“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:


  • BWLV households use 62% less water
  • BWLV households use 50% less power
  • BWLV households could generate 82% less landfill waste

    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.

    Service Model

    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.

    Funding Sources

    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.

    Project Auspice

    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.

    The future

    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.

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