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Builders’ green push a smart move

ENVIRONMENTALLY aware homebuilders will soon be able to become part of Australia’s largest GreenSmart village.

Atwell South, located within the boundaries of the City of Cockburn, is WA’s first housing estate to be built along a set of environmentally friendly principles developed by the Housing Industry Assoc-iation.

The LandCorp subdivision will focus on best practice in urban and environmental design, community development and information technology.

In addition, planning is under way to incorporate natural features, including ephemeral wetlands, into the suburb.

Lots in the LandCorp subdivision will be developed to the GreenSmart guidelines, which encourage commercial builders to use best design practice to construct energy and water efficient homes and produce less waste in the process.

“This means builders are asked to look at the orientation of the house on the block to get the most from the sun, ceiling insulation and the placement of windows and doors to allow for cross-ventilation,” said Verity Allan, HIA environment, planning and development assistant director.

“We hope builders will begin to produce homes in this suburb that will demonstrate the benefits of this type of housing, so people building a home will request them elsewhere.”

Planning for the 158ha subdivision is still taking place and blocks are expected to be available for sale early next year.

LandCorp chief executive officer Ross Holt predicted Atwell South would set new benchmarks in urban development.

“Sustainable development is an important issue and we need to be working towards developments that meet the social and environmental needs of communities now and in the future,” Mr Holt said.

Dale Alcock Homes design manager, and GreenSmart professional of the Year, Max Pierone said it was becoming a greater necessity to build environmentally sustain-able houses.

“I think there is now an awareness that we have to make homes more environmentally sustainable, and that awareness has come about simply by people looking at what is happening in the environment today,” Mr Pierone said.

“So much energy is wasted in heating and cooling houses, when a solid design could save some of that … insulation and solar orientation are two simple design consid-erations that can keep a house warmer in winter and reduce the need for heating.

“The housing industry has to start doing its little bit.”

LandCorp and the Department of Housing and Works have joined forces with the HIA and five WA commercial builders to start the GreenSmart program, officially laun-ched in WA last week.

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