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Warren Phillips, Senior Development Manager – LandCorp, and Josh Byrne, Director – Josh Byrne & Associates

WGV at White Gum Valley has won both the Urban Water Excellence and Sustainable Urban Development awards at the 2017 Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) Awards for Excellence.

The LandCorp ‘Innovation through Demonstration’ project and Water Corporation Waterwise Development, is a 2.2ha infill development in the Fremantle suburb of White Gum Valley showcasing precinct-scale design excellence on many levels. WGV incorporates a range of diverse building types, climate sensitive considerations, creative urban greening and leading-edge water management strategies.

WGV is being used as the basis for several concurrent research programs designed to explore novel approaches to urban densification, affordable housing and sustainable development. These include a four year ‘Living Lab’ research project funded by the CRC for Low Carbon Living, an ARENA funded study into the application strata-body operated solar energy storage, and an industry-led initiative that will showcase leading urban water initiatives. WGV will also be home to Australia’s first Baugruppen project, which is being run as an applied research project to test this model of affordable housing delivery under Australian conditions.

WGV is targeting a 60% reduction in mains water use across the various housing typologies. Key water saving initiatives include a community bore irrigation supply for use in both public and private gardens, as well as lot-scale rainwater harvesting systems for toilets and washing machines. There are advanced water efficiency measures in the homes and a range of water sensitive landscaping features integrated across the development site. Smart metering of all water sources provides real-time data that will assist householders to better manage their water use and validate performance modelling assumptions used during the design of the project.

Over the coming months, the Density by Design web series produced by VAM Media and presented by Josh Byrne will follow the development of WGV from construction, to completion, through to occupancy. It will focus on the mechanisms used to achieve low carbon outcomes, their acceptance and uptake, and how to make them mainstream.