Home construction activity
Housing construction is proceeding apace, notwithstanding the long, wet winter and delays in material supplies. Many owners are getting in early, starting initial soil preparation on their EUA’s under the watchful guidance of our gardening guru Mark.
There are now 48 homes in various stages of construction. Roofs and cladding materials are emerging as the built landscape starts to take shape. Most homes are being built in traditional timber framing, but the first of several hemp homes are underway, as well as a few straw bale and reverse brick veneer houses.
We have a steady stream of design reviews and formal assessments and there are now 13 proposals in the approval stage. Importantly, we continue to see exemplary results for thermal and life cycle designs with some homes achieving in excess of 9 stars NatHERS and -120% LCA. On average, homes in the Ecovillage are achieving NatHERS 8.2 stars.
We encourage all homeowners to pursue the highest possible sustainability standards in each home design.
Construction contracts for the community sheds have been let and earthworks in all but two gardens have been completed in readiness for building works. Development approvals have been issued by the Shire and we have now commenced work in earnest.
Each shed is designed to cater for small meetings, workshops and gardening projects as well as provide a venue for community social gatherings and celebrations. A kitchenette and toilet facilities are included, with the architectural scale and materials designed to complement the landscaped surrounds.
Construction will coincide with the completion of landscaping in each of the cluster community gardens and we are hoping to have at least three sheds (in Stage 1) completed prior to Christmas, with Stages 2 and 3 completed in January 2022.
Development of village centre buildings
With the hard and soft landscape in Wolghine Square now in place, design studies have begun in earnest on the development of village centre buildings. Short stay accommodation, mixed use residential / commercial and a child care centre will be at the forefront of these building projects, all designed to enhance the amenity and vitality of the Witchcliffe Ecovillage.
Planning approval for the Community Centre has now been achieved and construction documents have been prepared. The WEV team is now working with local contractors to finalise the build program for this key community facility and construction is expected to commence this spring.
Design studies for the short stay tourism lots near the village centre are well underway. We are investigating innovative construction methods so that these short stay villas can be delivered at an attractive price point. Within convenient walking distance of Wolghine Square and the proposed pub, café and other village amenities, these properties will be an attractive option for investors to own tourism accommodation.