The Ecovillage team is thrilled to announce that civil construction of Stage 1 will start on Monday (17 Feb) after we recently signed Perth-based Wormall Civil as head contractor for civil works of Stages 1-3.
“Starting construction is a huge milestone that’s been more than a decade in the making,” said Mike Hulme, director of Sustainable Settlements and founder of the project.
“It’s also the realisation of a long-held dream; to create a highly sustainable and resilient community that sets a new sustainability benchmark for residential developments,” he said.
Wormall Civil has a reputation for reliable service and has delivered high quality construction in and around Perth with significant streetscaping elements. The company is also looking to build a more permanent presence in the South West and is keen to work with local subcontractors, which was important for Sustainable Settlements.
The team is aiming to complete the construction of roads, drainage and services of Stage 1 before the winter rains set in this year, with works continuing into subsequent stages as weather permits.
Sales and marketing of the 64 lots in Stage 1 will start in April and the Ecovillage team will be offering small public presentations and walking tours of the Ecovillage.
“From the outset we’ve enjoyed the support of locals and have a substantial group of ‘Ecovillage pioneers’ who are super keen to buy a lot and start building the community. We’re hopeful the sustained level of interest will translate into healthy sales of Stage 1,” said Mr Hulme.
Witchcliffe Ecovillage Overview
Self-sufficient in renewable energy, water and fresh food produce, the Ecovillage will eventually be home to around 750 like-minded people who are motivated to live within the true means of our magnificent region, with a significantly reduced carbon footprint, without compromising comfort, privacy, amenity or affordability.
The development utilises state-of-the-art renewable technologies, extensive community gardens and regenerative agriculture practices, and passive solar and low carbon building techniques. Importantly, its focus on integrated, people-focused design outcomes will help to create a thriving social community that is inclusive, well-connected and resilient.
“We’ve been uncompromising in our efforts to make the Witchcliffe Ecovillage as sustainable as possible, and as such, it’s looking like it will be one of the most sustainable developments in the world,” said Mr Hulme.
“We hope to attract visitors from all over the world who want to learn from what we’re doing and experience a holistic, sustainable community based on permaculture principles. But more importantly, we are excited to deliver exceptional social, economic and environmental outcomes for the Ecovillage community and the Margaret River region as a whole.”
Designed to create significantly more energy than it consumes, the Ecovillage’s sophisticated energy network will incorporate solar PVs on every roof, with batteries and microgrids that enable 100% renewable energy supply. Solar powered electric vehicle charging stations will be located in every residential cluster and in the Village Square to cater for tourists and locals alike.
Ample, high quality water will be captured and reused on site by three large dams, household rainwater tanks and a network of stormwater rain gardens. A community-scale wastewater treatment plant down at the Davis Rd end of the site will treat all sewerage and recycle onto an avocado and carbon plantation.
Fourteen agricultural lots irrigated by the dams will be available for purchase by residents and will provide opportunities for high value, small scale commercial horticulture. Supplemented by the community gardens, this fresh produce will feed residents and can be sold at the Ecovillage Food Hub, which will eventually become home to an organic food distribution network for the entire region.
Utilising best practice human settlement design, homes will be configured in clusters surrounding feature-rich community gardens. These will become the heart of daily Ecovillage life, providing both a convivial social setting and abundant household fresh produce.
Every lot at the Ecovillage has been carefully oriented to maximise solar capture for passive solar homes that will be built in accordance with our Sustainable Building Design Guidelines using natural materials. Houses will undergo life cycle assessments and are required to be carbon negative.
In a region with a shortage of smaller and lower cost housing stock, affordability has also been a key driver of the project. There are nine different lot types designed to attract a diverse demographic, including families, retirees and young people. The project will also create a mix of commercial, creative, food, tourism and agricultural business opportunities, which will boost regional tourism and create jobs, enabling some residents to live and work in the Ecovillage.
With public amenities that include a tavern, café, creative and food hubs, clustered around a beautifully designed Village Square and commercial precinct, the Ecovillage is destined to become a major tourism drawcard in a region renowned for its world class local food and premium wine.