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UDIA awards celebrate environmental achievements

The Fifth Estate

The Urban Development Institute of Australia’s national awards held last week celebrated the achievements of projects that have integrated sustainability.

Richard Noble’s Cygnia Cove development in Perth, Western Australia took out the environmental excellence award.

The former contaminated site has been transformed into a 188-lot residential area, with rehabilitated wetlands, a new wetland designed as a Black Swan breeding sanctuary, and an extended foreshore reserve.

The homes themselves are on the enormous size at 450 square metres on average, and the development has only received certification for ecosystems and community under UDIA’s EnviroDevelopment tool, leaving out waste, energy, water and materials.

However, a UDIA statement said there were design guidelines that detailed the incorporation of a number of sustainability features.

“Cygnia Cove is a residential estate that has successfully addressed a series of complex environmental challenges to deliver a high quality wetland based ecosystem,” the jury said.

“The judges were particularly impressed by the retention and rehabilitation of the degraded wetland, the decontamination of a highly degraded site, the extension of the foreshore reserve and the creation of wildlife habitat, including the reestablishment of a black swan breeding ground.

“The project collects and cleans water from beyond the boundaries of the site and now provides public access to the wetlands, the Canning River foreshore and to the public reserves, which incorporate walking trails through re-established endemic bushlands.”

Little Projects’ Tip Top Brunswick East Melbourne redevelopment won the urban renewal award.

The project, designed by ROTHELOWMAN, involves transforming a 1.2 hectare industrial site into a 411-apartment residential community, including a 92-place childcare centre. The development includes ESD initiatives around energy use, water conservation and landscaping.

“The judges were greatly impressed by the architectural boldness of the new design, while retaining and incorporating key heritage facades into those designs, and maintaining suitable scale relationships with the adjacent listed masonic hall, and the existing low scale surrounding residential community,” the jury citation said.

“The site is a benchmark for industrial site restoration and transformation in inner urban areas and will act as a catalyst for further projects of this type.”

Little Projects’ managing director Michael Fox said the recognition was “a dream come true”.

UDIA national president Cameron Shephard said the competition had progressively gotten tougher each year.

“This year’s nominees showcased exceptional projects of the highest quality which demonstrated the nominees desire to address critical social and environmental issues such as sustainability and affordable housing,” he said.

“I congratulate all the entrants and winners on their outstanding achievements.”

Other winners were:

  • Masterplanned Development – Greater Springfield by Springfield Land Corporation, Lend Lease and Mirvac (QLD)
  • Residential Development – Cygnia Cove by Richard Noble (WA)
  • Medium Density Housing – ESQUE, Mosman by HELM (NSW)
  • High Density Housing – One Central Park by Frasers Property Australia and Sekisui House Australia (NSW)
  • Affordable Development – Invita Apartments – Stage 1 by Peet Limited and BGC Development in joint venture (WA)
  • Seniors Living – The Village Coorparoo by The Village Retirement Group (QLD)
  • President’s Award – The Village Coorparoo by The Village Retirement Group (QLD)
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