Achieving a sense of Harmony.
The project, located in the Sunshine Coast region, is the first Masterplanned development in South East Queensland to achieve six leaf UDIA EnviroDevelopment certification, a feat that has not been lost on AVID Property Group General Manager Queensland Bruce Harper.
“The EnviroDevelopment program is setting a new property industry benchmark and to be able to have an EnviroDevelopment certification across all of our live projects is very important,” Mr Harper said.
“We plan our approach to sustainability and place putting emphasis on important things that will meet those standards and what our customers need but in a sustainable way.”
In achieving certification in each element, developers need to provide evidence as to how their project meets the required standards. That was the only real hurdle the Harmony project needed to overcome when it came to receiving its full certification, according to Mr Harper.
“A key part of our design at the beginning of the project was to make it a really sustainable project so when it came to the ED classification, we just needed to show proof of our actions,” Mr Harper said.
“For example, we were required to obtain receipts to show our contractors were recycling concrete to meet the Waste certification.
Among the initiatives on show at Harmony, it is those associated with community development that Mr Harper is most proud of and believes is an area Harmony is leading the way in. As an example, he points to the council requirement to implement one-hectare pocket parks and the way Harmony brings these spaces together.
“We were able to come up with an innovative design that builds all of these pocket parks into a single long linear park,” he said.
“The end result is a 60-metre wide, 1-2 kilometre long central park through the middle of the development that still met the requirements that each neighbourhood had a 200-400m walking distance to the nearest local park but it creates a very strong urban design element that defines this project as very different to anything else that has already been done.”
Another area of community development that Mr Harper says works well is the welcome dinner for new residents that allows them to meet and greet their neighbours in an informal and relaxed manner.
“We put on a long-table dinner in our display village,” he said. “These dinners have proven to be incredibly popular with up to 250 people attending each one.
“People have really valued these as it allows neighbours to meet each other and gives them an opportunity to interact and form friendships and make those bonds that create communities.”
In addition to the community creation initiatives Mr Harper outlines the stormwater management regime in action at Harmony as another area where the project has hit new heights. He said the local council required the development to treat all stormwater on-site, within the developable area.
“This meant we had to design our roads and bio-basins within our roads in a way that hadn’t been done before,” he said.
“So, we put in one-way falls on all our lower order roads and were able to create and design stormwater remediation devices on the streets that actually become an attractive part of the street, rather than just building what would otherwise be seen as little swamps alongside the road.”
Other initiatives that have allowed the project to achieve the full six-leaf certification include the fact that 70 percent of lots are oriented to maximise solar amenity, 100 hectares of the project’s 378 hectares has been allocated to open space for residents to enjoy and a strong emphasis is put on planting native vegetation to suit the Coast’s climate to reduce irrigation needs.
“Having an external party assessing and judging our initiatives has given us a lot of credibility in the marketplace,” Mr Harper said.
“The feedback from a number of our customers is that they want and value the fact we are doing things that are more sustainable.
AVID taking the lead
As well as Harmony being the first Masterplanned development project in South East Queensland to achieve the full six-leaf certification, AVID Property Group is one of the first developers to achieve EnviroDevelopment certification across all of its live projects, a fact that AVID CEO Cameron Holt is proud of.
“Our focus at AVID has been to design communities that incorporate both environmental and sustainability measures and we are delighted to receive such an important certification that is well known and respected in the industry for our approach nationally,” Mr Holt said.
“We want to leave a legacy at each of our projects for a more future-focused, responsible and sustainable community, and the EnviroDevelopment certification is the ideal framework to help us in achieving our vision.”