The Green Swing project is an innovative, sustainable development of four dwellings in Perth’s inner city.
Building their very own dream sustainable homes are couples Mark and Alana Dowley and Helmut and Eugenie Stockman. They want to demonstrate that you can create small scale inner city living environments in Perth which:
- Are the most sustainable
- Promote community feel and encourage creativity
- Are of high quality
- Become a showcase for future increased density sustainable development
- Generate interest and inspire real change.
The project in short
- 96 Rutland Avenue, Lathlain
- Block size 837sqm
- Zoning R40/60
- About 5km from CBD
- 400m from train station
- Close to shops & facilities
- 2 townhouses, 2 apartments
- Purchase land January 2010
- Planning approval December 2010
- Building approval October 2011
After two years of intensive planning, building work started in December 2011.
The project consists of two townhouses and two units which have been designed using three construction types: reverse brick veneer, strawbale with earthen render and double brick.
Design features include:
- Solar passive design
- Grey and rainwater harvesting
- Solar PV system
- Solar hot water system
- Green concrete
- Double glazed windows with wooden frames
- Insulation using recyled wool and Greenstuf (plastic)
- Recycled materials: straw, bricks, timber, interior wood, wool, plastic bottles.
Although straw bale construction is considered an usual material choice, it is becoming more popular due to its excellent insulation properties. It is also a waste product that can be sourced locally product, offers the thermal mass needed and is biodegradable and recyclable.
Helmut and Eugenie chose to build with straw bale and are making great progress. The perfectly straight two story walls went up at the start of August and the render was put on just last week.
Last November, eTool helped the couples calculate the total impact of the entire development. Due to them building a medium density development, in a low density area, their design life is 115 years which is very high for inner city architecture. Overall, they achieved a Gold rating and saved a huge 108% of carbon against the benchmark. The full case study can be found here.
The Green Swing have also arranged a lease arrangement between the local council and local community garden association which allows for the re-vegetation of the ”Sump” drain site next door at 98 Rutland Avenue to create a community garden and for everyone to enjoy. With the help of Josh Byrne, they have come up with this landscaping concept including native vegetation and a food forest.
Construction is on track to be finished by the end of the year/start of next year and The Green Swing couples and kids can’t wait to start enjoying all of their hard work in their very own dream, sustainable homes!
Written by Siobhán