Demand for carbon-neutral housing rises

Victoria’s most sustainable housing estate, The Cape in Cape Paterson, continues to be a star attraction for families and people seeking a comfortable, affordable and sustainable lifestyle option. Stage Four of the 230 lot estate has just been released, with 30 of the 64 lots being snapped up upon release this week, with buyers looking to experience a sustainable sea change and e-change lifestyle in a growing friendly community.

Stage Four features some of the best home sites in The Cape with expansive views towards Wilsons Promontory to the east and Cape Woolamai to the west. There are a diverse range of home sites on offer, from 446 sq metre sites through to larger sites up to 850 sq metres. All sites will have access to The Cape’s expansive areas of open space, walking and cycling paths to surf and swimming beaches, and community infrastructure including community garden, sports areas, fitness stations, wetlands, children’s playground and future cafe.

The Cape estate continues to lead the charge nationally with leading energy performance initiatives in all homes in this cutting-edge community. Cape homes are highly energy and water efficient, solar powered, designed to operate with very little  use of fossil fuels and produce more energy than they use. And residents consistently report high comfort levels residing in the homes.  Homes are averaging over 8-star energy efficiency across the estate, by combining correct orientation, excellent insulation, double glazing, shading and thermal mass and the estate has replaced gas with efficient all electric appliances like induction cooktops and heat pumps. Homes are fitted with 32 amp power points for electric vehicles as standard.

According to Tad and Karen Hendry, Cape residents for the last three years, there has been a long list of benefits living in their stunning 8.7-star energy efficient home and in a community which is positive and like-minded. “The reason to design and build a house at The Cape was simple.  We have a responsibility to tackle climate change by shifting our way of living and living carbon neutral.  For the last three years, we have reaped the benefits in building and living in a stunning passive solar home on the coast, while producing more energy than we use and having tiny energy bills.  Not to mention that Cape Paterson is such a beautiful place to live!”

Other highlights at The Cape include:

Urban farming: A large central community garden that is enjoyed by residents for the fresh produce it delivers every year, which will be expanded in 2021, and many of the households at the Cape feature modular water efficient urban farms which are also producing a lot of fresh produce across the community.

Electric vehicles: In anticipation of the rapid proliferation of efficient, increasingly affordable long-range electric vehicles in coming years, the Cape has made provision for electric car charging throughout the estate with public EV charging infrastructure as well as 32-amp power points in all homes. The first 50kW public charger is up and can provide 250km of range per hour of charging. Several homes have now adopted long range (>400km range) electric vehicles and have eliminated petrol bills. Located less than two hours from Melbourne, The Cape is perfect for mid to longer range EV transport.

Open space and habitat: The Cape has around 50 per cent open space dedicated to habitat and biodiversity restoration, parklands, wetlands, community farm, open space and walking trails, creating a relaxed, spacious, open feel to the estate. The landscape team are taking cleared paddocks previously covered in weedy pasture weeds, and have planted over 100,000 plants so far, creating wetlands, restored waterways, habitat corridors and nature zones, resulting in an increase in wildlife across the estate. Habitat planting programs have resulted in a strong increase in wildlife numbers and diversity being recorded on the site in the past three years, with this progress being documented by Cape residents on the Cape Chatter website.

According to Brendan Condon, Director, The Cape, “All homes at The Cape have high speed broadband with fibre optic cable direct to the home, attracting a wide range of residents from Inverloch and across Bass Coast and further afield. Our buyers include young families, professionals, tradies, active retirees and people running a home business.

“We are very happy to see a friendly growing community that is showing Australia how communities everywhere can design and build better, harness clean energy and energy efficiency, live carbon neutral and take action on climate change and eliminate most of their energy bills at the same time. In that sense, the Cape is a good news story and hats off to the designers, builders, landscape team and our growing group of residents here for contributing to making the Cape a special place and setting the bar for all new estates.”

“The Cape is demonstrating to the industry that there is an appetite for new estates to be designed and built better. The modern responsible estate can now be fitted out with solar and efficient all electric appliances and electric vehicle charge points to become energy abundant, move beyond the use of expensive and polluting gas and to become carbon neutral and eliminate most energy bills for residents. If the development industry can take some leadership here, there is an enormous opportunity to reduce electricity bills, and to completely eliminate gas bills, and over coming years eliminate petrol bills as well, and to drive down carbon emissions across the country. We applaud the Victorian government’s announcement of $5.3bn towards building 12,000 social housing homes throughout Melbourne and regional areas with a minimum 7-star energy efficiency, and if this can be complemented by efficient all electric fit-out and solar, this is a game changer for reducing energy bills and carbon emissions in our communities.”

“Damien Moyse, Renew’s Policy & Research Manager and energy advisor for The Cape, said “These are the types of homes that we should be building nationally every day. They are lower cost, lower carbon, more comfortable and healthier homes for occupants to live in. We need our national rules and regulations governing new homes to catch up to where The Cape is already at and ensure best practice is delivered for all new housing across the country.”

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