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GOLD COAST (Innovation House 2)

Projects> Gold Coast (Innovation House 2)


Lot 19 Picnic Creed Road (Off Amity Road), Coomera.

Display period
Thursdays to Mondays 10.00am - 3.00pm
Officially opened for public inspection: Saturday 3 February 2006
Closed: 16 December 2006

Project summary

Sustainable Home Gold Coast was a showcase demonstration project that combined leading examples of sustainable housing design with the latest 'high-tech' household features within an affordable family dwelling.

This display house was also known locally as Innovation House 2 or IH2.

An initiative of the Gold Coast City Council, Sustainable Home Gold Coast is located at Coomera in the new 'Genesis' residential estate developed by Heritage Pacific at the northern end of Gold Coast City.

Sustainable Home Gold Coast was the first project to be opened under Queensland’s Sustainable Homes program. The high-tech innovative features of the home were however not considered as part of the design endorsement under the Sustainable Homes program review criteria.

Sustainable Home Gold Coast displayed the 'triple bottom line' approach to housing design and construction, as it addressed the three essential smart housing elements of social, economic and environmental sustainability.

The house incorporated numerous climate smart design features, including passive design - being well-orientated with good cross-ventilation, insulation, shading and lightweight construction building materials; energy efficient skylights and natural lighting with good window design; low-toxic eco-paint; instantaneous gas hot water; high-tech underground and slimline above ground rainwater tanks; water efficient products and appliances; energy and water use monitoring system; sustainable bamboo flooring; and solar pavers that light the way to the self-opening front door at night. It showcased how a good simple design can create a home that is safe, accessible and flexible to demonstrate the considerable lifestyle and economic benefits of sustainable housing.

Sustainable Home Gold Coast also served as a physical focus for Gold Coast City Council’s WaterFutures project as it is located within the Pimpama Coomera Waterfuture Master Plan area. This estate includes waterwise design features, such as an integrated urban water management strategy that catches, stores and slowly releases stormwater, will use recycled water through 'dual reticulation' piping and will provide efficient use of rainwater both within homes and on their gardens.

All elements within Sustainable Home Gold Coast was hand picked through an exhaustive consultative period to ensure they complimented the pillars of innovation, flexibility, sustainability and affordability. These pillars were supported by the establishment of strong and focused Mission and Vision statements (as outlined below under the Key Objectives).

This display house was the second in a series of innovation housing examples that has been built on the Gold Coast, and it expanded on the first Innovation House display project – a high-tech unit at Varsity Lakes in 2003.

Key facts

Project manager
Gold Coast City Council

Consultant partners
Heritage Pacific, Developer Sponsor

MPS Architects Major Sponsors and Design Architect

Major sponsors

Commenced: August 2005
Completed: late November 2005

Lot size
Land: 724m2

House size
Living space = 241.4m2
Garage = 39.8m2
Total floor area = 281.2m2
Covered outdoor area = 62m2

Land cost
Approximately $230,000

Construction cost
Approximately $300,000 (excluding high-tech features)

Design workshop

The design process occurred internally in a collaborative process between MPS Architects, Gold Coast City Council, Stratus Automation and Heritage Pacific.

This project was workshopped firstly with officers from MPS Architects so that everyone involved could raise ideas that might be relevant to the design objectives. Thereafter the project coordination team, comprising of the developer, officers from relevant sections of Council, including environmental and water management, and various other consultants and technology specialists, then provided input towards the final design outcome in a series of project meetings. This collaborative approach facilitated a diversity of expertise and allowed discussion on key design philosophy and the benefits of proposed design elements.

Design features

The Internal Environment

The design brief comprised of the following four pillars:

The design of Sustainable Home Gold Coast is based upon integrating a broad range of sustainable housing principles such as energy conservation, water conservation, water harvesting, passive solar design, breezeway design, intelligent construction, adaptability to changing family formations, as well as health and accessibility for ageing residents and people with a range of mobility.

Sustainable Home Gold Coast is also a house for a regular family to enjoy now and one that will have sufficient built-in logic to adapt to their evolving needs over the lifetime of the home.

The house accommodates three bedrooms plus study or home office with a double garage all on one level on a site that gently falls away from the street. It is designed for what is termed the ‘typical family’ - two parents and two kids - and, as such, represents what is considered to be the typical project home-buyer.

The house has a linear layout with bedrooms accessed off a procession of flexible living spaces which are capable of being opened up to adjacent areas or may be separated to allow for isolation of the diverse leisure activities of the family.

Principal living spaces are orientated northeast to a private courtyard adjoining the side boundary with large windows, well-protected by roof overhangs (eaves) to optimise access for controlled sunlight. A wide covered recreation deck overlooks the lake on the rear north-western boundary accessed from both the master bedroom and the living space and connecting to the side courtyard.

Two skillion roofs extending to cover both indoor and outdoor living spaces with one sailing over the other are used to generate the building form. This form of roof allows for a higher ceiling space in the living areas and the resultant clerestory windows allow light and ventilation to the center of the house and create natural cross ventilation.

Sliding aluminium shutters provide additional solar protection to hot summer sun to the north-western façade and the recreation deck. Walls to bedrooms, living spaces and the garage have openable sections to connect the spaces from one to another, to assist cooling natural breezeways and to make the spaces more flexible in their uses.

The Gold Coast City Council expects that this project will provide focus and guidance for other local developers, home builders and product suppliers as it actively promotes the benefits of sustainable housing standards. It will also provide valuable and practical ideas for the community to realise what they can include in their own home towards making a more sustainability future.

The External Environment

The Genesis development complements Sustainable Home Gold Coast by including water sensitive urban design that feature overland drainage paths using grassed swales and tree plantings to filter stormwater runoff prior to reaching the catchment's waterways, which also enhances the visual character of the street and local landscape.

Rainwater tanks have been introduced to as an integral part of all intended housing within the development, thus reducing water bills for residents and reducing the stormwater infrastructure costs by having a capacity within the water tank for stormwater attenuation.

Xeriscape landscaping has also been adopted at Sustainable Home Gold Coast, promoting native plants and species prevalent in the local natural environment, an initiative that greatly reduces the demand for water use by residents across the site.

Given its location within the Gold Coast City Council’s Pimpama Coomera Water Future project area, recycled water mains will be constructed to every property. Upon completion of Council’s Pimpama Treatment Plant, recycled water will be utilised by residents for toilets, irrigation and outdoor purposes. This will reduce the average household water use in the order of 80%.

Other environmentally sustainable development outcomes have occurred during the construction process and development of the site. Initiatives include the harvesting and re-use of felled trees in various ways for street furniture, bollards and garden mulch. Building rubble has been collected from the demolition of the houses present on the previous house sites and this material has been used as road and footpath base in the construction of the various roads throughout the development.

Key objective

Mission statement
Sustainable Home Gold Coast is to demonstrate premier examples of technological, built environment and sustainable living within an affordable family dwelling.

Vision statement
Sustainable Home Gold Coast demonstrates to South East Queensland that the Gold Coast is Australia's Innovation City by providing an example of housing that promotes not only innovative technology but also the City's sustainability credentials. By showcasing sustainable home design this facility will integrate seamlessly with both the community and the built environment.

Related links

Last updated April 2009

Sustainable home Gold Coast

Map to sustainable home Gold Coast

Click images for larger view

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Department of Public Works
Illuminating Engineering Society
Australian Green Development Forum
Bendigo Bank
Housing Industry Association
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Urban Development Institute of Australia        Australian Institute of Architects
Planning Institute of Australia
Queensland Master Builders Association
Queensland Government