Sustainable, affordable, comfortable, achievable. Photo: Warren Reed.
In exciting news for the Cape, an independent 12-month study by RMIT University and analysis by leading not-for-profit RENEW has highlighted The Cape estate as a scalable blueprint for how the Australian housing industry can build affordable, energy efficient, carbon neutral homes that dramatically reduce energy bills, with consumers, the economy and the environment set to benefit. The results are stunning and the study has received nationwide media attention here.
Net zero emissions living and transportation at The Cape. Photo: Warren Reed
The study has confirmed that The Cape has successfully combined passive solar design and construction techniques with off the shelf, affordable technologies such as heat pump heating, cooling and hot water systems, and solar power, to achieve carbon neutral, healthy homes that are comfortable year round, resilient and healthy in hot spells and heat waves, with super low running costs compared to conventional homes.
"The houses are consuming 88 % less energy from the energy grid compared to a typical new 6-star house in Victoria,” said Trivess Moore of RMIT’s Sustainable Building Innovation Laboratory. “This results in the houses having very low energy bills making them much more affordable to live in.”
The best-practice fit-outs produce three to four times the energy needed for the estate, and resulted in energy bills of about $500 per year or less.
The 10 star house at The Cape. Photo: Ben Mulligan.
According to Damien Moyse, Policy & Research Manager and Acting CEO at RENEW "it is fantastic to see what the research told us 10 years ago is best practice, now a living reality down at The Cape. The combination of on-site solar energy, efficient appliances, an all-electric fit out and high thermal building performance, is seeing these homes actually perform better, in terms of reduced energy use, reduced bills and reduced carbon, than even we predicted through the original research work.”
The Cape is a real, live example that demonstrates how energy positive new estates can:
The Cape team would like to acknowledge RMIT and Renew for their research efforts, our residents for participating in the study, as well as all of our builders, designers and project team for delivering a national benchmark project. With Stage 3 about to open up, there has never been a better time to secure your home site at The Cape.
The Project Team
Blower door tests prove Cape homes are constructed to the highest standard
Sustainable homes are well sealed and remain comfortable in all weather conditions
TS Constructions have constructed over 20 homes at The Cape to date, and over the past two years have quietly introduced blower door testing to all of their builds to validate the performance of their homes. All blower door tests are being conducted by accredited, independent technicians from Baw Baw Sustainability Network.
A blower door test is a test of how airtight a house is to ensure that when a resident warms or cools the air in the house, the air doesn’t leak out and waste hard-earned energy dollars and reduce comfort levels. Air tightness is as important as high R-values in your walls and ceiling – a home can have great insulation, but if there are air gaps and air is leaking out (or in) it will increase the running costs and energy usage of your home while reducing your comfort levels.
To conduct a blower door test, a qualified technician covers an exterior door with an air tight membrane and runs a computerised fan connected to a laptop according to an international standard testing process. By measuring the pressure difference between the interior and exterior of the house, the fan flow and knowing the volume of air in the house the technician can tell you how much air is leaking in and out. Blower door test results are measured in “air changes per hour at 50 Pascals” (ACH50). This is the measure of how many times in an hour your house leaks all the air inside of it!
A 2015 CSIRO study of 129 recently completed 6 star homes across Australia showed that almost half the houses tested were above 15 air changes per hour which is considered quite leaky and inefficient for a newly constructed house. Imagine trying to heat all the air in your home 15 times every hour on a cold windy day and you can see how costly and uncomfortable it would be.
Blower door testing for TS Constructions at The Cape
TS Constructions have been undertaking blower door tests to ensure their homes are sealed to a high standard, and to train their staff on the common mistakes that can lead to a leaky home. All trades working on their homes, including builders, plumbers, electricians and other trades have been invited in to watch these tests take place, and to learn how to seal up these homes to a very high standard.
The homes tested to date by TS are showing an average of below 5 air exchanges per hour. TS Constructions Director Tony O’Connell told us “the blower door tests are a great training tool for our staff, and provide an extra level of confidence to our clients that homes are built to their badged star ratings and are well insulated and sealed to stay comfortable year round and reduce energy loss. We believe all new houses across Australia should be pressure tested upon completion to ensure people are buying well sealed, high performance, energy efficient homes”
Both sides of a blower door test conducted at The Cape
Thoughtful passive design with high standard of construction creates homes that are comfortable all year round, even during Australian heat waves. Come on down to The Cape and experience these homes for yourself!
The Cape is situated on the stunning Bass Coast, home to many of Australia's wonderful native animals. The Cape estate is an environmental net gain project, meaning the site will feature more restored vegetation after the project is complete than existed before, creating great habitat for these special plants and animals that call our site home. One of our residents, David Hartney, is a keen "birding" enthusiast and wildlife photographer, and in just a handful of months living at The Cape he has documented well over 70 different bird species living in and around the estate, thanks in part to the new wetlands and safe habitat spaces. David has written some advice below on things we can do in our private and public landscapes to allow our wildlife to thrive in our urban environment.
There's plenty of short-beaked echidnas ambling across The Cape. Photo: David Hartney.
The Cape provides a unique opportunity to live in a sustainable community in harmony with the natural environment around us.
The Cape precinct, which sits on what was once degraded agricultural land, adjoins a biodiverse fringe of coastal bush and heathland which is part of the Bunurong Marine Park. The rich habitat provides important food and shelter for many native bird and animal species, including kangaroo, wallaby, echidna, koala, wombat, antechinus, frogs, snakes and other reptiles
.A supurb fairy-wren at The Cape. Photo: David Hartney.
The beach adjacent to The Cape is home to one of Victoria’s most vulnerable birds, the Hooded Plover. Recently there was also a sighting of a Latham's Snipe in the new Cape wetlands. This near-threatened migratory bird travels an incredible 10,000km from its breeding ground in northern Japan to spend the summer months in south-eastern Australia. We are privileged to have these birds at our backdoor and we should all work toward protecting them.
The Cape is a designated ‘Land for Wildlife’ area. Over time, as the landscape and wetlands develop, more species will come to inhabit The Cape environment. We can all play an important part in revitalising the local ecology by working with nature to provide more native habitat and protect our native wildlife.
'Provide some habitat in your home garden … and the birds will come' - David Hartney
Our home gardens can provide a safe and secure sanctuary for birds. The key is to provide structures and materials which provide food and protection
A hooded plover at F-break in Cape Paterson. Photo: David Hartney.
An eastern yellow robin perched at The Cape. Photo: David Hartney.
A few tips to guide you in creating bird habitat:
A white-faced heron next to The Cape in the Bunurong Marine Park. Photo: David Hartney.
Protecting our Birds and Animals
The Cape is private property and a ‘Land for Wildlife’ conservation area. We can all play a role in making our community a place in which people and the wildlife can co-habit safely. As residents, our behaviour towards wildlife protection should set the standard and standards are clearly communicated to visitors on signage throughout The Cape.
A few tips:
A male and female eastern grey kangaroo at The Cape. Photo: David Hartney.
Thanks David for these great tips, The Cape has been established as a “nature-centric” estate that provides for our wonderful local biodiversity and we are very happy to see this increase in biodiversity on site.
The Cape's Sustainable House Day Festival is less than a week away, but did you know that we will also have seven different electric vehicles (EVs) on display?
Come and visit The Cape on Sustainable House Day to see the latest EVs on the Australian market from Nissan, Renault, BMW, Jaguar, Tesla and Hyundai. The event is on this Sunday 15th September between 10am and 4pm.
Tesla Model S
Nissan Leaf (2019 model)
The Cape's Sustainable House Day Festival will also feature Tesla EV joy rides along the beautiful Bunurong Coastal Drive, a Sustainability Marketplace, live music, barista-made coffee, wood fired pizza, industry expert speakers in the Marketplace of Ideas and, of course, a dozen of Australia's most sustainable homes!
For more information about the open houses head to the Sustainable House Day website, and to read all about The Cape's event head to our Facebook event page.
Did you hear the amazing Sustainable Sally on 3AW with Denis Walter speaking with Villawood’s Rory Costelloe about sustainability in new housing estates?
Rory is the CEO of Villawood, who are behind the award winning and ultra-water efficient estate, Aquarevo.
Click below to listen as Sally, Denis and Rory discuss the beautiful and comfortable sustainable homes at The Cape.
SUSTAINABLE HOUSE DAY FESTIVAL!
Have you ever wanted to tour some of the country's most sustainable homes and gardens? Well, you’re in luck as The Cape is again participating in Sustainable House Day, run by Renew, a nationwide event where owners open the doors of their eco-homes to the public for education, inspiration, and lots of fun! There's no need to register for Sustainable House Day, just come along with your family and friends, but feel free to register here for ongoing Cape updates.
This year there will be TWELVE of our award-winning, precedent-setting, sustainable homes open at The Cape! With a long list of different builders and designers, each home offers a glimpse into a unique version of sustainable architecture and living.
Homes open include:
- The Oaks
- 10 Star
- The Cove
- Core 9
- Dune 1
- Three Tinnies
- Rhagodia Gardens
+ a new home under construction
The Cape's Sustainable House Day Festival will be jam packed with fun and free activities to suit the entire family; with electric bike test rides, Tesla EV rides along the picturesque Bunurong Coastline, a Sustainable Marketplace, live music, as well as barista-made coffee and refreshments. We will also be firing up the pizza oven to dish out wood fired pizzas while you have the opportunity to catch sustainability experts from a range of industries offering insight and advice. You will also be able to explore one of Victoria's most innovative Community Gardens, as well as our new wetlands and dog park.
Speakers for the day include the iconic Sustainable Sally; regenerative farmers from Mossy Willow Farm; the national EV expert at Nissan; Trivess Moore, one of Australia's leading sustainable building economists; plus a range of The Cape's local renewable energy and sustainable building gurus including NewGen Solar and Gippsland Solar; The Sociable Weaver, and Adapt Design Group. Some of our amazing residents will also be sharing their stories of moving to The Cape, and wisdom they have gained in pursuing a sustainable lifestyle.
The Sustainable Marketplace will have many local products for sale. To help you grow the food garden of your dreams, vist Biofilta to check out their new 100% recycled plastic, made-in-Victoria Foodcube; grab some local indigenous plants from Melaleuca Nursery; and keep your garden looking tidy with handmade quality tools from Gardenacious. Transform your pantry with local gourmet food from Udder & Hoe or local honey from Hilltop Hives; support your journey to Zero Waste with Tread Lightly's durable sustainable products; and elevate your self-care with Finch & Wren's lovingly handmade cosmetics.
Did you know that our residents produce enough free solar energy that they can power EVs from their homes, effectively eliminating energy, gas, and petrol bills? The Cape will be celebrating all things electric transport, with E-bikes from local experts Wheelheat; as well as an amazing range of world-class EVs. Feast your eyes on two Tesla Model S; the new Hyundai Kona Electric and Ioniq; the new Nissan Leaf; a BMW i3; and more!
Make sure you catch up with the brains behind the national Sustainable House Day event, Renew, who will be selling their amazing magazines and answering all your sustainable building questions.
...whew! That was a lot of information! Here are the basics you need to get you and your loved ones there.
SUNDAY 15th SEPTEMBER BETWEEN 10:00am & 4:00pm
THE CAPE, PERIWINKLE PLACE, CAPE PATERSON, VIC 3995
Head to www.sustainablehouseday.com to read all about the sustainable homes that The Cape will be opening this year, as well as the countless other homes involved in SHD from across the country.
Register your attendance at our Facebook event!
The Cape team
Construction and landscape works are powering along at The Cape. Recent major works have been completed at our two major wetlands and off leash dog park area, road asphalt works are underway, new paths are being completed every week, 70,000 native and indigenous plants set to be planted over Winter, and a spectacular children's playground will be ready for Spring to mention a few.
If you haven't been to The Cape in a while you'll see the community has grown and new beautiful sustainable homes are being completed onsite all the time. The Cape's homes have an average energy efficiency rating of over 8 stars, so our resident's homes will be warm all winter with minimal or no heating required!
The site is looking great with 70,000 native and indigenous plants set to be planted over winter.
Fresh off the successful launch of Stage 3 presales we're already programing construction start dates for later this year.
A diverse range of home sites in Stage 3 feature stunning views of parklands, wetlands and beautiful Bass Strait. Allotments range in size from 354 sqm to over 1000 sqm so there is something for everyone.
The Cape celebrates the dreamy coastal lifestyle while adding all of the conveniences that singles, couples, families, professionals and active retirees want - parks, wetlands and open space; direct beach access; comfortable homes; vibrant community; healthy, sustainable and low cost living; ocean views and NBN connectivity.
More sustainable homes are popping up all the time at The Cape!
Nestled in the centre of The Cape estate and featuring vast swathes of open space, Stage 3 has it all.
Home sites in this stage are a short walk to either of The Cape’s two beach access points and an even shorter walk along beautifully landscaped granitic sand paths to the community precinct which features a community farm, sports area, children’s playground, future orchard, café, conference and co-working space and much more.
A diverse range of home sites feature stunning views of parklands, wetlands and beautiful Bass Strait. Allotments range in size from 354 sqm to over 1000 sqm so there is something for everyone.
The relaxed coastal lifestyle of The Cape is increasingly rare in Southern Australia these days, yet the beautiful Bunurong Coastal Drive is 5 minutes away and the towns of Inverloch and Wonthaggi, which feature all the necessary shops and services, are only 10 minutes away.
Stage 2 lots sold in record time, and The Cape’s design process will guarantee a beautiful, passive solar, comfortable home with super low running costs, so don’t miss your chance to join Victoria’s most sustainable community. Download the plans below and get in touch with us today!
Click the link above to email us, or call PBE Real Estate on 03 5674 8044
The biggest day on The Cape’s calendar is fast approaching, and we can’t wait to show you what we have been working on over the last two months. The Alternative Technology Association’s Sustainable House Day event provides an opportunity for tens of thousands of people to visit some of Australia’s leading sustainable homes, that are not only cheap to run, but also comfortable to live in. We will be opening five of our homes for this year’s nationwide event and as we approach our third year of being involved, we have certainly taken it up a notch this year.
SUNDAY 16th SEPTEMBER BETWEEN 10:00am & 4:00pm
THE CAPE, PERIWINKLE PLACE, CAPE PATERSON, VIC 3995
A few weeks ago, we promised you further info on our upcoming Sustainable House Day event, which is being held on Sunday 16th September between 10am and 4pm. Read on to find out everything you’ll need to know about our biggest event on the calendar.
Organised each year by the ATA, Sustainable House Day provide an opportunity for tens of thousands of people to visit some of Australia’s leading green homes – ones that are not only environmentally friendly, but cheaper to run and more comfortable to live in.