Residential Solar Energy Systems Power the Witchcliffe Eco-Village

Residential solar energy systems do not need to be isolated systems providing power for one individual home. They are most effective when grouped to service a complete land development or sub-division. A prime example of this can be seen in a new eco-village development at Witchcliffe, near Margaret River, Western Australia.

Sustainable Green Building Design

If most Australians were aware of what was going to happen to planet earth this century, they would be lining up to buy a house and land package in an environmentally sustainable eco-village.

Shaping such a development is not a simple task. A developer needs to be fully aware of how to design a sustainable residential subdivision and set guidelines that will work. Correct green building design must be incorporated into every unit. It is imperative that solid guidelines are attached to property developments to deliver outcomes that are a win for the residents, the community and the environment, by reducing energy and water and conserving the natural world.

For a small developer, joining forces with a major real estate development company with high ethics is a smart move for all involved. In this case it gave the smaller developer of the project the financial clout it needed to succeed. Whilst so many dream, very few successfully act and deliver.

Affordable Housing

A developer needs to start by considering the needs and best interests of the community. In Margaret River, not everyone is a retired real estate agent or doctor, or has a large bank account. They may not be rich in financial resources but they are good, down-to-earth people who greatly appreciate nature and want to help co-exist with it.

Unfortunately the huge explosion in the demand for large expensive houses by those mainly benefiting from the mining boom in Western Australia, has pushed up consumption, energy use and the sizes of houses.

With building costs skyrocketing over the last few years, many people have had the dream of owning their own home all but destroyed. This particular developer in Margaret River decided from the beginning when buying the land, to not only to do something for the environment, but to also tackle the issue of affordability. By producing correctly designed, small blocks as part of a wider community, he has combined economies of scale and collective action, to reduce the costs of a house and land to within the reach of the average person in the region. At the same time it makes it attractive for similar people in the city to opt for an alternative style of living.

His timing is impeccable. Energy use is set to increase by 50% world-wide thus compounding the greenhouse effect. It will also produce huge increases in energy prices in the next couple of decades, as all known sources of energy are depleted. The cost-effective residential solar energy systems used provide power for a groups of homes, not just single units.

Alternative Lifestyle

What we now call an ‘alternative’ lifestyle may not be described this way for much longer. If the world keeps going the way it is, then we are going to need more of this style of living. The growth of energy use and the depletion of the world’s energy resources will ensure that conventional lifestyles will not be afforded by anyone except the wealthy and those lacking public consciousness.

Healthy food and fresh clean water is the key to a healthy life and through cutting-edge water technology and productive landscaping, a well designed development such as this will deliver these precious commodities to all residents. Food and water bills will be kept to a minimum. This will be a great environment to bring up children and create a generation of socially and scientifically, sustainable people.

Green by Design

The developers also had the good sense to enlist an environmentalist and expert sustainable landscape designer and gardener, to ensure that the gardens and landscape are designed in detail to complement their vision for the estate.

The vision for this eco-village is to create a world leading sustainable community in Witchcliffe. The village will comprise 180 strata titled home sites with an extensive range of on-site infrastructure and services to create a world-leading example of sustainable development that achieves:

  • 100% net power generation on site with solar PV and wind turbines,
  • 100% self-sufficiency in water through on-site rainwater harvesting,
  • 100% production of seasonal fresh produce on site,
  • Class A recycled water for household garden and toilets,
  • all homes to face expansive open space and community gardens,
  • high-efficiency, solar passive homes,
  • affordable house and land packages,
  • on-site wind turbines to provide free charging for up to 100 electric vehicles,
  • a local energy grid that employs smart grid technology

Micro Solar Economy

As a solar energy specialist deeply concerned with the problems of climate change and the contribution that our built environment makes to pollution, I am pleased with this initiative and wish the developer every success for the project.

Solar energy in the forms of passive solar, green building design of the individual houses, photovoltaic panels and solar water heating, all will form a lynch pin to make this development a truly ‘micro solar’ economy. When combined with the organic approaches to water collection, grey water and waste recycling and the generation of bio fuels (courtesy of the greatest energy gift – the sun), the beneficial consequences from this development will be far-reaching.

The Villages

The Villages, Florida is better known to its occupants as Disneyland for Adults.

Nestled into the central Florida region, between Ocala and Orlando, is a community of baby boomers who give a new meaning to retirement. Among the well-manicured grounds and many different neighborhood villages you will find an extremely active population of 70,000 and growing. The number one activity is free golf. You can schedule your round at any of the forty courses, with more being developed, from morning to evening. If golf isn’t your interest, there are numerous other activities such as, a pool in every village and recreation center, over 600 clubs and organizations, two town squares, soon to be three, with entertainment and dancing every night of the year, shopping, restaurants from drive through to fine dining of every nationality, movie theaters, library, adult education center and much more. The area recreation centers provide meeting rooms, game rooms, and pool tables with free play. Another benefit of residency is automatic membership to all the country clubs with their great eateries and beautiful lounges where you can drop in for a cold draft beer after golf or pickle ball, or a cocktail before dining. Situated next to the country clubs are the pro shops to supply all your golf needs.

Today’s retired population is very different from the generations that preceded them. It is said that being sixty today is like the new forties. Retirement no longer brings the image of the knitting needles and rocking chairs, waiting for time to pass to get to that final stage of life. Instead, we are looking at people who are involved in their community, volunteering their time, doing worthwhile projects, exercising at the gym, running in the park, or taking classes. They are people looking to utilize their new found free time productively. Those teenage years were extremely busy and fast changing times. There wasn’t always enough time to pursue all of your interests. So, it’s not long after becoming a resident of The Villages, you realize, all of those things you thought passed you by as a teenager were now becoming available to you once again. Find that part in a play, or sing in a chorus, become a cheerleader or a member of the, marching band, a team member for baseball or swimming. If there is something you would like to accomplish, you can probably find it.

The best part of experiencing all that this community has to offer is having access to absolutely everything you may need or want by golf cart. There are miles and miles of cart paths to travel along with expanded streets that have designated cart lanes. The need for frequent stops at the gas station disappears.

Once you get a glimpse of all that is at your fingertips, you realize why The Villages, Florida is truly Disneyland for Adults.

St Regis Bal Harbour: Luxurious Condominium Residences Within An Upscale Village In Miami Beach

People tend to consider Miami Beach to be one of the most fabulous locations within the United States today. The fact that the city is located along the Atlantic coast of South Florida makes it the ultimate paradise setting which is definitely one of the main reasons why the region is considered to be so ideal, especially among property buyers who seek luxury condominium residences which offer the best views of the ocean horizon.

While there are many condominiums within the city of Miami Beach, the St Regis Bal Harbour is considered to be among the best options on today’s property market and it can only be found within an upscale village that is internationally known to provide people with absolute opulence.

The upscale village of Bal Harbour is located on the northern tip of the barrier island commonly known as Miami Beach. It is south of Fort Lauderdale and north of Miami proper which means that people who live within the village can easily access several locations with relative ease.

Since the village is considered to be one of the most upscale communities within the region, property buyers can expect the St Regis Bal Harbour to provide them with all of the most opulent features that anyone can expect within a paradise setting such as Miami Beach.

St Regis Bal Harbour is located along the scenic Collins Avenue which runs all the way north to Sunny Isles Beach and down south to Miami Beach. Given its superb location, the impressive 26-story building that was completed in 2012 enables people to indulge in the most breath-taking views of the ocean horizon from within the comfort of their own condominium residences.

Each of the condominium residences come with their own 11-foot balconies which offer the perfect viewpoint for people who want to see the most from their high-rise homes. Nevertheless, people will easily be able to experience the exceptional beauty of the area right from the exclusive beach area where residents and guests can make the most out of the first-class amenities and services provided by the staff.

Property buyers who are interested in being able to live within the most impressive luxury condominiums residences at the St Regis Bal Harbour will easily be able to choose from two and three-bedroom options which offer spacious homes that come with all of the necessary features that would be expected for modern living.

Being one of the most luxurious condominium residences within the Miami Beach region today, options found at the St Regis Bal Harbour can be found on today’s property market for values that range between $2,175,000 to $6,500,000. If you would like to get more information on these amazing property options, you should contact a professional agent to find out about your available options.