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Bega

Community Housing Ltd (CHL), together with project partner Bega Eco Neighbourhood Development Inc, has built a highly innovative ecologically sustainable ten unit development in Bega NSW.

The CHL designed and constructed units have a wide range of features that set international benchmarks for Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) in affordable housing Famous for its cheese, the Bega township has another world-class product developed with substantial input from the local community.

The development, which is known as the Bega Eco Neighbourhood Development (BEND), is built on an environmentally sensitive sub-division adjacent to and above the river flats on the north edge of the Bega township. CHL has constructed ten dwellings along the north facing slope that has views over the river flats. The organisation had to comply with stringent development guidelines which include setbacks, car parking areas and services infrastructure.

In addition to being a highly energy and water efficient property, BEND also has a pedestrian route leading to the town centre, which is close enough to allow residents to walk to shops and other local services, minimising car use.

These are quality built, environmentally sustainable affordable homes that offer a wonderful new living environment to the tenants.

THE ENVIRONMENTALLY-SENSITIVE DESIGN FEATURES INCLUDED ARE:

  • The property includes infrastructure that treats grey water through reed beds and filters and returns the water for household garden use
  • Each unit includes a composting toilet (Clivus Multrum type), and the dwellings are designed with raised floors to include an under floor space for the toilet chamber with external access to allow for maintenance.
  • Passive solar design informed the design process, with north facing living areas with slab-on-ground and generous glazing to warm the space in winter, and eaves and sun screens to the windows to prevent overheating in summer.
    • The slab-on-ground technique used for six of the units is an important part of creating a stable internal thermal environment throughout the year, and minimising the heating/cooling requirements.
    • The common walls are of masonry construction and are full height which adds thermal mass to the units, and provides good acoustic and thermal separation between units.
  • The external wall cladding consists of aerated autoclaved concrete panels (Hebel panels) which provides insulation to the external walls of the dwellings.
    • The units are clad with lightweight materials consisting of sustainably harvested radial cut hardwood weatherboards, or external grade pine plywood.

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