EcoGeneration first reported on the Ecovillage at Currumbin in the March/April 2007 edition of the magazine. Now, EcoGeneration looks back on the project – its successes, challenges and advances it has made as a pioneering Australian sustainable living project since 2007.

The Ecovillage

  • The Ecovillage at Currumbin is now located across a 110 hectare site on the Gold Coast. The project comprises a diversity of landscapes and living opportunities and provides for 147 high benchmark sustainable homes on lot sizes ranging from 450–6,000 square metres
  • There are currently 65 homes occupied, 8 homes under construction and 7 homes that are about to begin construction
  • The Ecovillage received an extraordinary market response by the public, attracting over 85 per cent pre-commitment in the first two stages.

Sustainability

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The Ecovillage at Currumbin achieves:

  • Self-sufficiency in energy usage and complete autonomy in water and waste water recycling
  • 80 per cent of site as open-space
  • Integrated water quality measures to exemplify Water Sensitive Urban Design.

Renewable energy at the Ecovillage

  • Gas-boosted solar hot water systems are mandated for all houses. It is mandated that each house has a minimum of 1 kilowatt (kW) of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) generation capacity. The median generation value is 1,580 kW hours, or 75 percent of the total electrical consumption
  • The net value of greenhouse gas generated at The Ecovillage at 857 kg carbon dioxide equivalent per hour per year is over ten times less than the Queensland average of 9,138 kg carbon dioxide equivalent per hour per year.

Awards

  • The Ecovillage has won 27 awards, including the International Real Estate Federation Prix d’Excellence for the World’s Best Environmental Development in 2008
  • In 2010, The Ecovillage was appointed by the Gold Coast City Council as its ‘Innovation Estate’, demonstrating the City’s desired future form of development.

As part of the Towards Quality of Life study being conducted by the University of Sydney, University of Queensland and CSIRO, a paper entitled ‘Decentralised Development: The Ecovillage at Currumbin,’ states that “With some minor optimisation, we believe the Ecovillage could be the first mainstream energy and water neutral community in Australia.”

The Ecovillage is a Queensland Government EnergyWise and WaterWise Demonstration Project and involves significant partnership with community, universities, industry and various tiers of government.