What’s it like to live in a town committed to a sustainable future? The answer may make you green with envy.
From well-planned bike paths and walkways networked to all amenities, to money saving solar-powered homes and drought-proof parklands kept lush with recycled water, the township of Googong is a poster child for forward-thinking communities.
The town was last week awarded the Green Building Council of Australia’s first five-star rating in the ACT and NSW region.
The rating took into account Googong’s rapid uptake of technologies including water recycling, energy conservation and fibre-to-the-home broadband.
The title doesn’t surprise resident Craig Harris, who says the town has taken a proactive approach to sustainability since its inception in 2003.
“I see Googong as like-mined residents committed to treading lightly on the environment, thinking through these issues and utilising technology where possible as a platform to support long-term sustainability,” Mr Harris said.
An environmental standard required for building approval on all homes and structures in Googong exceeds the base requirements for NSW, Mr Harris says.
His own home’s sustainable attributes include rainwater tanks, white roof and external walls to reflect light and heat, recycled water, window treatments for heat management and recycled building materials.
Green Building Council of Australia CEO Romilly Madew said Googong’s environmental achievements would inspire developers to incorporate similar innovations in their planning towards an environmentally friendly future.
“It’s great to see smarter thinking around environmental challenges and greater innovation in the way the community creation is now unfolding,” Ms Madew said.
“Planners and developers have really embraced sustainability principles and our cities, towns and suburbs are better off because of their innovations.”
Googong is a joint venture with Mirvac and the Canberra Investment Corporation Australia.