Ecco Ripley, located in one of Australia’s fastest-growing regions – the Ripley Valley – has achieved a coveted 5 Star Green Star – Communities rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).
“Ecco Ripley joins just four other large-scale property development projects around the country that have demonstrated a commitment to economic, social and environmental responsibility,” says the GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew.
“A 5 Star Green Star rating represents ‘Australian Excellence’ in masterplanned communities. For the residents, businesses and investors of Ecco Ripley, this Green Star – Communities rating is independent proof that they can trust, and verifies Ecco Ripley as one of Australia’s most sustainable communities,” Ms Madew adds.
Located just five kilometres from the centre of Ipswich, Ecco Ripley has been assessed by the GBCA against best practice benchmarks for liveability, prosperity, environment, design, governance and innovation.
Sekisui House’s design and development is based on four key design pillars: Environment, Connected, Community and Opportunity.
Sekisui House Australia CEO and Managing Director Toru Abe said the 5 Star Green Star rating was a significant achievement for Ecco Ripley and reinforced the organisation’s commitment to developing a sustainability community.
“Sustainability is a major focus in the design of Ecco Ripley and to Sekisui House. For us, sustainability isn’t just a buzz word – it means ‘built to last’,” Mr Abe said.
“Our investment in sustainability will continue to pay dividends for residents and investors, in the form of reduced running costs.”
In 2010, the entire Ripley Valley was declared an ‘urban development area’ by the Queensland Government to provide 50,000 new dwellings and 120,000 new residents, requiring a projected total of 60,000 new jobs to meet the population demand. Ecco Ripley was the first masterplanned community to get underway in the new growth corridor.
Ipswich has been identified as one of seven ‘intelligent communities’ by the Intelligent Community Forum in New York, and Ecco Ripley reinforces the region’s commitment to ICT-centric job creation, with fibre-to-the-home with minimum speeds of 100Mbps provided to the 2,500 residential properties.
“At Ecco Ripley, we’re aiming to set new benchmarks for new community development. Sekisui House is committed to providing a smart and sustainable community that fosters a harmonious relationship between the natural environment and the bricks and mortar of our new residents’ homes,” Mr Abe concludes.
Key features verified by the Green Star – Communities rating include:
- Environmental excellence: Large scale tree planting at Ecco Ripley with more than 2,000 native trees and shrubs planted and 93,000 native groundcovers already planted in the first 12 months
- Healthy and active living: The community will feature more than 76 hectares of recreation parks and gardens, with residents a short walk from amenities, parklands and open space, as well as fresh food and local food production
- Affordable housing: Sekisui House has committed that 25% of housing will be affordable for first home buyers and key workers, 10% allocated for accessible housing and 5% for social housing
- Economic prosperity: With 12,000 jobs expected to be created over the life of the project and the implementation of fibre optic to enable residents to telecommute
- Culturally rich: Sekisui House will develop an arts and culture program to enhance the local identity of the Ripley Valley
- Active transportation: An active transport plan, involving buses, on and off-road cycling, and pedestrian footpaths, will ensure residents aren’t restricted to transport by car.