In November 2022, the ACT Government’s Suburban Land Agency (SLA) opened its Innovation Precinct as part of the Display Village in Whitlam. A popular destination for new residents and visitors alike, it showcases the latest in sustainability, low carbon and multi-generational living, climate-wise landscaping and placemaking. Not only does it educate and inspire future home buyers and industry, it also functions as a community and creative hub for new residents until further retail and community facilities are built. All dwellings and blocks of land will eventually be sold for residential use.
The Innovation Precinct consists of three multi-generational terrace homes and a single residential building temporarily housing a sales and information centre and Mingle Community Hub from where a community development and placemaking program is run. Climate-wise gardens include nature play, pollinator-friendly plants, a fruit orchard and vegetable plots. The 120sqm structures of the Heartbeat café include a convenience shop, covered deck, toilets and tool storage nestled in native gardens. All structures were prefabricated off-site and can be dismantled and reused. Run as a social enterprise, the café offers an employment program to vulnerable young Canberrans.
The sustainable homes feature:
oHighest accessibility standards, certified as Platinum, Gold and Silver Livable Housing Design
oPassive solar design, high levels of insulation and airtightness tested to 5 air changes/h
oAll electric in operation
oPhoto-voltaic system and battery storage for net zero carbon in operation
oHigh-performance UPVC double-glazed windows
oHeat recovery system for energy saving and healthy indoor air quality
oUse of recycled and carbon-neutral bricks and recycled components in concrete floors
oGrey water re-use and water saving appliances
oElectric vehicle charging
oPermeable driveways and paving
oGreen roof and vertical greening
oArtwork exhibition by local artists on connection to place and environment