These people are members of the influential Alternative Technology Association of Australia and they liked what they saw during a visit to The Cape Eco Village at Cape Paterson last Sunday. M471717

THE growth and development of The Cape Eco Village at Cape Paterson could not have come at a better time.
With the cost, and even availability of energy for the home a big talking point among consumers, everyone is looking for cheaper, more sustainable ways to live.
And increasingly, designers and builders are looking at what is being achieved at Cape Paterson, where Australia’s first truly sustainable residential project is being built.
Driven on by the steeply rising cost of energy, not to mention climate change; builders, engineers, architects and scientists are seeking out new and innovative ways to cut down on the use and cost of fossil fuels.
And at The Cape Eco Village, builders are introducing many of these innovations into their building projects.
Take Inverloch builder Dave Martin for example.
He’s in the process of building Victoria’s first 10-star energy rated home, featuring all the best design elements in a home that doesn’t need heating or cooling, apart from ceiling fans.
Among those innovations is the use of ‘phase change material’ insulation that responds to the rise and fall in heat to better insulate the home, keeping at a more even temperature in summer and winter.
If you want to know more, you’ll have to ask Dave, because it all gets a bit technical but innovative design doesn’t have to equal big bucks. His homes are being designed with upfront affordability in mind, and no-cost or cost-positive energy solutions going forward.
The opportunity and encouragement to introduce the latest in sustainable building techniques at The Cape is setting the project apart as nationally significant in Australia.
It’s something of which we can be extremely proud.
“We’ve got nine homes completed there now or in the process of being completed, and five set to start,” said The Cape project principal, Brendan Condon.
“We’re getting to the point now where we’ll be able to open Stage Two.”
Stage One featured 32 allotments at the centre of the estate but Stage Two will see allotments with coastal views opened up to the market.
“We had hoped to release these blocks later but we’ve had considerable demand for blocks with coastal views, views of the Prom and Cape Paterson so they will be among the next ones released.
“In recent times we’ve had a lot of visitors coming down to see what we’re doing here. We’ve had the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio, builders and designers, a number of sustainability groups, universities and schools.
“This weekend, we’ve got 50 members of the Alternative Technology Association of Australia for look. They get what we are doing here and they’ve been tremendously helpful, initially in the planning stages, but also in offering us ideas and encouragement.
“We’re delighted to have them here today and we feel strongly that they’ll go back with a good message for the tens of thousands of members of the organisation.”
The only thing they did find challenging, during a trip to the country last Sunday, even with in-car GPS mapping, was finding the location of The Cape.
“The only issue today for a lot of the people coming down is that they haven’t been able to find the place,” said Mr Condon.
“What we need is a proper sign up on the main road so people know where it is. That’s really the only thing holding us back now.
“We’ve been working with the Bass Coast Shire’s planning department on this and they seem to be taking a very technical position on the rules.
“But this is a nationally significant building project now with tremendous potential and providing people with a reasonable opportunity to see it is vitally important at this stage.”
A temporary billboard on Cape Paterson Road, at the entrance to the town, back far enough from the right-hand turn into Seaward Drive, is what’s needed.
And it wouldn’t hurt for the shire to have a look at the dangerous intersection of Seaward Drive and Tarooh Street while they’re at it.