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Green Smart Magazine : GreenSmart 2010
Ground breaking, benchmark and showcase -- these are just some of the words used to describe Canberra's new housing estate and suburb Crace. Inspired by the early settlers Kate and Edward Crace -- who owned one of the largest land holdings in the ACT district of Gungahlin throughout the late 1800s -- the project is a joint venture between the ACT's Land Development Agency and Crace Developments Pty Ltd, a consortium led by CIC Australia (as project manager and majority partner), Defence Housing Australia, CHC Affordable Housing and Tatebrook. 'We are all very excited about Crace, not only for the broader development of Canberra but also because of its natural attributions,' says Crace's project director, Ian Dawkins. Essentially an infill suburb located 10 minutes from the city between Giralang and Palmerston, Crace will provide upwards of 1430 new homes, a mixed use area, village park, playgrounds, bushland areas and recreational trails, all designed to strengthen the links between community members and encourage greener lifestyles. Much care was taken to preserve the existing site's trees, open hilltop, ridge, valley and gully, while the site is practical too, with most lots within 400 metres of a bus route. The housing component is split into two different zones: urban and suburban. The urban precinct is an integrated, high-density area comprising architect-designed terraces, apartments and freestanding houses on blocks ranging 130--250m2. The suburban precinct comprises larger freestanding house and land packages on blocks of 400--900m2. One of Crace's greatest attributes is its recognition under HIA's GreenSmart accreditation program. There are only 15 GreenSmart residential communities in Australia, and accreditation is granted due to a commitment to overall urban and sustainable design. Crace fulfills these commitments on many levels. For example, all of the Crace partner builders and CIC Australia have completed GreenSmart training. Crucially, it has a sophisticated stormwater system, where the linear urban park, constructed wetlands and ponds are used to collect stormwater and minimise run-off for use around the parks and playing fields. And for slowing down water run-off, bio-retention rain gardens and special tree pits on the street will help the street vegetation and open spaces. 'Crace will also achieve a 40 per cent reduction in potable water use when compared to traditional suburbs,' Ian says. The houses will achieve a minimum five- star energy efficiency rating, and solar orientation is maximised with blocks and living areas designed to capture the north- facing sun. Residents can play their part by looking at options such as double glazing and greensmartestate rich heritage, story > Annie Reid A new housing estate and suburb in the ACT, Crace, is the latest of 15 HIA GreenSmart community developments in Australia. rich future 52 greensmart 2010 Photos © CIC Crace Pty Ltd