Have a Go News: The swing to greener living in the suburbs


By Karen Majer, Have a Go News (May 2016

Suburban infill development can be contentious, especially when it means loss of trees, but there’s no doubt that Perth needs to stop urban sprawl. That means more apartments and more infill. Denser living, designed right with plenty of trees and greenery, can create a more sustainable, liveable, connected city.

The challenge to ‘get it right’ was taken up by two Perth couples who joined forces in 2009 to build their own homes and started The Green Swing. One of the founders, Eugenie Stockmann, told me how it began.

‘We had a vision for medium density infill development, how it could be done differently, more sustainable, more community focus. ‘This means less driveway, more green space, and homes that do not require excessive amounts of energy for heating and cooling.’ It is a place that encourages creativity and hopefully inspires real change,’ she said. ‘Our first project consisted of two townhouses, that we live in, and two apartments.

The Green Swing recently opened a second project consisting of two townhouses and five apartments close to transport, shops and other facilities. Eugenie said the design features include 9-10 star energy ratings, solar PV, solar HWS, rain water re-use, low VOC (volatile organic compound) paint and a life-cycle assessment result of 80 per cent energy saving. A 15 AMP electric car recharge facility is provided in each garage.

‘Green space is what truly sets this development apart,’ she said. ‘As well as private courtyards there are shared productive and native gardens and a small reserve next door.’

Eugenie is convinced of the many benefits. ‘What I love most of all is the community aspect. The homes are fantastic to live in, comfortable year round, light and healthy while using less resources.’

If you are considering ‘downsizing’, why not take a look at the options to be part of the swing to cleaner, greener living.