The Smart and Sustainable Cities Revolution: Western Australia

The East Village at Knutsford in Western Australia is arising as a southern hemisphere star in the global smart and sustainable cities revolution.

Charlotta Kemp by Charlotta Kemp,

Formerly an industrial site in Fremantle, East Village at Knutsford will become a 100 per cent renewable energy residential development.

The 1.5 hectare site will accommodate 36 townhouses and is being developed via a partnership between the Western Australian Government’s land agency LandCorp, blockchain company Power Ledger, and the Australian Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

The future townhouse residents will generate their own power using individual 5 kilowatt photovoltaic solar systems and can then share renewable energy across a micro grid. A 670 kilowatt hour battery to store the energy will be installed and shared by the individual homeowners.

Site designs cover water saving measures including stormwater harvesting, a strata-owned bore and the use of rainwater for residential toilets, hot water systems and laundries, which are expected to reduce mains water consumption by up to 80 per cent.

Apart from the obvious environmental benefits, there is a financial upside as residents are expected to slash their bills by 50 per cent leading to savings of around $1,200 a year. Each house will also come with their own electric vehicle charger as well as access to a fast charger for residents and their visitors.

East Village will include a display home showcasing the climate sensitive architechture together with the energy and water saving initiatives. In another first, East Village will also be the temporary home for a prototype house that features building panels made of compressed hemp and polymers, demonstrating the capabilities of alternative and sustainable building in the housing sector.

WA Government Energy Minister Bill Johnston said:
“Every aspect of this innovative project is set to challenge our thinking when it comes to powering the next wave of residential development in our city.”

Power Ledger has developed a technology which enables neighbours to trade energy using blockchain technology. This means the residents can sell excess solar power they generate from the panels on their roof tops which will be stored in the onsite battery and purchase this energy back as required.

The site will be tracked and assessed by an on-site living laboratory, in partnership with Curtin University. The research program will build a dataset to demonstrate the value of the innovations and work towards the One Planet Living accreditation. One Planet Living is a global movement designed to help communities, companies and cities change the way we live to meet the challenges of dwindling resources and climate change. Read more here.

For more information about East Village at Knutsford contact Charlotta.