Five sustainable features that might surprise you at Alkimos Beach
Living at Alkimos Beach offers more than just a laid-back coastal lifestyle, it’s a shared community experience. Alkimos Beach implements considered sustainable living, including a range of environmental, social, cultural and economic features, making it Australia's first community to receive 6-Star Green-star certification by the Green Building Council of Australia.
Here are five surprising sustainable features you may not know about Alkimos Beach from Lendlease Sustainability Manager, Nadja Kampfhenkel, and Lendlease Social Sustainability Manager, Luke Middleton.
- Communities designed to be cooler
Alkimos Beach has been purposely designed to mitigate the effects of urban heat build-up, which can negatively impact people’s health and comfort. To achieve this goal, every home built must have a roof of lighter colour to reflect the sun’s rays. In the same way glaciers repel heat from the earth, Alkimos Beach homes and the vast green spaces and vegetation will have a positive contribution to keeping temperatures more comfortable in summer while reducing home running costs. More than half of Alkimos Beach consists of green space and light-coloured roofs that prevent excess urban heat build-up, therefore it’s cooler in summer compared to a suburb with darker roofs and little green space.
- Relocation of native trees
Trees don’t usually move around but when you’re building a sustainable suburb they do! Alkimos Beach parks include an array of relocated plants from the local Zamia and Grass Tree species to the mature Canary Island Date Palm nearby and the large Norfolk Pines here in Pangolin Park. These pines have travelled 100 kilometres up the coast to find their home at Alkimos Beach. Here they join the palm trees on Graceful Boulevard that were relocated from Riverside Drive in the Perth CBD.
Large trees are moved with trucks. They are cut from the ground and their root system cared for as they are transported slowly and carefully to their new locations. They are given plenty of water and are supported with cables to make sure they put down deep roots in their new home. Local transplants include Zamias (Macrozamia riedlei) and Balga grass trees (Xanthorrhoea preissii) that provide habitat and a valuable link with an ancient past. Many of them have lived at Alkimos Beach for hundreds of years.
One day the Norfolk Pines here will become landmark trees, big enough to be seen all along the coast whilst providing foraging habitat for Carnabys Black Cockatoos. There will be a shaded walk to the beach and they will make Alkimos Beach an even nicer place to live.
- Engagement with the traditional landowners
Alkimos Beach resides on the land of the Noongar people, so it has always been an overriding priority to constantly engage with First Nation families during every phase of the community’s development and document the traditional stories of the Alkimos coastline. To ensure the cultural history of the land is shared with new community members, amenities like Graceful Park at Alkimos Beach were essential inclusions in the community’s planning.
Graceful Park tells the tale of the female serpent that protects the fresh waterways in the Alkimos area. You can learn about Noongar history, recent history, sustainability and flora and fauna as you take a stroll through our Alkimos Beach Interpretive Trails found throughout the community and in the Alkimos, Land by the Ocean book included in your welcome gift.
“At the beginning of the project we had meaningful engagement with local traditional owners, and we have a strong focus on telling their stories through our art, events, park design and signage around the community,” Luke says.
Download the Interpretive Signage Trail map here.
- Conservation of the foreshore
Decision making around the foreshore at Alkimos Beach has been carefully considered, with conservation of the natural habitat for wildlife and plant species along the coastline a top priority. The Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo rehabilitation program is a major focus, which aims to rehabilitate the species natural foraging habitat in the foreshore as well as the green space around the development. Some of the conservation activities along the coastline include weed, pest, bushfire, erosion and people management.
Luke shares his experience talking to residents about the conservation of the foreshore area: “People often ask why there are no restaurants or cafes on the foreshore area. After we explain to people why we have left it untouched, they appreciate the conservation efforts and untouched landscape.”
- Eco-coaching program
On offer to Alkimos Beach residents is the Sustainable Living at Alkimos Beach program, a comprehensive behaviour change program to provide residents with the necessary tools and knowledge to make positive changes to the way they live. The program includes landscaping workshops and an eco-coaching program delivering one-on-one coaching to improve recycling and energy as well as water saving habits and travel behaviour.
“Eco-coaching is a process where residents will set their own goals and what they want to achieve, rather than the coaches telling them this is what you should be doing,” Nadja said. “Follow up phone calls track their progress and help them to implement the strategies into their everyday lives. Residents who have participated in this programme have saved on average 9 per cent on their water usage and 12 per cent on their energy consumption which can be a significant saving on living costs over time.”
Learn more about what makes Alkimos Beach Australia’s leading 6 Star Green Star community.