Environmentally sustainable design, or ESD, to us is about designing, building and operating our resort to minimise its short, medium and long term impact on nature, to have a positive impact upon nature where we can and to provide meaningful and positive experiences for our guests.
We have created our own technologies scorecard and ESD assessment tools, which acknowledge the uniqueness of this project and generate the most thorough assessment across all ESD facets. Put simply, the overall strategy is to work with, rather than against, the site’s endemic characteristics including the local climate, established ecosystems, existing infrastructure and hydrological conditions. Ultimately this fosters a design response which ‘touches the earth lightly’, minimises energy and water consumption and establishes a platform for efficient ongoing operation.
The Passive Design Ethos minimises ecological impacts through:
- Ground up approach to the architecture and design of the buildings to maximise natural ventilation and minimise the need for heating and cooling.
- 10% building footprint across the site to minimise impact. Planning consent can be gained for a 30% footprint today, yet we are working within a 10% footprint only.
- Use of insulated lightweight construction.
- Revegetating with native plant species, honouring the endemic ecologies present on site.
- Site infrastructure configuration with integrated water sensitive design principles. For example, to minimise ground disturbance and disruption to the hydrology of the site we are not collecting and concentrating stormwater.
- Natural ventilation, shading devices and roof insulation to minimise power consumption.
Elements of Byron is utilising:
- Educational features explaining ecological design, flora and fauna.
- Solar panels on the housekeeping facilities roof. A decision was made not to place panels on the accommodation villas as they generally sit beneath the mature vegetation. The new Eco Education Centre will also be off-grid with the exception of sewerage.
- Sensitive selection of quality building material finishes from sustainable sources where available.
- Daylighting and visual corridors to the site flora for maintaining a continuous connection with nature.
The Ecological Performance is to be maintained throughout the operational phase by:
- Ongoing management of energy, water and waste. The Energy Management System (EMS) used in the villas is state-of-the-art and is coupled with a real-time energy monitoring system and display. This allows guests to monitor and therefore manage their energy usage in real time via the TV and tablet in each villa. The EMS controls the power, temperature and room access and is responsive to human presence through motion detectors. So when a villa is inactive the system will shut down the power and air conditioning, saving around 35 – 40% of power consumption, with the option upon checkout to offset your carbon footprint. Here, guests will know their exact consumption as opposed to an “average figure” normally provided with carbon offset schemes.
- Minimising resource use through integration of robust and efficient building services into the design.
- Establishment and maturity of site landscaping.