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Indicative perspective of the future Whitlam Display Village community play space (Redbox Design Group, 2020).
Indicative perspective of the future Whitlam Display Village community play space (Redbox Design Group, 2020).

Sustainable Design at the Future Whitlam Display Village

Canberra’s climate provides a challenge for those looking to design a home for year-round comfort. With hot, dry summers and icy cold winter mornings, the benefits of a highly efficient home can be appreciated throughout the year. Early Canberra homes had little in the way of insulation or sealing, making it difficult to keep out extreme heat and cold. But building technology has come a long way since the 50s and 60s, and it is now possible to build a highly efficient home for minimal additional expense that is comfortable all year round.

To support Canberrans in learning about efficient home design, the Suburban Land Agency has taken on the challenge of developing a sustainable sales suite and demonstration housing precinct in the new suburb of Whitlam. Working alongside some of Canberra’s best architects, builders and technical experts, the Suburban Land Agency has designed a demonstration precinct within the Whitlam Display Village where Canberrans can get up close with some of the best thermally efficient features the market has to offer.

The precinct will include two highly sustainable homes and a community play space. The homes will showcase multi-generational housing design, where a single home can be designed to accommodate separate living spaces for different members of a household, such as a family, young adults and grandparents. Liveable Housing Design principles have been incorporated into the design of the homes to support ageing in place. Canberrans looking to build a new home can see how these design features allow a home to respond to the changing needs of a family over time, making a sustainable home for the future.

The demonstration precinct will showcase features that can be incorporated into the design of a new home to increase energy efficiency. Double glazed windows, insulation and building sealing will help to keep the heat out in summer and hold in the warmth in winter. The solar panels, solar hot water system and battery storage will cut energy bills over the life of the home. And the addition of a green roof, rainwater tanks and greywater reuse system will help local plants and wildlife to thrive while minimising impact on natural resources.

The demonstration precinct within the Whitlam Display Village will be up and running from Spring 2021 and will allow the community to experience the difference that a well-designed home can make throughout the year. Members of the public will be able to visit the space, talk to experts about the sustainability features, and decide what to include in the design of their own homes.

To learn more about the Whitlam Display Village and subscribe for updates visit

DESIGN Canberra acknowledges the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians of the ACT and surrounding areas. We honour and respect their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this country and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region. We aim to respect cultural heritage, customs and beliefs of all Indigenous people.