Visualisation of development; Visualisation of development;

Aura A Future Communities Initiative, Caloundra South, Queensland

Certified as ‘World Leadership’ by Green Building Council of Australia

In April 2015, the Aura project achieved ‘World Leadership’ status having been awarded a 6-star rating by Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) using the Green Star Communities (GSC) tool. As the largest national project to be independently certified as ‘World Leadership’, the Aura project marks a monumental achievement not only for Arup as an organisation but for the social and economic sustainability, and environmental performance of communities throughout Australia.

Arup was engaged to deliver the targeted Green Star rating for this greenfield development project with the objective to create a 6-star Green Star rated urban and residential community for up to 60,000 people. Appointed in the early planning and approvals phase, the team was tasked with delivering sustainability and environmental services including EPBC approval, EIS, ecological services and sustainability services.

With an extensive scope including consultation, urban and masterplanning, legislative and development approvals, and identification of full infrastructure needs, species management, storm water management and embedded sustainability, the team had their work cut out for them.

Located in the growing Sunshine Coast region, Caloundra South, the project’s extensive design and planning process, as well as the unique environmental attributes and outcomes have all contributed to Aura achieving ‘World Leadership’ status.

The GSC rating is linked with:

  • Environmental significance and biodiversity enhancements across the site including the EPBC conditional approval.

  • The design and planning process, including compliance and conditions associated with the ULDA approvals, design reviews and referenced ULDA guidelines.

  • The client’s (Stockland Development Group) governance and sustainability leadership.

  • Provisions of design solutions and infrastructure consistent with world leadership standards including but not limited to footpath and cycle way provisions, access to parklands, provision of food gardens and amenities.

  • Commitments to implement programs and services to the future Aura residents.

  • Geographical location and prioritised connections, as well as provisions to economically important facilities and amenities such as Sunshine Coast University.

  • Focus on dedicated sustainability and environmental awareness hubs at Aura Environmental Education Centre as well as research, industry partnership, community and skills development programs and commitments.

  • Commitment to best practice site environment and resource management from parties involved in project delivery, including management of site environment and resource conservation during construction.

A major component of the community and sustainability objectives continues to include the creation of an economically self-sustaining, liveable and active community through stimulated enablers. Critical to the success of this project was the pre-planning of these objectives to ensure objectives were aligned and embedded in the methodology.

Based on the success of this project, Stockland has entrusted Arup to deliver a further portfolio comprising 7 national developments with a combined investment valued over AU$8.2bn and spanning four Australian states.