Water Sensitive SA

Community housing embraces WSUD design principles

Community housing embraces WSUD design principles

1 November 2022

At UDIA South Australia’s 2022 Awards for Excellence, held in July 2022, community housing provider UnitingSA took out both the Small Scale Development, and Aged Care and Community Housing awards for their Ferryden Park housing development. The development, which provides affordable housing for women aged 55 and over experiencing or at risk of homelessness, comprises eight two-bedroom houses with landscaped gardens surrounding a communal outdoor undercover area. The overall design intent embraces water sensitive urban design (WSUD) principles.

Architect City Collective’s integrated design process clearly demonstrates what can be achieved, and boldly leads the small-scale infill industry with its commitment to sustainable design.

The strategic use of permeable paving, woven in amongst the exposed aggregate driveway and paths, contributed to the objective to reduce stormwater runoff from the site while adding interest and texture to the overall design aesthetic.

Ferryden Park small-scale infill. Images: UnitingSA

Water Sensitive SA asked City Collective’s Principal, Caroline Adams, why the design team chose permeable pavers for the parking bays in front of each dwelling, and shared landscape and BBQ area. “It came down to sensible design. Everything on this project had to be managed from a budget and timing point of view, and we had to make the site work really hard,” Caroline said.

“What worked well was agreeing to the design principles early in the project. For City Collective, generally that is where we like to start with all of our design projects – taking a holistic approach of looking at architecture, urban design, landscape and interiors.”

The permeable paving, coupled with rainwater tanks plumbed for indoor use within the toilets, has reduced the size of the underground detention tank to manage stormwater runoff peak flow rates, typically seen on this type of development.

The central driveway is softened by a series of garden beds outside of each dwelling, well outside vehicle turning circles.

Each of these design features could be readily replicated in any infill development on the market today. This project offers a modern take on single storey group dwellings with attractive shared outdoor spaces – places where residents can establish their own sense of community, underpinned by quality water sensitive urban design.

Take a look at our small-scale infill at Ferryden Park case study for more information about this housing development.

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Water Sensitive SA acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Nations of the lands and waters we live and work upon, and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and respect the deep spiritual connection and the relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to Country.