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Energy Partnership A Win for Ripley Town Centre

Energy Partnership A Win for Ripley Town Centre (1)

A common vision shared by Ripley Town Centre developer Sekisui House Australia and energy partner WINConnect is set to deliver winning results for consumers within the masterplanned community.

Ripley Town Centre, in south-east Queensland’s western growth corridor, will boast what is believed to be Queensland’s largest high-voltage private community network.

While an embedded energy network such as this may not be a new concept, WINConnect executive chairman Tom Patsakos said Ripley Town Centre is the first-ever township to commission one.

“To my knowledge, there is yet to be an entire town on a community energy network, excluding small mining towns,”
he said.

“The reason it’s not common is because most developers don’t have the foresight that Sekisui House does to plan ahead. Most developers will engage a community energy network after they have already commenced construction and by that stage it’s too late.

“While embedded energy networks have over time been designed to serve the purposes of the developer, our approach is to spread the value generated from the network equitably among key stakeholders, including the community.”

The benefits associated with the private community energy network at Ripley Town Centre are far reaching, from lower tariff costs and tariff protection, to future-proofing for potential advances in sustainability.

Importantly, profits made through the network are invested back into the community—to maintain existing infrastructure and upgrade community spaces, for example.

Sekisui House Australia senior development manager Taku Hashimoto said Ripley Town Centre is making energy more affordable for its consumers.

“Consumers who are currently taking advantage of the network are realising savings of up to 25 per cent, which may increase in time and create further savings through reduced rates and outgoings as the development grows and more sustainable solutions are realised.”

“We have the ability to not only generate energy on site via our solar structures but purchase additional energy at the 11,000-volt bulk rate and feed that power into the network—no energy leaves the community, ” Hashimoto said.

“Ipswich City Council is working with us to grant permission to cross public roads in order to extend the network, which is the first time a local council has ever been involved.”

A private energy sub-station was commissioned at Ripley Town Centre back in 2018 as part of stage one of the masterplan, to service its more than 20 retailers.

The $1.5 billion masterplan vision caters to the projected growth of the region—approximately 133,000 new residents by 2036—and delivers on the requirements of the Ripley Valley Priority Development Area scheme.

Energy Partnership A Win for Ripley Town Centre (2)

The network also makes use of the 480-kilowatt solar panel system positioned on the roof of Ripley Town Centre and its carpark structure, which delivers clean and sustainable energy to the community.

“With less capital expenditure, a community energy network removes the barriers that have historically prevented developers from investing in renewables and allows us to share the benefits of locally produced energy,” Hashimoto said.

“This is a long-term, sustainable solution for Ripley Town Centre. While many developers incorporate solar energy, we believe this private community energy network is a first for a masterplanned community.

“We truly want to be sustainable and use our network to give back to the community while reducing our overall carbon footprint.”

Hashimoto said the ultimate aim is to achieve a net zero energy community where residents, retailers and commercial operators can sell excess energy their asset creates to other players within the community and capitalise on another income stream, with additional savings injected into existing and future landscaping infrastructure and public amenity.

As future stages of the development come to fruition in the coming years, it is anticipated additional substations will be commissioned onto the network to make way for new infrastructure, generating upwards of 8 megavolt-ampere.

WINConnect’s Patsakos describes the partnership with Sekisui House as a “meeting of the minds”.

“We are working collectively to achieve significant benefit for Ripley Town Centre consumers. This includes identifying areas to deliver efficiencies, minimising costs and speeding up our services to the township — these are our driving principles,” he said.

“Sekisui House has been talking to us for a long time about how best to plan and configure the network, and which permits to acquire, so the services are delivered seamlessly.”




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Ripley Town Centre Sets New Benchmark

Ripley Town Centre Sets New Benchmark

Master developer and home builder Sekisui House Australia is challenging traditional conventions of masterplanned communities following the successful launch of the $1.5 billion Ripley Town Centre in June last year.

Almost one year on, Sekisui House Australia continues to make inroads with key partners to elevate the standard of economic, social and environmental sustainability, ensuring Ripley Town Centre is future-proofed for the projected growth of the Ripley region—approximately 133,000 new residents by 2036.

Having developed sustainable communities on a global scale, Sekisui House Australia is now leveraging its strengths cultivated in Japan and around the world, and planning to design and introduce a number of unique initiatives to Ripley Town Centre.

The masterplan vision draws on the 20-minute neighbourhood philosophy to create a low-carbon, connected community, with major facilities and amenities all within a 20-minute walk.

Life’s necessities—healthcare, education, commerce, parks and public transport—are all on the doorstep, allowing the community to truly live locally, and ultimately reduce everyday expenses.

The developer has partnered with WINConnect to build a private, community-embedded energy network, allowing Ripley Town Centre to generate and use power within the masterplanned community and purchase any additional energy required at wholesale rates.

This concept allows profits to be injected back into the community, through discounts in electricity costs and for the maintenance of existing and future public space landscape infrastructure.

While the concept of embedded networks is nothing new the sheer scale of Ripley Town Centre’s network, once complete, will set a new benchmark for Queensland and feed into to the community’s “circular economy” model.

Ripley Town Centre Sets New Benchmark (2)

Sekisui House Australia senior development manager Taku Hashimoto said Ripley Town Centre will provide residents, workers, partners and visitors with opportunities to claim their share and play their part in a vibrant circular economy.

“Our aim is to enable residents and commercial partners to reduce their costs and save money on not just utility overheads, but also on commuting costs and unnecessary infrastructure,” Hashimoto said.

“In turn, residents, retailers and commercial operators will reap the benefits of a greater local spend, shared sustainable infrastructure and affordable utilities.

“Our ultimate aim is to achieve a net zero energy community where residents, retailers and commercial operators can sell excess energy to other players within the community and capitalise on another income stream.

“Similarly, it is through other initiatives such as a private car share scheme and residential guest apartment scheme that the community will realise considerable savings and benefits, while also reducing their carbon footprint.”

An added benefit of the implementation of these initiatives is an increase in asset value, meaning commercial partnerships are both sustainable and financially viable.

In addition to a self-sustainable economy, Ripley Town Centre is also set to become socially self-sufficient, by fostering human connections and nurturing health and wellbeing.

Residents will thrive together in a strong, safe and secure environment, supported by a thriving Civic Heart with cultural institutions, education and retail experiences.

Ripley Town Centre Sets New Benchmark (3)

During a time when people are increasingly losing touch, these key pieces of infrastructure will promote positive social encounters to create a stronger sense of belonging and community for residents.

Importantly, Ripley Town Centre will feature parkland and green open space, including walking tracks, cycle paths, playgrounds and dog park, to promote walkability and healthy living.

Urban developer and placemaking partner RobertsDay continues to build on the masterplan vision while challenging conventional standards of urban design.

“For so long, we have taken the approach in design that the street grid is king because it’s incredibly efficient,” RobertsDay principal Craig Christensen said.

“It has some benefits, but it’s also incredibly boring. What’s different about Ripley Town Centre, including its residential areas, is that it has been designed around the experience of walking and cycling.

“As a result, we have created all these exciting ‘moments’ along the journey, like big, iconic fig trees planted on street corners and creative sculptures, for example”.

“What looks like a random combination of geometry is actually about focusing on particular corners—creating view lines and changes in direction as you move through the space so you’re constantly experiencing a different character.”

Ripley Town Centre Sets New Benchmark (4)

Sekisui House Australia is also prioritising the environment over short-term growth, allowing the Ripley Town Centre community to live lightly and in harmony with nature.

Intelligent design features will be incorporated throughout Ripley Town Centre to reduce the community’s carbon footprint, and improve the quality of life for residents, commercial operators and visitors.

Several initiatives, already in place as part of Ripley Town Centre Stage One (targeting a 5 Star Green Star Design and As-Built v1.1 rating) will be carried over or reimagined as part of subsequent stages, including solar energy, energy efficient glazing, shading and insulation, raw material use, and water sensitive urban design principles.

Ripley Town Centre Sets New Benchmark (5)

Key to the success of the masterplan vision will be the delivery of the Ipswich Central to Springfield Central Public Transport Corridor, which will seamlessly link the region and provide

much-needed connectivity to Ipswich, Springfield, Brisbane and beyond.

Early provision of the rail line in Ripley will be vital to lead and sustain communities in the growing region, providing them with affordable transport choices that improve people’s access to services and employment, enabling the creation of a significant economic cluster in the growth corridor.

As the only major designated retail and business hub earmarked for the Ripley region, Ripley Town Centre caters for one of Australia’s fastest population growth areas through a truly unique approach to urban design and sustainability.




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Two new roads to connect almost 9000 new homes in Ripley Valley

Two new roads to connect almost 9000 new homes in Ripley Valley

Around 8900 new homes can be built in Ripley Valley with the Palaszczuk Government investing $20 million through its Catalyst Infrastructure Program to extend vital local road networks.

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said the funding will enable the construction of two new roads in the Ripley Valley priority development area (PDA), ensuring more affordable land is available to Queensland families.

“Construction has already begun on Binnies Road West following a $7.14 million investment last year. This work is supporting 36 local jobs,” Ms Howard said.

“We’ll also contribute a further $13 million towards the construction of the new Cumner Road, which will support an estimated 52 additional construction jobs.

“These developments will open up significant opportunities for our region and the families who live here.

“It will prove a catalyst for economic growth and will help make Ipswich an even more liveable city.”

PDAs are parcels of land identified for development that will deliver significant economic and social benefits to a community.

Once a PDA is declared, the Queensland Government works with council, the community and industry stakeholders to plan, assess and deliver projects in the area.

Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said Binnies Road West is being built by Orchard (Daleys) Developments, while Cumner Road will be constructed by Intrapac Property.

“This investment will unlock more high quality and affordable land for Queenslanders,” Mr Dick said.

“It’s also creating more local jobs, which are so important right now in the current climate.”

Intrapac Property Chief Operating Officer Max Shifman thanked the Queensland Government for its strategic foresight and commitment to economic growth for the region.

“The Queensland Government has been an invaluable partner in ensuring this new road can be built to access otherwise locked-up development land,” Mr Shifman said.

“It’s a great start to a new decade, and indeed for our upcoming Whiterock project, having this funding agreement in place to deliver this vital piece of infrastructure.

“Now, our team is excited to get on with the job – building the road and developing the land.”

The new roads are being funded through Economic Development Queensland’s Catalyst Infrastructure Funding, which provides funding to get projects off the ground that will benefit community development and employment.




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Tennis champ Ash Barty is building her dream home

Tennis champ Ash Barty is building her dream home (1)

World tennis number one Ash Barty has the money to build her dream home anywhere in the world she wants, but has chosen an Aussie neighbourhood close to her heart.

World tennis number one Ash Barty has the money to build her dream home anywhere in the world she wants, but has chosen an Aussie neighbourhood close to her heart.

The World Number 1 tennis singles player could live anywhere in the world, but says she doesn’t want to move anywhere else but Brisbane.

“I have recently purchased a new property in Greater Springfield where I want to build my forever home,” Barty says. “It’s where I want to build my future.”

“Greater Springfield has always been my home and will continue to be. I have always lived in the area and wouldn’t want to move anywhere else.”

Tennis champ Ash Barty is building her dream home (6)

The 23-year-old has just been named as an ambassador for the Greater Springfield community, about 30 minutes west of Brisbane’s CBD.

Barty already owns a four-bedroom brick house in Springfield Lakes, which she bought in 2018 for $650,000, and another four-bedroom home in Augustine Heights, which she paid $243,036 for in 2016.

Late last year The Courier-Mail reported that Barty had been quietly looking at properties along the east coast — including a stunning beachfront pad with a championship tennis court in Kingscliff, which was on the market for $6.995 million.

Local agents had confirmed Barty’s management had been in negotiations to purchase the luxurious property at 44-48 North Point Ave as a home base.

Tennis champ Ash Barty is building her dream home (2)

But she obviously decided against it — instead choosing to stay in Springfield.

“It’s my home,” Barty says.

“I have grown up here and my close family all live in the area.

“There are great cafes, parks and a golf course. It doesn’t matter where I am in the world, I love coming home.”

Barty says she is honoured to take on the new ambassador role, which will see her working with Springfield City Group on causes that she is passionate about, including education and sport.

“I’m particularly proud of this new partnership because of my long history and strong connection with Greater Springfield, which remains very close to my heart,” she says.

“I grew up here with my family and attended local schools and these days, depending on my tennis commitments, I like to come home and unwind over a game of golf at the Brookwater Golf and Country Club.”

Tennis champ Ash Barty is building her dream home (5)

Barty won eight singles titles and ten doubles titles on the WTA Tour and was recently awarded The Don at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, the coveted Sportswoman of the Year Award and named the Young Australian of the Year.

A proud indigenous woman, she said she was “very excited” about Greater Springfield being home to the Hymba Yumba School.

Tennis champ Ash Barty is building her dream home (4)

“I’m hoping I can combine my new role, as well as being the National indigenous Tennis Ambassador for Tennis Australia, to make meaningful and direct connections with the community including local Indigenous students, and get them playing and enjoying tennis,” she says.

Tennis champ Ash Barty is building her dream home (3)

“As a woman playing professional sport and obviously a big supporter of women’s sport, knowing Springfield City Group has a close association with the new Brisbane Lions Women’s AFL stadium also makes me proud to be part of this growing and thriving community.”

Barty is the second Aussie sports star to lend their name to Greater Springfield, with Greg Norman designing the golf course in the development.




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