About Aurora

Aurora is a master planned community within the City of Whittlesea, one of the fastest growing municipalities in Melbourne. The project is being delivered by VicUrban and commenced development in 2004.

The Aurora project overall land area is 634 hectares with expected yield of around 7,500 dwellings and an ultimate residential population of about 25,000. Approximately 800 dwellings are currently complete and the current population is approximately 2000.

Aurora – Creating the suburb of the future
Victoria’s first and 6-star energy efficient community successfully helping to reduce our ecological footprint.
All-encompassing view of sustainability incorporating:
— Environmental
— Built form
— Community
Raising the standard in environmental and urban design excellence
Current and future residents will reap the benefits of living cleaner and greener through more efficient use of valuable resources

Aurora – Project Description
Located in Epping North, 20km north of the Melbourne CBD (via freeway – adjacent to Craigieburn Bypass)
634ha master-planned residential development
— Up to 8,000 6-star energy rated homes
— Resident population of approximately 25,000
— Project life of approximately 20 years (2025)
Most sustainable development of its kind in Australia, with initiatives focussing on:
— Water
— Energy
— Biodiversity
— Recycling
Urban design excellence based upon a master-planned approach – transit oriented development
Walkable neighbourhood
All homes within:
— 200m of a park
— 400m of a bus stop
— 800m of schools and local shops
20km of paths and walkways
Creeds Farm retail / community hub
2 mixed-use town centres
5 schools
4 Community Activity Centres (CAC)
5 football / cricket ovals
4 soccer pitches
8 tennis courts
135ha of open space (approx 21% of site)

Recycled water
— Third-pipe system connect to every home and all parkland
Local waste-water treatment plant
— Will deliver Class A recycled water to all homes
— Takes waste water from showers, basins, toilets, etc to treatment plant
— Recycled water delivered back for re-use in toilets, gardens, parks
Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD)
— Management of storm water using bio-retention trenches in swale drains
— Raingardens
— Flow restrictions fitted to taps and shower roses
— Also looking at using rainwater for hot-water

Parks, reserves, waterways recognised and enhanced / upgraded
Edgars Creek
— Significant conservation areas identified and protected
— 48ha dedicated to conservation
Significant flora and fauna species found on site:
— Matted flax lily
— Golden sun moth
— Growling grass frog
— 400 year old river red gums
Over 130 species of indigenous plants
Landscaping incorporating native and locally indigenous species

6-star energy rated homes
— Solar orientation of homes key component
—- Minimise sun in summer, maximise sun in winter – e.g. eaves
— Designed to minimise overshadowing and overlooking
— Improved insulation
— Improved cross-ventilation
— 4 & 5 star heating / cooling and cooking appliances
— Gas boosted solar hot water
— Reduce greenhouse emissions by up to 5 tonnes per year
— Comparable to taking car off the road for a year
Also undertaking a ‘remote metering’ program to measure performance and consumption of 6-star houses at Aurora

— Specifies environmentally preferable materials
— Each home required to meet (or exceed) specified environmental hurdle
— Purpose is to reduce environmental impact by using materials which minimise:
— Embodied energy
— Resource consumption
— Toxicity
— Biodiversity impact
— Eg. Use of plantation timber, steel frames, fly-ash in concrete slabs
Construction waste
— Recycled for use in retaining walls, paving, road works etc
— Aims to reduce construction waste going into landfill by 85%
— Of note, approximately 40% of all waste going into landfill is from construction and demolition

Increased density focused upon activity nodes
Increased levels of public amenity
Increased level of community services
Well located
— Services / jobs / transport
House and land packages
— VicUrban and builder partners pre-plan housing
— Ensures highest levels of sustainability can be achieved for every home
— House and land package prices highly competitive
— Cleaner, greener and more affordable living

Emphasis on early delivery of community infrastructure and services
Creeds Farm Hub
— Early Learning Centre (child care centre)
— Living and Learning Centre
— Multi-partner development
— Local governance structure
— Independent primary school
— Retail convenience store / cafe
— Community activities & programs
— Community governance
— Incorporation of public art

Fibre to the Home (FTTH)
Optic fibre cabling connected to every home
— Free-to-air television
— Telephony services
— Broadband internet
— Video on demand (VOD)
— Foxtel pay television service

More details in case study by Caroline Baldwin

Find out more about the environmental benefits of living at Aurora in this document:

Ecological Footprint Analysis of Aurora Residential Development Prepared for EPA Victoria, VicUrban and Building Commission by the Centre for Design at RMIT and Global Footprint Network 19 May 2006
Ecological Footprint Analysis of Aurora Residential Development