Environmentally-friendly community living

AE2 is an exciting new development in Ermington, New South Wales. It is the first Defence Housing Australia (DHA) residential community to achieve EnviroDevelopment certification in all six elements; ecosystems, waste, energy, materials, water and community.

Fronting the Parramatta River, residents will enjoy expansive views of Millennium Park and the Sydney Olympic facilities. 210 dwellings with a mixture of townhouses and detached houses along with six apartment sites will reside on an approximate 16.3 hectare site that will boast a unique village character.

The master planned community includes improvements to the local foreshore, a cycleway and new parks. The AE2 development was named in recognition of the efforts of those on-board the HMAS AE2 submarine, which paved the way for Allied submarines by crossing the Dardanelles during the Gallipoli campaign in World War I.

Sustainable appeal

For DHA, sustainability is about ensuring that their houses are designed, constructed and function in ways that don’t compromise the quality of the natural environment, now or in the future.

Their new homes at AE2 are passively designed to make use of natural airflows and solar orientation to decrease the need for artificial heating and cooling. They use materials that are suited to the local climate and weather, and have less impact on the environment.

James Hardie® building products were selected as their material of choice for the upper levels of all two-storey dwellings in the development to help reduce the embodied energy of the external fabric. Expansive cantilevered awnings and projections were constructed using traditional timber frame methods and wrapped in a combination of James Hardie products including Scyon™ Axon cladding, Easylap panel and Villaboard® lining to soffit areas. These elements provided aesthetically appealing facades with increased shading to living areas, complimenting the principles of passive design.

The Scyon product range assisted in delivering a high-quality sustainable development defined by a contemporary urban village character with diverse and visually interesting public spaces.

Adding value during construction Initial tender responses for the installation of composite materials were well in excess of budget expectations. James Hardie® worked closely with both the architect dKO and builder Watpac to create ‘specific design guidance’ for each individual house type. This contributed towards more detailed and informative tender packages, simplifying the process and vastly improving the accuracy of returned bids.

Watpac required assistance sourcing suitable sub-contractors that could deliver on a development of this scale. Using industry knowledge, James Hardie® helped Watpac to identify experienced, sub-contractor crews that could efficiently deliver a quality and timely installation.

“The support that James Hardie provided during both tender process and into construction through their Technical Support Officer, and the distributor and contractor relationship management were invaluable” Bhavin Gandi, WATPAC Contracts Administrator Onsite technical and installation support was also provided by James Hardie® during the construction process, helping to deliver a high quality end product.

True to form while breaking the mould

The two defining reasons for the selection of James Hardie® building products in the AE2 development were the performance of the products in relation to maintenance and durability; and the wide range of designs and the diversity of form and function achievable. Given Defence Housing Australia’s long history with maintenance and durability requirements, when they embarked upon redeveloping their product range to include more unique design attributes, the chosen materials, namely James Hardie® products, still needed to possess these qualities.

In addition to extensive product warranties, the James Hardie® substrate also offers a surface that is stable enough to achieve greater performance from selected paint ranges, increasing paint warranty lifespan offerings as a result.

The versatility of the James Hardie® product range is such that a multitude of architectural patterns and finishes, unachievable though traditional building methods, are now attainable. This is evidenced across the varying designs of the dwellings throughout the AE2 development.

“I have never seen a company like James Hardie be so proactive on site to ensure we had a positive result. I only wish other companies would follow suit”. John McKendry, WATPAC Site Supervisor

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