“Sustainability is a new idea to many people, and many find it hard to understand. But all over the world there are people who have entered into the exercise of imagining and bringing into being a sustainable world. They see it as a world to move toward not reluctantly, but joyfully, not with a sense of sacrifice, but a sense of adventure. A sustainable world could be very much better than the one we live in today.” ― Donella H. Meadows

intro-pic2Footprint Free On Fitzgerald was conceived from a passion to make a difference in our world and educate the community about how to build homes of the future, which are environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. So, tired of hearing that sustainable construction costs more than conventional construction, the designer, intro-pic3Dave O’Meara from DESIGNRATE and builder, West Coast Sustainability set out to prove that an efficient home; the first of five, could be built at a comparable cost and timeframe to a regular home

intro-pic4The group of five homes; ‘Footprint Free On Fitzgerald’ have been designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save water and energy and reduce waste during construction and the house’s lifetime. The houses have been designed to prevent injuries through built-in safety features. They have security elements to reduce crime and improve the occupants’ sense of security. Features are also used to provide flexibility and comfort for people of varying abilities and at different life stages, including children and people with limited mobility. The homes are also designed to save money during construction and over the lifetime of each home. Careful planning avoids the need for major future renovations and reduces costs associated with energy use, water use and maintenance.

43cWhat sets this project apart from many others is that the building design has achieved a 10 Star Energy Efficiency Rating. The home is based on well-established solar passive design principles to ensure maximum thermal comfort year round, with no air-conditioning or artificial heating required.

These principles include east-west orientation, high thermal mass materials, high insulation value to roof and walls and the use of double-hung and louver shutter windows to maximize cross flow ventilation. Energy and water efficient fixtures and appliances, combined with modern technologies, including interactive communications systems will make for easy, affordable living.

intro-pic6The home will generate more electricity than can be used from a 5kw solar system and will harvest and recycle water which will be used on the native gardens, contributing to the environmental performance of the home by providing natural shading.  This home will showcase an exemplary, creative and affordable housing solution on a reduced footprint.

Construction started in November 2012 and is scheduled for completion by August 2013


The Property

Located in Geraldton WA, the 2452 m2 property was chosen for the project ‘FOOTPRINT FREE ON FITZGERALD’ because of its ideal orientation and position for sustainable house designs.

The block has been subdivided, to provide five building sites which maximize the potential for northern solar access.

The front two lots both being Green Title Lots:

  • Lot 26 (162A Fitzgerald St) being 600m2
  • Lot 25 (162 Fitzgerald St) being 502m2

The rear Lot:

  • Lot 27 (160 Fitzgerald St) being 1350m2 (has been sub-divided into three separate Strata Lots)


The key to the project’s success is the partnerships that we have formed with local businesses throughout the building process.

Gold Partners

logo OSRAM Corporate Design 2006

Silver Partners

  • Amazini & Son Blocks and Pavers
  • CNM Concrete Polishing
  • Concept Products
  • Conergy Solar
  • Geraldton Ceramics
  • John Speedy Cabinets
  • Mitchell & Brown
  • Reece Plumbing Geraldton
  • SR Plumbing & Gas
  • Yetna Nursery


  • Aquarius Water
  • Build It Techo
  • Bunnings Geraldton
  • Colli Timber
  • Des Fowler Painting
  • Geraldton Independent Building Supplies-  GIBS (Windows, Timber &  Gyprock)
  • Earthwool Insulation
  • Fence It WA
  • Holcim Concrete
  • Home Guard Termite treatment
  • JBS
  • John Farr- gyprock
  • Kasmin Bobcat
  • Logiwest
  • Midwest Turf
  • One Steel
  • Outdoor World
  • Patience Sandilands
  • Rob Pontyon
  • State wide Steel
  • Portside Concrete
  • 360 Degree Design
  • Total Plastering