Baugruppe at WGV

White Gum Valley, Fremantle, WA

Baugruppe at White Gum Valley is a medium density housing project that’s piloting the successful European baugruppen (building groups) model in Fremantle. In a building group, residents come together to be the developer of their own homes. It’s a zero profit model – there are no investors and no developer – so profit margins and marketing costs are removed from the equation.

Category: Building groups

 

About the project

 

Baugruppe at White Gum Valley is a medium density housing project that’s piloting the successful European baugruppen (building groups) model in Fremantle. In a building group, residents come together to be the developer of their own homes. It’s a zero profit model – there are no investors and no developer – so profit margins and marketing costs are removed from the equation.

 

Baugruppe WGV consists of 17 apartments of various sizes, located within the multi-award winning WGV Eco Village. The village has set ambitious sustainability targets using the ‘One Planet Living’ sustainability framework, and will be the first ‘One Planet’ community in WA. 

 

Baugruppe at WGV is a collaboration between Landcorp, the WA government land development agency, and The University of Western Australia. The project manager, Builtform Projects, has come on board to guide residents through the development process. Architectural firm spaceagency designed a modular project capable of accommodating 17 homes of various sizes with no common walls, plus shared spaces and facilities. Residents were then engaged in a collaborative design process, resulting in design responses to individual needs. Only one apartment remains to be allocated and construction is due to commence soon.

 

The residents

 

Organisers describe this as a ‘hybrid’ baugruppe project, as Landcorp will retain five of the units to be affordable housing managed by government or a community housing provider. The remainder of the development is targeted to owner-occupiers as a traditional baugruppen project.

The households are a broad mix of ages and include families with children, couples and people living alone. Some households were already socially connected and the remainder met each other through the process. Households had various motivations for joining but the group has certainly developed a sense of identity as the project progresses. The organisers say the baugruppe process creates ‘instant community’, with members working together to prioritise their needs and design shared spaces.

 

Project snapshot
What is shared?
How did it happen?
Finance

Governance

The shared spaces include a ground floor common room with an attached kitchenette and studio for guests, a rooftop terrace, community gardens and other shared external space. There are also shared bicycle facilities and a shared solar PV system.

Baugruppe at WGV originated when The University of Western Australia approached Landcorp, the WA government land development agency, to suggest a trial of the baugruppen concept in WA. They held an information night for the public which attracted around 100 people, resulting in over 50 completed surveys from interested members. Despite the flat housing market in WA, households progressively came on board. The project would not have been possible without the leadership shown by Landcorp, who offered a deferred settlement on the land, and the consultants who initially gave their time pro-bono to develop the concept.

The group will buy land together and develop their own individual strata titled homes. To service the development loan each household will contribute 30% of the total development cost of their new home, including land costs. The land owner, Landcorp, is selling the land at market rates but offering a deferred settlement. This reduces risks for households and means they don’t have to commit equity till construction is ready to commence. On completion, the homes will be strata titled and transferred to each household with their own mortgage. Due to the baugruppe structure, the group will only pay GST and stamp duty on land purchase, not on the value of their homes.

As the units are strata title, the community will work within the strata governance framework to customise their own set of rules. They are already engaged and meeting on a regular basis. There has been the suggestion of a covenant to be placed on the apartments to discourage speculation, which the residents are considering.

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