Australian real estate developers Glenvill have unveiled their masterplan for YarraBend, what’s being dubbed as the world’s first ‘Tesla Town’. A sustainable residential community where every home is built with solar panels and Tesla Powerwalls, each home is slated to create so much clean energy that residents are expected to be able to charge electric cars for practically nothing. The YarraBend development is located less than 7 kilometers outside of Melbourne’s Central Business District, and the first 60 homes (of a total 2,500) go on sale this month.
When Tesla first unveiled its Powerwall in 2015 – a rechargeable battery pack capable of powering an entire home from solar energy sources – it was an instant hit, and the company sold out its stock through the end of 2016. Allowing homes to go completely off the grid, the Powerwall’s green credentials are underlined by YarraBend’s unique landscape and building architecture, and interior design: all homes will be fitted with energy efficient appliances, streets will lit with similar technology, the buildings themselves are designed for sustainability and communal electric car charging stations will dot the streets of the 165,000 square meter masterplan.
Glenvill is shooting for a 6 star ecologically sustainable development (ESD) rating from the Urban Development Institute of Australia – and it’s likely that YarraBend will achieve it: Danni Addison, the creator of ESD rating system predicts a water use reduction of 43%, landfill reduction of 80% and the potential to reduce total energy use by 34%.
Rooftop terraces, bicycle paths, parks and riverside trails populate almost every unbuilt area of the development, including the ‘Paper Trail’ – an elevated park which will connect, by foot, YarraBend’s sports and fitness facilities. Meanwhile, the suburb will have smart city DNA running through its veins: “YarraBend residents will belong to a Smartwired community with high-speed internet and a complimentary tech-concierge, a technical call-out service to assist with smart wiring or even WiFi home entertainment set ups. A unique YarraBend app will also connect residents to a variety of amenities and information within the community, including public transport timetables, home delivery menus, carpooling arrangements and social events,” reads the project’s official website.
YerraBend’s energy utopia comes a steep cost, however. The first 60 units hitting the market are slated to cost between AUD $1.48 million and $2.1 million (USD $1.11 million – $ 1.57 million) – figures that dwarf the latest recorded median home price for metropolitan Melbourne: AUD $725,000 (USD $542,350).