Fairwater Estate by Frasers Property Australia
Largest residential geothermal installation in the Southern Hemisphere
Frasers Property Group
- AIRAH Awards 2019 Excellence in Innovation Winner
- 6 Star Green Star Communities rating from Green Building Council of Australia – first in New South Wales.
- Over 900 new homes in Blacktown in western suburbs of Sydney.
- Precinct wide geothermal installation.
- Project commenced in September 2014 with a 5-year program.
Fairwater Residential Project Overview
Frasers Property Australia’s Fairwater community in Sydney’s west has delivered another sustainability first, achieving a 6 Star Green Star – Communities rating from the Green Building Council of Australia to position it as one of the country’s most progressive environmentally friendly developments.
The achievement means Fairwater is the first project in New South Wales to be awarded a 6 Star Green Star – Communities rating – the highest possible recognition. Only a handful of projects have received this rating nationally.
Frasers Property Australia has committed to installing geothermal air conditioning systems to each of the 900 new homes being built in its 38-hectare Fairwater residential development In Blacktown, NSW.
Geothermal is a sustainable, reliable, clean power source which reduces the communities’ dependence on fossil fuels.
All houses will be connected to a GeoAir heat pump reducing household heating and cooling related energy running costs.
Most geothermal energy applications in Australia have been for single dwellings, small commercial applications and pool heating. Frasers Property’s application of geothermal air conditioning to a large residential development is the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
Modelling undertaken by leading consultancy Cundall has found the system will achieve a 42% of the communities’ peak energy demand and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13.5% compared to conventional air conditioning units. The GSHPs act to cool the home in summer and heat the home in winter, and is adaptable to deliver benefits in any climatic conditions. The geothermal system cools the home in summer and heats it in winter and is adaptable to deliver benefits in any climate conditions.
The systems in Fairwater will deliver 10,000 kW of thermal energy which should make Fairwater the largest user of geothermal energy in Australia. The Coefficient of Performance (COP) of the systems installed at Fairwater are approximately double that of conventional air conditioners.
Installation of the GeoAir geothermal heating and cooling technology is a key point of difference at Fairwater and will be available to all 900 homes on site.
“The system is well hidden and barely noticeable, but makes a huge difference to the environment, our energy costs as well as our comfort.”
A satisfied Fairwater homeowner
An environmental first for new communities in Australia when it was unveiled at Fairwater in 2014, the geothermal technology will save homeowners in heating and cooling costs compared with traditional air conditioning systems.
Installing geothermal systems at scale requires significant co-ordination and planning prior to commencement. With no access available after construction, it was important that geothermal loops were installed prior to any building works.
The specialised installation process has been developed in partnership with Frasers to integrate within the company’s existing processes:
- Design team locate heat pump position on DA drawings
- Surveyor on site marks location of heat pump immediately following bulk earthworks
- Alinta Energy Geothermal receives approval for works from NSW Water
- Alinta Energy Geothermal install loop to nominated location prior to any other works on site
- Installed loops capped and protected with building works following to program
All internal installation follows conventional system installation procedures, and is undertaken by existing air conditioning contractors. All internal equipment and materials are the same as conventional ducted air conditioning.
1. Geothermal Loops
Each home has a geothermal loop installed to designated location. Installed to depth dictated by the system size, the loops are grouted in place and capped off for protection.
2. Internal Installation
All units are centrally ducted with in-ceiling fan coil units and typically day / night zoning. The system is controlled by wall mounted thermostats.
The internal installation is completed by Frasers Property nominated air conditioning contractors and is effectively identical to that of a conventional ducted system.
3. Geothermal Heat Pumps
With geothermal loops installed at 200mm off slab, heat pumps are placed adjacent for connection. At 600(L) x 600(W) x 890(H) in dimensions and with no external fan or condenser coil, the geothermal heat pumps are very small, compact and quiet. This feature has enabled the units to be designed within each home to maximise liveable space and neighbourhood amenity.
- Large scale installation enabled efficiencies to be achieved during installation process.
- Each homeowner will save on air conditioning costs.
- The small external heat pumps enabled installation where conventional system would not be suited.
- The system alleviates sound issues associated with air conditioning, with heat pumps operating at only 51db.
- The absence of external fans removes potential safety risks.