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A New Direction
While many developers are starting to put a few environmental features as add-ons to what are essentially conventional developments, in contrast the design of Rivendell started from a set of environmental objectives.

Rivendell's design has been informed by the experiences of lifestyle seekers. Over the last 30 years most who have moved away from the city in order to live a simpler, more environmentally sustainable lifestyle have chosen a large-acreage, high-maintenance "patch of paradise" located some distance from the amenities of regional towns and villages.

Rivendell is offering people the opportunity to move into a ready-made, convenient and environmentally sensitive lifestyle - without having to do it all themselves.

Triple Bottom Line Sustainability: people, planet and prosperity
Not only have Rivendell's houses been designed to the highest environmental standards, Rivendell's style of settlement pattern: mixed use, with clustered housing set amongst ample green open space, is the most ecologically, economically and socially sustainable - making available in a rural setting many of the conveniences and opportunities for social interaction characteristic of an urban lifestyle.

Add to this Rivendell's on-site organic food production and the provision of services like electricity, heating, water and sewer from infrastructure engineered with cutting edge green technologies like Solar Thermal Cogeneration, and we believe Rivendell will be setting the benchmark in sustainable design for many years to come.

The Rationale
The rationale for addressing the world's present environmental crisis by redesigning our settlements is based on the following 3 realisations:-
  1. Despite the very real desire on the part of most of us to do our bit to save the planet, most of the damage is, in fact, being done by the very lifestyles that we in the developed world lead - or, more correctly, the economic system and technologies used to maintain those lifestyles.

  2. These days the word sustainability is bandied about by everyone trying to flog something - be it a product or a political viewpoint. However, creating a lifestyle that even remotely approaches sustainability is a very difficult task. In fact, for an individual family unit it is well nigh impossible without great sacrifice and extreme hardship.

  3. Very few people will voluntarily choose to lower their quality of life, and no matter how radically these few do manage to lower their ecological footprint, it will be but a drop in the ocean compared to the aggregate ecological impact of the whole Australian population. As long as saving the planet connotes inconvenience, discomfort, and going without, the environmental movement will fail to move the vast majority of the Australian population towards sustainability.

The Future
Rivendell's fully integrated design and use of state of the art green technologies now gives the realistic possibility for people to radically decrease their ecological impact while actually improving their quality of life.

Standing apart from the ecovillage movement, the 'back to the earthers', and other alternative responses to the environmental crisis, Rivendell is an attempt to provide a total living solution in the form of a flexible and reproducible template which can be scaled up, adapted to the urban landscape, and above all, will be acceptable (and indeed attractive) to the average man and woman in the street, that is to say: the majority of Australians.

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