Green STARt at Martha Bay

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An important aspect of RCA Villages is ensuring we have a sustainable and eco friendly environment. Across our villages we have always incorporated green star elements to reduce our footprint and lessen our impact on the environment. These include providing solar hot water systems, retaining and reusing storm water for the common garden areas and more recently incorporating double glazing into applicable villas and Clubhouses.

More recently, RCA Construction has commenced maximising the use of recycled products into construction activities where appropriate.

The land on which RCA’s newest village is being built was, for many decades, a chicken hatchery with
seven large chicken holding sheds.

“These needed to be demolished before the village construction could commence and it seemed a terrible waste of basic building materials to just dump the demolished structures,” said RCA Construction Director, Anthony Holdsworth.

“Once we arrived on-site, we investigated what could be reused and found there were many ways we could reuse, re-cycle, re-home and re-purpose the materials already on-site, reducing our footprint at Martha Bay. This provided both economic and environmental benefits to the project; for example reusing concrete – which has an enormous environmental footprint – has reduced the cost of building the internal roads,” Anthony explains.

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Four large grain silos from the old chicken farm days have found new homes with local farmers, and the chicken holding shed metal roofing was sent to recycle.

Then, the solid concrete slabs in the shed were methodically deconstructed and put through a hired 35 tonne excavator and a concrete crusher. The output is large stockpiles of crushed rock that will be reused as road base at Martha Bay.

But that’s not all the sheds were hiding. Under each of the large concrete slabs the team discovered that the previous owner/operator had imported huge quantities of sand as a base for the slabs to rest upon. “Rather than send this off to landfill it has been stockpiled and will be reused as under-slab support for the clubhouse at Martha Bay.”

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Anthony was delighted to find treasure in the chicken sheds, “The sheds were built many years ago, and some of the timber was beautiful old hard wood that cannot be sourced today, so we patiently deconstructed the frames and de-nailed all the old timbers; the beams have been sent to a specialist for cleaning and re-dressing, to be used as a feature within the Clubhouse.”

“It is a good feeling knowing that the usual waste that applies to demolition will not be a feature of this project, says Anthony. “Best of all, very fertile land resulting from decades of organic fertiliser, courtesy of the chickens, will support flourishing and beautiful gardens at Martha Bay in the future.”

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