Forever forward to a green future

The Forever Project’s Chris Ferreira. Photo by Daniela Garbin.

IT seems the glue of ‘status quo’ housing is no longer sticking, with an increasing  number of people showing interest in greener living spaces.        

Sustainable gardening expert Chris Ferreira has had a lot to smile about since he held an open day at his Hamilton Hill sub-division. 

Mr Ferreira is the founder and director of The Forever Project, a business which delivers innovative green projects and services across Australia.

His ‘4 homes, 4 families and 40 trees’ Hamilton Hill infill project boasted over 300 visitors keen to check out how he fitted it all onto a modest block.

Mr Ferreira said the event went “really well,” and attendees were especially impressed with the addition of the latest apartment.

“We have what we call the ‘wow corner’,” he said.

“People come down the driveway, and when they are at the driveway’s end they 

are surprised by the beauty of the new apartment – which by the way is a cross between a Scandinavian sea log house and Noah’s Ark.”

The two-story apartment is perched at the back end of the block but enjoys gorgeous views of the green infill space and lush Hamilton Hill surrounds. 

Architect Matt Wallwork’s innovation is in the structural design which helps it to tuck in amongst the multiple dwellings.

While being visually striking with a recycled-timber exterior and a modern, curved shape positioned beside a flourishing jacaranda tree, the apartment runs on green energy, is rainwater equipped and has double-glazed windows amongst its impressive green specs.

Besides the idyllic treehouse-like apartment, the 800-metre block is shared with a stand-alone office, a granny flat and a house.

“The two questions we get asked the most about our infill project are always ‘how is this legal?’, ‘how is this possible?’. But we followed planning rules,” Mr Ferreira said.

“There is so much demand for this too. And what people should know is that it is just as profitable.”

The average new infill house is usually characterised by an indistinct design, a minimum of three bedrooms, and minimal space for a backyard or canopy. 

With solo living on the rise and Perth’s suburbs having fewer canopies than ever before it can be said that the current housing market is unsustainable. 


Town planner Melinda Marshall has said of the issue that the “majority of households only house one to two people. We are building not the houses we need but homes that are making the most profit.”

Thankfully, new medium density codes have been installed across the state to boost Perth’s all-time low canopy count. Such requirements include various minimum tree requirement for single houses, grouped and multiple dwellings and that 15 per cent of each site must be allocated to ‘soft landscaping’ such as grass.

An incentive for infill developers to leave the chainsaw in the shed is that the 15 per cent area is reduced to 10 per cent if a substantial existing tree is kept.

Canopies increase street and house amenity, create cooler suburbs and fresher air, and provide shade and shelter for wildlife.

Ms Marshall said challenges come with creating new green housing efforts.

“The cost per square metre is likely to be higher, but not the overall cost of development,” Ms Marshall said.

She also noted leaves can get in guttersand trees can get in the way of parking, but these problems can be overcome.

Another looming issue facing green infilling is Perth’s limited water supply and drying climate. “It just means we need to be more innovative,” Ms Marshall said.

As for The Forever Project,  Mr Ferreira hopes his success can inspire others to have a rethink about how they’ve developed their property.

The Forever Project’s next outing is a waterwise installation in the City of Joondalup, but Mr Ferreira says they’ll be having another home open soon in Hami Hill, so keep your eye out on the Events tab at www.


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