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How we create communities
Better by design - how we create communities.
At AVJennings, we do much more than just build homes. For nearly 90 years we’ve helped create communities where people want to live, and for how they want to live today. To make this happen, we consider good design at every stage - from our home interiors, exteriors, the streetscapes and landscapes, and the overall character of the community. Richard Baker, AVJennings National Design Manager explains how we do this.
Putting people first
Communities are first and foremost about people. Richard explains, “In every community we create we consult extensively with locals and local government to make sure each finished community will become part of the fabric of the wider neighbourhood. By putting people and their needs, ideas, cares and considerations first, we aim to make every AVJennings community a place people would love to live in.”
Respecting the landscape
“Nature doesn’t have straight lines and corners, so when planning a new community we try to fit in with and respect the local landscape’s curves, slopes, water and vegetation”, says Richard. We make sure all home sites have good access to green space - as well as good sun access to encourage use of solar energy. We aim to preserve, protect or replenish waterways and existing vegetation and trees where possible.
Variety is the spice of life
With a good mix of home sizes, types and prices, we bring together people of different ages, stages and backgrounds to enjoy life as a rich and vibrant neighbourhood.
Green space for active lifestyles
Now more than ever, we know it's important to take care of our health by being active and to encourage our kids to do the same. Richard says “That’s why we make sure parkland, play spaces and exercise areas are part of our communities. We’re always looking for interesting ways to make play areas attractive.” At our award winning Creekwood project, AVJennings enlisted the help of local schoolchildren to help create artwork and sculptural pieces that became integral features of the community’s Natural Play Area.
Keeping everyone connected
Good communities are well-connected, both inside and out. We build links to transport, schools, shopping, work, recreation and the wider area. We also build connections within each community - paths, trails and roads to help neighbours meet, socialise and explore. We prioritise people over cars without inconveniencing drivers. Richard explains, “AVJennings was actually the first developer to popularise the cul-de-sac as a way to create neighbourly street spaces with no through traffic”.
Richard shares how some connecting ideas don’t just take people places, they bring them together. “Some of our most popular initiatives are simple ones such as establishing public community gardens. It provides a place to meet and socialise with like-minded people. Neighbours share gardening tips and are also known to engage in a little gentle competition to see who has the greenest thumb!”
The current and future anticipated impacts of COVID-19 means that we are thinking about the ways in which the design of our homes and communities may need to change. Living through a global pandemic means that we have all spent more time at home, and in our own neighbourhoods, than ever before.
Richard says “floorplans will need to become more flexible and adaptable. Working and schooling from home means that the ability to close off living and working zones will be at the top of the priority list for many of our buyers, instead of open plan living”.
Outdoor living and the design of accessible community amenity and green open spaces will become even more important. Richard believes that people will look to their own community to meet their immediate needs such as food shopping, cafes and coffee. Easy access to walking paths, parks and playgrounds, to enjoy fresh air and exercise, will be prioritised. People will want to feel part of a community and be able to socialize outdoors, even if it is from a socially responsible distance.
Richard shares that he and his team are currently working on new home designs which reflect the changing needs of customers, identified through the recent lockdown periods. “To be able to listen and apply customer feedback and to help alleviate areas of concern for future home buyers is very rewarding. In many ways it has cemented the importance of the work that we do here at AVJennings; to create places where people truly feel that they belong to a community”.