This note discusses approaches to sustainable design in remote, rural and regional areas. Based on the author's experiences in the Top End, it recommends approaches to managing a project and engaging its clients and end-users in design and delivery, so that the building or development will operate as planned into the long term.
Compared with urban settings, remote locations involve substantial environmental and financial penalties in establishing, maintaining and operating buildings, infrastructure and connected services.
On the other hand, working out bush can be very liberating. Unencumbered by neighbouring development and obligatory connections to services, there are opportunities to develop autonomous site specific solutions with positive environmental and social benefits.
The essential requirement is that the project’s clients and end-users are engaged in design and delivery, as they are in the best position to decide what they require and what they are able to sustain in the long term.