bisinella’s grand lakes estate – state and national award winner
A showcase for environmental design, in 2015, Grand Lakes Estate took top honours at the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s annual Victorian awards for excellence.
In a first for the Geelong region in the 20 year history of the UDIA Victoria awards, Grand Lakes Estate was judged the best residential estate and also won the award for environmental excellence.
In March the following year, Grand Lakes Estate beat some of the biggest development companies in Australia to receive the urban development industry’s national award for environmental excellence.
The national award was the first win by a local Geelong developer in the 20 year history of the awards.
Grand Lakes Estate was successful against entries from some of the biggest development companies in Australia.
Commenced in late 2008 and completed in 2015, Grand Lakes Estate is now a vibrant community of more than 2000 residents.
The award was presented to the company’s Development Manager, Richard Bisinella, at a gala dinner in March 2016, at the Adelaide Convention Centre. The dinner was part of the Urban Development Industry of Australia’s annual conference.
At the time, Mr Bisinella said the award was a great tribute to his father, Lino Bisinella, who started the family business as a plasterer 52 years ago and moved into industrial and then residential development.
Mr Bisinella told about 500 guests from around Australia that the success of a regional estate in the national awards highlighted the fact that “Geelong is transforming”.
The judges said: “This project has turned a major constraint into the primary feature of the development. The low-lying, flood-prone and degraded nature of the land prior to development has been transformed through the introduction of a series of ornamental lakes, wetlands, water treatment initiative and flood management techniques.”
They added that “the attractive environment provides extensive passive and active recreation opportunities for the surrounding population”.
The estate was built around 18 hectares of open space including three ornamental lakes and expansive areas of densely-planted wetlands and landscaped parkland.
In engineering and environmental terms, Grand Lakes Estate has been a landmark development for Lara and Geelong. The leading edge techniques used to resolve the engineering and environmental challenges involved in developing Grand Lakes demonstrated that it was possible to facilitate orderly residential development of land previously considered to be floodprone.
This urban floodway is now criss-crossed by an extensive network of walking and cycling trails and is home to increasing varieties of birdlife and native fauna.
The lakes, wetlands and parkland take up about 20 per cent of the total land area. A total of 1205 trees, 147,000 groundcover plants, 268,000 wetland plants and nearly 60,000 square metres of lawn were planted.
Bisinella Developments’ vision for the site was not only to create a high quality residential community but also to contribute significantly to the lifestyle and wellbeing of Lara which now has a population of more than16,000 residents.
The company invested more than $12 million, or approximately $15,000 per lot, in the parklands features and other public infrastructure at Grand Lakes including:
• Millars Café
• The Bisinella Community Centre
• Two state-of-the-art playgrounds, one either side of the lakes
• Childcare centre under construction in 2018
Other public facilities include a barbecue area, a rotunda and six drinking fountains.
Mr Bisinella said the state and national awards were great recognition for all the Geelong-based consultants and contractors who worked on the project including planning and engineering consultants TGM Group, drainage consultants WBM, geotech consultants Cardno Lane Piper, landscape architects Mexted Rimmer, landscaping contractors Ausscapes, and civil contractors Wellam Constructions.