Coffs Coast Business, Local

Celebrating Building Excellence: Is this Coffs Harbour’s most sustainable development?

A ground-breaking eco housing development in Coffs Harbour wins the Master Builders Regional Excellence Award for Energy Efficiency & Environmental Management.

The Natural Home Company recently took out the 2019 award ahead of some of the best builders in Northern NSW for their residential development at 23 Bent Street.

The award winner at 23 Bent Street, Coffs Harbour

The winning project employs some of the most advanced measures of sustainability possible, yet many locals don’t know it exists. Tucked away at Coffs Harbour Jetty, the four eco homes are deliberately designed not to look like ‘normal’ houses.

Requiring only a small footprint, the houses flow over two stories with a focus on outdoor living and vertical, ground and rooftop gardens to grow produce. Positioned happily next door to Coffs High School’s agricultural plot, the theme of urban food production continues.

The only development of its kind in the region, the ‘City of Hope’ project boasts zero greenhouse gas emissions, produces 100% renewable solar energy, provides thermal comfort all year round and harvests and reticulates its own water.

The builder and architect behind the win, Reiner Schimminger, says the award is welcomed recognition by the industry for his work and the importance of sustainability.

“Our industry is starting to wake up to the issue of environmental management,” says Reiner. “This award is a recognition of building solutions that show sustainable living is possible in this time of climate change.”

“Our approach in Coffs Harbour could be applied across the nation as more people realise these environmental issues should be and can be addressed,” added Reiner.

Reiner Schimminger

View the award-winning development at  A not-for-profit project of 4 community-titled homes at 23 Bent St, Coffs Harbour.

The above is a Press Release from the Natural Home Company – 28 August 2019.


  1. George Partos

    Congratulations well deserved and an excellent example of what future home building should be all about, shame it can’t be said about the top topic of conversation in town.

  2. Congratulations Reiner.

    A great development.

    We love it.

  3. That is terrific news and a well-deserved win for Reiner! It shows what a smart person can do to face the challenges of climate change. I love it and hope it’s just the first of many!

  4. Unit 4 has come onto the market with a price tag of $899,000 . I personally think it’s way overpriced.


    Congratulations on the development and the award. It is so refreshing and so important to see an architect/developer recognise the need for sustainable development in Coffs Harbour and take the risk of seeing this development through. Coffs has a history and current practice of approving just about any and every medium density development proposal that comes across the Councils’ desks. The vast majority of them are appalling; showing no thought for their impact on local character, the amenity of local residents, the habitat of local wildlife or their sustainability into the future. Most significantly, so many of them are not “future proofed” in any way at all. A recent development in my neighborhood has placed 6 single level units on a small block of land. The units are so close together the residents can pass each other a cup of tea through their windows. They have no eaves for shade and air movement, no porches or verandas, no louvers for air circulation, all shade producing trees were removed, they have no solar panels, no water tanks and the entire footprint is covered with cement. This means that these dwellings will be extremely hot – hotter than the ambient temperature – and have to be cooled by air conditioning with electricity drawn from the grid. The removal of trees impacts not just this property but the temperature of the surrounding dwellings. The more trees we have, the cooler our neighborhoods. No new trees have been planted in this development, nor many others in the local vicinity. Without trees our wildlife have no habitat and corridors through which to navigate the ceaseless expansion of humans into their habitat. Without them our ecosystem collapses. No wildlife, no us! This particular development breeches numerous local codes, including the Councils’ stated policies on environmental impacts. How and why is this permitted? And it is hardly alone. Most new, medium density developments in Coffs Harbour put maximum profit before any consideration of the community or the sustainable development of our city. And our council not just allows but encourages it. We live in a paradise which is at immediate risk of being destroyed. It is totally self defeating. We are a tourism based economy. Who will want to come here when our natural wonders are gone? These concerns seem to have fallen on deaf ears for so long when it comes to local planning decisions. This summers’ apocalyptic fires make it very clear that these considerations can no longer be ignored and dismissed for the sake of a quick dollar. Thank you Mr. Schimminger and team for leading the way and showing what is possible. It IS possible to develop property and do it thoughtfully, responsibly and sustainably. May your development be the beginning of a new wave.

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