Cairnlea Estate represents the new suburb of Cairnlea, approximately 453ha bounded by the Western Highway and Western Ring Road, 17km north-west of Melbourne’s central business district.
Part of the site was previously used as a government explosives manufacturing site and required handling and disposal of contaminated materials. Spiire worked very closely with Golder Associates on site remediation issues. Contaminated material was disposed of on-site in a highly engineered contaminated materials repository that significantly reduced the cost of site clean-up. Spiire assisted to identify and provide large quantities of onsite clay material out of normal sequence for the cover requirements of the repository. This assisted reducing triple bottom line costs of offsite disposal of earthworks.
In addition, the site also had significant environmental value for two endangered species the Plains Rice-flower and the Striped Legless Lizard and 130ha were devoted to public open space, with reserves and management plans established for the ongoing preservation.
To reduce the demand on potable water for the development, Spiire developed a sustainable solution of harvesting urban runoff from local catchments. The integration of reuse storages within the network of wetlands extends the benefits of stormwater beyond the waterway environs. Stormwater reuse provides up to 55% of the total irrigation demand, at the same time maintaining environmental flows within the waterway to provide a sustainable ecosystem.
The estate includes 3000 residential lots, public open space including nationally significant conservation areas, two creek corridors, passive and active recreation areas, a commercial hub including civic offices, leisure centre, performing arts centre, neighbourhood retail centre, private secondary college, primary school and links to Victoria University (St Albans campus).
In addition, significant industrial and mixed use development is located on the site in response to market demand and remediation requirements.
The stormwater reuse system at Cairnlea was the first of its kind in Melbourne and was awarded the UDIA Award for Excellence, Environmental Excellence 2000.
Cairnlea is now home to a population of 8,839 residents (2011 Census).