A unique housing project launched early this year by leading Australian owned property investment company, DPN is taking the concept of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) in Australia to new heights of transformation.
Aptly named DPN Casa Capace (Casa means ‘home’ and Capace, ‘to be able’ in Italian), the project represents a social impact business incubated by DPN to build architecturally designed, automated and resident-centric homes for people with disabilities across Australia. Completely integrated with home automation systems, these houses would provide residents control and independence in their daily lives.
When Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) sought to provide SDA housing for 28,000 differently-abled Australians, the government invited the commercial property sector to conceive SDA-standard designs that would raise the quality of the dwellings.
DPN, described by managing director Sam Khalil as being ‘fanatical about design excellence’, was up for the challenge.
“We wanted to create a designer home that anybody would walk into and say, ‘I would love to have this as my home’, and not be able to tell that it’s been built as a disabled-care home in any way,” says Khalil.
The pilot homes that opened early this year drew a tremendous response from prospective residents and NDIS care providers. Institutional investors have joined with the original social impact investors to help DPN realise the next stage of the Casa Capace vision.
Speaking about his partners who took the leap to join the project, Khalil said, “We collaborated on our strengths to deliver something that’s going to benefit Australians and set the benchmark globally. Within three months, we had $200 million of EOIs, we’ve already bought more land and there’s a pipeline of housing with a plan to build 1500 homes in the next five years, most in NSW but with Queensland and Victoria soon, too.”
Aware that DPN’s choice of partners would be critical for the success of Casa Capace, Khalil reached out to building technologies distributor and reputed provider of OEM-agnostic solutions, Ivory Egg to meet their requirements for an advanced home automation solution that was secure, robust and intuitive to operate.
According to Simon Harvey, national sales manager for Ivory Egg, DPN Casa Capace wanted automation that would effect change in people’s lives.
“We knew we needed a solid partner with a wealth of products that could do what DPN Casa Capace required, and is big enough to do it at a roll-out scale. We have a great relationship with ABB, so we looked no further than them – they have the expertise and the product,” Harvey said.
ABB’s i-bus KNX was chosen for Casa Capace’s automation vision.
“In the Casa Capace homes, KNX controls the electrical doors, the lighting, blinds, TVs and the HVAC, and even the height of the benches,” says Christian Schiemann, market development manager for ABB Building Automation Australia & New Zealand.
“It can also implement scenes, such as raising the blinds and switching on the lights in the morning, or turning on the TV and dimming the lights,” he added.
The open-protocol ABB i-bus KNX also met the protocol compliance requirements of both Standard Australia’s Technical Specification for Building Automation (SA/SNZ TS ISO/IEC14543.1.1:2018) and the International Standards for Building Automation (ISO/IEC145).
Commenting on the first two SDA-standard homes that opened in Sydney’s Oran Park in February this year, Harvey said, “Casa Capace now has a future-proof design and system that can accommodate ongoing development of technologies and products. It’s designed to enhance the longevity of the homes. ABB is synonymous with KNX, and this open-protocol standard is part of the allure for DPN – they’re not locked into any one technology.”
Watch ABB’s technology at work in the Casa Capace home.