A new housing development in Victoria has been designed to give back to the environment, improving the surrounding biodiversity.

Designed based on the standards of the Living Building Challenge, the 27 houses at The Paddock in Castlemaine will be arranged in a horseshoe shape, around a central common area and community centre. Inside will also be a series of tiered gardens, to be used by residents.

The aim of the development – designed as an economical alternative to mainstream housing – is to help bring threatened species back to the area and bring nature back into the site, rather than removing it.

According to architect Geoff Crosby of Crosby Architects, the development is a response to global warming.

The intention is to go beyond things like ‘zero carbon’ (i.e. not harming the environment) and instead actually take action to improve the environment.

The biggest barrier is human behavior, according to Crosby, who hopes his prototype will introduce people to a new way of living.

Image credit: Crosby Architects