The Girraween Environmental Lodge and lodge chalets were built 20 years ago before the term “environmental” had any other meaning aside from being in the environment. The vision was to create a low energy, environmentally friendly wilderness resort that had a minimal impact on the natural environment ,from both a construction and maintenance perspective and was to be as self-sufficient as possible.
The wilderness resort was thoughtfully designed by renowned Brisbane architect Graeme Richardson with a large input from Jonathan Marr (one of the founders), it was to be a low energy consuming, self sufficient and low maintenance village and was ,when built, as environmentally friendly as anything that is purpose built today and we are presently very close to being fully “off grid”.
The greater part of the lodges are built from plantation harvested timber or re-cycled timber and other building materials wherever that was possible to achieve under the building codes. The wall framing and trusses are cypress plantation pine, timber beams and posts are recycled hardwood from various building in Brisbane, majority of the linings are either plantation hardwood ply or recycled hardwood lining boards, even the kitchen and vanity are made from recycled hardwood.
The original design provided for harvested rain water supply to
the chalets with separate grey water supply to the toilet cisterns and
reticulated emergency fire fighting water to the village. All our water was
on-site harvested rainwater until 10 years ago when Health department
requirements made it impractical to use it in the chalets for anything other
than toilet flushing and swimming pools.
Our sewage is treated via a biological treatment plant and clean effluent dispersed on the property which is monitored on a regular basis. Our linen is washed offsite by a local company which uses harvested rainwater and heat sanitisation rather than harsh chemicals in its processes.
With the exception of the small “hotel” soaps (which we are phasing out), we make all our own cleaning products on site using environmentally friendly materials. We go to great lengths to eliminate any excessively packaged single use items and most of products found in the chalets originate from bulk supplies which we re-fill into re-usable containers. Waste recycling separation is carried out by our staff onsite, prior to removal from the property as we found that very few of our guests were correctly separating the recyclables. As a licensed accommodation supplier we are covered by many health dept regulations which, unfortunately, prevents us from carrying out many more ecological friendly processes.
The property has solar power with battery storage that supplements
the use of electricity on site with plans to add the maximum allowable
renewable electricity generation in the near future. All the lighting and
fridges and appliances are maximum efficiency and low energy consuming
Heating in the lodges is carried out through high efficiency wood fire stoves the firewood that provides the heating has been exclusively taken from dead and fallen trees on ours and nearby properties. Cooling is provided by nature and the excellent design of the lodges which capture the natural breezes and require very little assistance from the ceiling fans We have our own pine plantation for future use in building work which was established over 50 years ago. There has also been a native bush re-generation work in progress which unfortunately is temporarily on hold due to continuing drought conditions.
Being surrounded by Girraween National Park, a decision was made to keep the property in line with many of the National Park conservation directives , so our walking trails are very natural and non-intrusive on the native bush , there are no cats or dogs allowed and all guests are expected to be respectful of their natural environment.
This is a registered land for wildlife https://www.lfwseq.org.au and a conservation land property.