A site visit with a difference

Three Capes Track Lodges, Tasmania.


JHA Engineers had an exciting site visit this week, beginning with a helicopter ride across Tasman National Park.

Taking the helicopter to site.

The challenge was a visit to the totally off-grid, under construction, Three Capes Track Lodges which are located deep within the national park and are due for completion later this year.

Leaving by helicopter from just outside Hobart the flight was due to take around 30 minutes, the site is usually only accessible by a 3-day wilderness hike. Unfortunately due to the high wind and rain the helicopter was unable to land close to the site and the pair needed to do an impromptu uphill hike through the national park.

JHA Engineers Diego Montelvere and John Stefani get prepared for the uphill trek to the Three Capes Lodge site.

Sustainable design for a remote site.

Due to the remoteness of the site all services need to be sustainable. Power is provided by a solar PV array of 20 & 22kW peak capacity, with Gelled Electrode VRLA batteries used for energy storage with 60 & 100kWh storage capacity.

Water needs to be sourced entirely from rainwater harvesting. The building design includes large expanses of roof to collect as much water as possible for the large storage tanks which will hold in excess of 100 kilolitres at each site. To save on water the shower heads use one-third of a conventional shower head.

Heating for the domestic hot water and space heating is provided by electric heat pumps which produce and store hot water only when excess solar electricity is available, with high efficiency instantaneous condensing LPG boilers provide backup heat when required.


Once finished the project designed by Andrew Burns Architects for the Tasmanian Walking Company (TWC) will provide a unique 3 day experience for hikers.