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Dorothy Nycz

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Day Presenting:  Monday 29 October
Time: 11:30am-12:00pm
Session Concurrent A5- Environment and Design
Presentation Title Designing and Building an Intentional Community Smart Road
Position Title General Manager Enviornments,
Company ECH Inc

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ECH (Enabling Confidence at Home) acquired the 9,700sqm vacant block of land in the north eastern suburbs of Adelaide with the express vision of creating an intentional community that represents the physical manifestation of its wellbeing model. A person centric model that recognizes the four quadrants impacting a person’s wellbeing; health, home, finance and social connections – the Smart Road development connects to its environments, adjacent parklands, busy shopping and health district and active transport hub. ECH’s success as a retirement living operator is predicated on its lived experience with supporting village communities that connect, look after their neighbors and keep an eye out to offer connection when needed. The big question for ECH is… how does it replicate this village ‘neighborliness’ in an apartment building that doesn’t provide for a quick glimpse out of the window?

ECH set a challenging brief to its consultancy team, to develop an integrated campus that accommodated; a minimum 65 independent living apartments, 10 serviced apartments, tenancy space for a Montessori childcare center, a wellness space for allied health and group gym activities, space to accommodate a day and overnight respite service and a community garden/urban farm. The design was required to meet no less than ten development principles, including the essence of; home; community; sustainability; innovation; flexibility; integration; landscape; urban; iconic and responsible.

The resultant design tests the look typical apartment buildings offer, providing a village approach at each level, individual personality at each door and opportunity for social connection at every kitchen window. ECH’s partnership with Montessori SA further stretches the definition of a retirement community by recognizing learning at all stages of life and communities being constructed as layers. Scheduled to commence construction in late 2018, this presentation will share the design philosophy and outcomes of ‘making’ an intentional community committed to independence, wellbeing, learning and connection.


Dorothy Nycz is the General Manager Environments at ECH – Enabling Confidence at Home, with more than 20 years of experience in the delivery of social infrastructure projects.

Dorothy leads the Environments portfolio which supports 2,000 residents living across ECH’s 104 villages and 1,700 units including provisions of grounds and home maintenance by an award winning in-house facilities management team.
With project delivery and property management at its core, the Environments team will oversee the delivery of new build projects across Adelaide in the next five years.

Skilled in Contract Management, Operations Management, Risk Management, Government, Procurement and Strategic Planning. Dorothy is a property professional with a Bachelor of Building (Hons) from the University of South Australia and Graduate Diploma in Construction Law from Melbourne University.