Home' Australian Govlink : Issue 1 2015 Contents Environmental benefits, economic uplift
Another inspiring project is The Corso at North Lakes. Even before the
foundations were poured, Moreton Bay Regional Council’s state-of-
the-art library, community centre and office complex could lay claim to
being one of Australia’s most sustainable public building complexes,
with a 5 Star Green Star – Public Building Design PILOT rating.
The facility boasts a new regional library and learning centre, a
shaded civic plaza and a children’s play area, making it a long-term
asset for the community. Clever design and technology – including
550 rooftop solar panels – will slash The Corso’s greenhouse gas
emissions by more than 50 per cent when compared to a standard
building of similar size.
“We’re Australia’s third largest council with a large portfolio of public
infrastructure including libraries, work depots and halls, so it was
important to pay particular attention to the design of The Corso at North
Lakes to achieve lower energy usage,” says Mayor Allan Sutherland.
“Reducing our energy consumption means lower operational costs for
our ratepayers during the operational life of the building, and a cleaner
environment for one of Australia’s fastest growing urban areas.”
The robustness of the Green Star rating system makes it simpler
for local governments to report on environmental improvements
and demonstrate the ongoing accountability and cost-efficiencies
of public building projects. In addition, the savings that Green Star
certified projects generate over their operational lifespan can help
local governments to lower costs.
“As a local government, we recognise that we have a responsibility
to lead the way in sustainability, innovation and best practice. For
this reason, Green Star was considered from the project’s inception.
We embraced the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to
sustainability,” Mayor Sutherland says.
As well as being good for the environment, the Corso has created new
opportunities for local families and businesses by creating more than
700 jobs, promoting social inclusion and helping to address regional
challenges such as unemployment, social and economic disadvantage.
Wollongong City Council is another local government leading by
example. Council is on track to be the first local government across
the country to achieve a Green Star – Performance rating for its
13-storey Council Administration Building and become the second
certified project for Green Star – Performance.
Council’s Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbury says “it is
important that Council aims high for its first community aspiration:
we value and protect our environment. We recognise that Council
needs to set the benchmark. If we are able to have the ecological
footprint of Council’s main building assessed then we can help other
businesses and retailers also chart a course for sustainability.”
Better environment, better outcomes
Another challenge for governments is to deliver new infrastructure
projects that are sustainable and meet the needs of growing communities.
The upgrades to Melbourne’s Footscray, West Footscray and Sunshine
railway stations and the new railway stations in Wyndham Vale
and Tarneit have all received 4 Star Green Star – Custom Design
certification – making them the first Green Star-rated railway stations
Not only do these five new stations look great, but they’re treading
more lightly on their surroundings, they’re providing a better
environment in which to spend time, and they’re costing fewer
taxpayers’ dollars to run – better outcomes all round.
Extensive natural light reduces the train stations’ reliance on electric
lighting, while more than 100 solar panels help to provide power and
heat water in each station.
Lighting improves safety – so providing energy-efficient LEDs in car
parks, forecourts, uncovered patron areas, and many internal areas,
means more lighting can be installed for the same cost. Sensors
automatically switch off or reduce the use of lighting and air-
conditioning systems when they are not required.
Each train station uses energy and water meters to monitor
consumption. A rainwater harvesting system collects rainwater
run-off from the roof which is used to flush station toilets and wash
platforms, and water-efficient taps, urinals and toilets further reduce
the reliance on potable water, while. Low water-use and native plant
species have been planted in the garden beds around the station.
The results are impressive. For example, West Footscray railway station
produces 40 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than a standard
station design, uses 60 per cent less water and, in the middle of
summer, its maximum electrical demand is 30 per cent lower.
According to Allen Garner, Chief Executive Officer of the Regional
Rail Link Authority, “sustainability is integrated into every aspect of
the stations’ design, from the materials used in their construction,
Council Admin Building - Arts Precinct
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