18 December 2013

City Council ensures library is built to highest sustainable standards

Sustainability was at the fore during construction of the City of Melton’s (Australia) library and community centre, and today the building boasts an impressive array of environmentally friendly techniques. In recognition of this, the building has been awarded with the prestigious “Australian Timber Design Award for Sustainability”. The library includes 80 solar panels and 130m2 of hot water panels, resulting in 52 percent less electricity and 60 percent less gas usage compared to the previous library.

Almost all timber used is "Forest certified", while the building’s innovative concrete contains 40 percent less cement than usual brands. Whenever possible, procurers used locally sourced materials and ensured only non-toxic products were purchased. For lighting, designers installed large glass windows to optimise natural light, and added a front canopy for shade in the hot summer months.

The building is sealed between floors for greater insulation, and uses under floor air distribution to ensure proper air flow. At night the indoor air is purged through vents in the roof. The library uses 82 percent less water than the previous building, with rainwater used for toilet flushing. Sustainable transport was also considered in the design: the area is easily accessible by public transport, and bicycle and small-car parking facilities are available.

For more information, click here.