Environmental Design AspectsENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN AT WORK
The Blue Mountains Cultural Centre blends a wide range of green features and functions, all of which contribute in unique ways to create an environmentally sound and sustainable building. The Centre utilises its architectural design, solar energy, water re-use, green-roof and even many of its construction materials to ensure its impact on the environment is kept to a minimum.
Most green features won’t be seen, but as you walk through the building here are just some of the features you’ll pass by and what they help to achieve.
GREEN FEATURES THAT ARE NOT DIRECTLY VISIBLE INCLUDE
- A fully insulated roof, double-brick air cavity walls and double-glazed windows assist to insulate the building.
- Extensive rainwater collection, harvested by the Centre and the Carrington Hotel and stored onsite, in an underground 50,000 litre tank
- On the roof there are 54, 10kW solar panels to reduce the Centre’s reliance on traditional energy sources.
GREEN FEATURES THAT ARE VISIBLE INCLUDE
- The ‘green roof’ treats a portion of the Cultural Centre’s water run-off (with the aid of a UV disinfection system) that is then used for irrigation and toilet flushing.
- The Centre is lit with a combination of efficient, long-life lighting sources and lighting zoning to allow separate switching and dimming of areas adjacent to windows.
- The City Art Gallery uses LED lighting technology to significantly reduce power consumption.
- The building orientation itself is designed to provide protection to the open courtyard areas from the prevailing westerly winds and exposure to northern sunlight.
With these initiatives in place, the Cultural Centre aims to reduce water consumption by 5.5 million litres each year and reduce energy usage of 1.8 million kWh/year — enough energy to power 246 homes in the region.
The environmental elements included in the building are part of the Green Precincts Initiative, a partnership between Blue Mountains City Council and the Federal Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Acknowledgement is given to the Carrington Hotel for its collaboration and support.