JCU’s Science Place achieves Australian-first green building rating
James Cook University’s the Science Place building has become the first educational building in Australia to achieve a LEED® Gold rating for its environmentally sustainable design.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world, and is devised by the Unites States Green Building Council to evaluate the environmental performance of a building and encourage sustainable design.
The four storey building on JCU’s Townsville campus boasts a wide range of features that make it a leader in the design and construction of green buildings.
Some of the sustainable features that led to the Science Place being awarded the Gold rating include:
- Recovery and recycling of 93.5% of all demolition and construction materials, a new record for a large development in Townsville.
- A light reflective roof colour, to reduce building heat gain and air conditioning energy use.
- Energy-efficient design appropriate to the tropical environment and built to contemporary standards.
- A 25kW solar photovoltaic energy system on the roof which generates an average of 125kWh of renewable energy each day.
- A façade optimised to maximise daylight entering the building while minimising heat gain.
- Daylight sensitive lighting that reduces power consumption when natural daylight is available.
- Special concrete reinforcement in paths, using JCU’s own research results. The recycled plastic fibre technology replaces steel reinforcement which significantly reduces the path’s high embodied energy and hence the environmental impact.
- Smart metering and circuits to ensure building data is available to the building and energy management systems, to optimise its performance and comfort for occupants.
- Sustainable Certified Wood used in construction.
- Superior indoor air quality management and testing.
- Multiple low-emitting materials to ensure quality indoor air, including low-emission adhesives, sealants, paints, and flooring.
- Water-saving taps and fittings.
Deputy Vice Chancellor for the Division of Services and Resources, Tricia Brand said the certification reflects the building’s very high standards in environmental sustainability: “The building boasts a wide range of features that make it a leader in the design and construction of green buildings. We are extremely proud of The Science Place and the learning and research opportunities it’s delivering for students and staff. And to receive this accolade is a fantastic achievement for all of those involved in the building’s design and construction.”
For students, the Science Place also offers 12,000m2 of joint teaching and research facilities - including state-of-the-art laboratories and technology-enabled active learning spaces.