There were a number of outstanding 2011 Green Star additions. In fact, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) certified the highest number of green buildings in its history, with 100 buildings receiving lucrative Green Stars and a further 500+ still to be rated.
One of the key buildings certified last year and specifically mentioned by the GBCA is the Flinders Medical Centre located in South Australia. Designed by architectural firm Woodhead, not only has this building recently received a 5 Star Green Star – Healthcare Design v1 certified rating, it is the first in the country to be certified under the Green Star Health certification.
This new certification will certainly lift the bar for green building in 2012 and offer to more specifically rate buildings of every function.
Although only certified recently, the four storey building has been completed since 2009. Built as an all-inclusive medical facility, it features Outpatient Clinics, Finance and Admin areas, a Birthing and Labour Unit, Obstetrics and Gynaecology unit in addition to including part of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Reproductive Medical Unit.
While a number of sustainable technologies have been implemented in this building’s design, water orientated features have truly played leading roles in reducing carbon emissions.
A 230 panel solar hot water system has been installed in addition to extensive rainwater collection facilities, both of which have gone towards the building’s ‘outstanding’ NSW water objective target. The hot water system alone will save the building around $40,000 yearly in energy costs and about 380 tonnes of carbon emissions.
The building has followed a passive design ideology, optimising natural light while including solar filters and shading in order to eliminate excess solar gain. A displacement ventilation system has been included in order to offer a completely ventilated environment that is energy efficient.
A Building Management System (BMS) has also been a key implementation as it enables complete control and regulation of all carbon emitted from the building through constant supervision and evaluation.
The promotion of Green Star Healthcare is incredibly important. Not only is it a key move towards fighting against the issues associated with climate change, but the health benefits for patients who are in these naturally lit and well ventilated buildings are profound. This will be the first of many under the new certification process and will certainly be instrumental in the development of premier green healthcare facilities.
Images Courtesy woodhead.com.au