Author: David Rowlinson
First published in Architecture & Design
A sustainable community centre in Penrith, Sydney has been recognised for its sustainable building practices and innovative green design. Equipped with a 20kW PV solar system, geothermal heating and cooling and water-efficient fittings, the Jordan Springs Community Hub recently won the Local Government NSW Excellence in the Environment Award.
Built in partnership with Lendlease, the centre is the first in NSW to be built from cross-laminated timber. It also utilises a geothermal heating and cooling system that is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent, leading to a reduction of 37 tonnes of CO2 each year.
According to the Penrith City Council, the heating system is so effective that the cost to install it will be paid off through savings in under 10 years. The building’s 20kW PV solar system is also expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 25 tonnes per year.
The hub manages to minimise power usage through passive design principles aimed at expelling hot air, such as light coloured roofing, effective insulation, high performance window glazing and landscaping. It also saves water through a combination of water efficient fittings and a 16,000 litre water tank, which when combined are expected to achieve a 22 percent reduction in stormwater leaving the site and a 25 percent reduction in overall water usage.
According to Penrith mayor Ross Fowler, the building demonstrates the council’s commitment to sustainability, and for anyone who has visited the facility it will come as no surprise that it is being lauded for its excellent sustainable building and design practices.
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