Green stars shining bright at Springfield
THE design of USQ's new flagship building has officially been awarded a five-star rating by the Green Building Council of Australia.
The $45 million building, supported by a $41.9m grant from the Australian Government, opened its doors this semester with staff and students having the chance to experience the positive difference in the space as a result of the environmental focus.
USQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Jan Thomas said achieving the Five Star Green Star rating was a complex task and something USQ was very proud of obtaining.
"The building's design is now officially certified as five-star - recognition of its environmentally sound materials selection and passive low-energy design," Professor Thomas said.
"The aim of the design is to improve operating efficiency, reduce energy consumption, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of the building and the overall environmental impact.
"USQ is committed to managing the University's social, environmental and economic footprint responsibly."
In addition to standard Green-Star elements, such as using water collected from the roof and grey-water for flushing toilets and other non-potable use, the new building features a sophisticated building management system to oversee and control electrical, lighting, metering and mechanical systems.
Mechanical systems aim to maximise fresh air and minimise energy consumption.
This includes air flow systems that will provide greater quantities of fresh air than might normally be found in standard office buildings.
"The building's architectural and mechanical design considers the high summer temperatures experienced in Springfield and further, features eco-friendly air-conditioning systems supplied with chilled water from the existing central chilled water plant, again reducing the environmental impact and maximising efficiency," Professor Thomas said.
Integral to the 9000m2 building, and located centrally on campus, is an End of Trip (EOT) Cycling Facility that can hold approximately 40 bicycles, featuring secure undercover bicycle storage, showers, change rooms and storage lockers for personal effects.
Aimed at encouraging sustainable transport use, the new building also features two electric car charging stations.