UOW’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre is the first certified 6 Star Green Star building in the Illawarra.

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) Green Star rating system evaluates the sustainable design, construction and operations of buildings and communities.

SBRC was awarded a 6 Star Green Star – Education Design v1 certified rating, which represents ‘World Leadership’ in environmentally sustainable design practices.

“We know that Green Star-certified buildings produce 62 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions and use 51 per cent less water than average Australian buildings – but this 6 Star Green Star rating delivers more than an environmental benefit,” GBCA CEO Romilly Madew said.

“In a market where universities are competing for students, a Green Star-rated building can create a competitive advantage – and we applaud the University of Wollongong for its world leadership achievement.”

SBRC was made possible through a contribution of $25.1 million from the Australian Government’s Education Investment Fund and $1.2 million from the NSW State Government.

The Centre is a facility where SBRC researchers are developing pioneering new technologies and systems to create more effective places in which to live and work, focussing on both existing and new buildings, and assisting in generating new skills and jobs for the Illawarra region.

key building features
  • Ultra-low energy consumption
  • Solar roof with a 160kWp photovoltaic array that produces more power than the building consumes
  • Rainwater harvesting to ensure the building is net-zero water
  • Sophisticated natural ventilation and indoor environmental quality features
  • Extensive monitoring and building control systems for operating efficiency
  • Locally sourced and environmentally safe construction materials
  • On-site edible gardens

As a Living Laboratory, SBRC provides a demonstration space for display of sustainable building technologies and components that will be of benefit to the sustainable buildings industry.

The SBRC Building, designed by architects Cox Richardson, was constructed with the target of becoming the first Living Building Challenge certified building in Australia.

SBRC Director Professor Paul Cooper said: “We are absolutely delighted that the SBRC Building has won recognition not only as being the first 6 Star Green Star Building in our region, but that it is also one of just a handful of buildings in the Australian Higher Education sector that has met this world-leading standard.

“We are also confident that the SBRC will win Living Building Challenge accreditation after we have undergone a full year of monitored operation,” he continued.

“Already the SBRC is producing far more on-site renewable energy over a year than it imports from the grid, and we believe that it is likely to be one of the very first buildings in Australia that will be net-zero carbon over its lifetime”.

About the Green Star rating system
Launched in 2003, Green Star is an internationally recognised voluntary sustainability rating system for buildings and communities. Green Star assesses and rates buildings, fitouts and communities against a range of environmental impact categories and provides independent verification that a building or community project is sustainable. The environmental measures take into account the design, construction and operation of the building and include energy efficiency and emissions, water, materials, land use and indoor environment quality, among others.

Originally published on UOW Newsroom