Bay View State School

The project at a glance:

  • 4 Star Green Star - Education Design v1 and As Built v1 ratings
  • 100 per cent parent satisfaction
  • More than 100,000 litres of rainwater captured and reused
  • CO2 emissions reduced by 2513 kilograms over 12 months.

Higher than average school attendance, a culture of caring and environmental responsibility, a parent satisfaction rate of 100 per cent – these are just some of the outcomes the school community at Bay View State School in Queensland are enjoying.

In 2010, Bay View State School became one of the first education projects to be awarded both a Green Star - Education Design and As Built rating.

Incorporating best practice passive design with an emphasis on natural lighting, cross-ventilation and shading, Bay View provides a state-of-the art, healthy and sustainable learning environment.

Water tanks, solar panels and clever design encourage staff and students to use less electricity and water.  Interactive meters transform the school into a learning resource by allowing students to observe electricity generation and water use. According to Bay View’s Principal, Peter Black, this resource alone enhances student learning and promotes respect for the environment. “The school’s green design is fostering a broader culture of environmental awareness among both students and staff”, Principal Black said.

Inspired by its building, the school community has initiated a number of environmental activities across the school. A food scrap recycling program has been started by Year 4 students and their teacher to direct food waste away from landfill and into the school’s compost bins and worm farms. Year 3 students are involved in a school Landcare group and have undertaken tree planting at the school to prevent erosion.  Younger students are enjoying the gardening club which teaches them about sustainable food production. Principal Peter Black explains that the school and supporting curriculum helps “build the knowledge and skills for students to live a more sustainable life.”

Operational since 2010, the school is already delivering significant environmental benefits. More than 100,000 litres of rainwater has been collected to irrigate the gardens, supply the toilet facilities and reduce demand on local water supplies. According to the Solar Schools website, Bay View’s solar panel array has generated more than 2,800 kilowatt hours of electricity in 12 months, reducing CO2 emissions by 2.5 tonnes -  equivalent to the amount of CO2 sequestered by 65 trees over ten years.

Parent and student satisfaction with Bay View is extraordinarily high. A survey last year showed that 100 per cent of parents are happy with the school; a result that would be the envy of any principal anywhere in Australia. Students enjoy the new healthy environment, too, and are benefitting from its focus on good indoor environment quality.  The school recorded an attendance rate of 94 per cent in 2010, three per cent higher than the regional average of 91 per cent.

“Bay View is the best and most creative school I have been to. The classroom roofs are on a diagonal shape so it keeps the rooms cool,” says Oscar, a Year 6 student at Bay View.

John Hooper, Project Engineer for Broad Construction Services, sums up the significance of the project, by saying: “Bay View is a school of the future. It’s delivering enhanced educational, economic and environmental outcomes for the school community today, and well into the future.”

What Bay View State School achieved:



A dedicated waste storage area enables easy collection, separation and recycling of waste generated by the school. During construction, a Waste Management Plan ensured that 80 per cent of all construction waste was diverted from landfill.

Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ)

External views are provided from 91 per cent of the usable floor area, well in excess of the 60 per cent benchmark within Green Star. This will help reduce eye strain and improve student concentration levels, earning the project an extra point for Innovation.

Optimal orientation and design has ensured that classrooms receive good levels of daylight, which is known to enhance learning and reduces the need for artificial lighting. The careful selection of shading elements, insulating materials and building colours further enhances the building’s passive design and provides comfortable classroom temperatures with minimal environmental impact.

 Exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), known to cause respiratory problems and Sick Building Syndrome, has been minimised by specifying low-VOC paints, carpets and sealants and ensuring all engineered wood products are low in formaldehyde.


Bay View was awarded points for the installation of passive infrared motion sensors, daylight sensors and time switches. These ensure that both air conditioning and lighting systems shut down when not in use and conserves energy usage. Localised hot water storage has also been installed, improving energy efficiency through reducing pipe runs and use of insulated pipes.

A solar panel array was installed as part of the project, and generated 2,824 kilowatt hours in its first 12 months of operation. This has reduced the school’s demand for energy from the grid and provides students with a first-hand understanding of renewable power generation. Power meters also provide a live data stream, showing students, staff and visitors the school’s power generation and usage in real time.

Overall, the project is predicted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60 per cent compared to the conditional requirement within the Green Star - Education rating tool.


Potable water consumption has been reduced by using water-efficient fixtures and fittings and by installing an onsite rainwater harvesting system. Water meters are linked to a real-time monitoring system which allows students to observe and record water use and look at innovative ways to reduce their water consumption.  The water harvesting system supplies the school’s toilets and garden irrigation system; since operation commenced, this has reduced demand for potable water by more than 100,000 litres per year.


The school prioritises cycling as a means of transport for both staff and students through the provision of 160 lockable and undercover cycle storage spaces. Showers, lockers and changing facilities cater for 10 per cent of staff.  Well-lit and signposted pedestrian routes and bike paths have also been installed to link the school to public transport and other amenities.