First 6 Star Green Star library is one of Australia's best places for people

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The doors have opened on Australia’s most sustainable library, as Melbourne’s Library at The Dock is awarded the nation’s first 6 Star Green Star rating for a public building.

Located on the waterfront of Victoria Harbour, Library at The Dock has been granted Australia’s first 6 Star Green Star – Design PILOT rating, an achievement that represents ‘world leadership’ in sustainable design.

Chief Executive of the Green Building Council of Australia, Romilly Madew, congratulated the City of Melbourne, Places Victoria and Lend Lease for a collaboration which has delivered an outstanding public asset.

“Public buildings – whether they are national galleries or local libraries – are the heart of our communities.  For this very reason, public buildings should be efficient, healthy, productive and resilient.  The community now has independent proof that their library is all of these things,” Ms Madew says.

Geoff Dutaillis, Lend Lease’s Group Head of Sustainability, says: “We are exceptionally proud to have been a partner in delivering Australia’s first 6 Star Green Star-rated public building. This library is another example of what can be achieved with a shared vision and working in partnership with likeminded organisations.”

As well as a traditional library collection, the building features an interactive learning environment, an impressive digital collection, multi-purpose community spaces and a performance venue that holds 120 people.

The three-storey building is the first public building in the country to be made from Cross Laminated Timber (CLT).

CLT is manufactured using layers of timber to create solid panels.  Construction right on the waterfront – just eight metres from the edge – was possible because CLT is 30 per cent lighter than traditional structures, significantly reducing the requirement for new foundations.  CLT also offers better thermal performance and requires less energy to heat and cool. 

The building’s passive design promotes natural ventilation, daylight and fresh indoor air quality, resulting in reduced energy consumption and a healthier, more productive indoor environment.

Water is collected from the roof and discharged to a 55,000 litre tank in the nearby Victoria Green park for reuse within the building.  A third of the building’s operational power will be supplied from 85kw solar panels on the roof.

“Library at The Dock is an exceptional example of why we must make sustainability everyone’s business.  When we build these spaces green, we are building greener attitudes and a greener future,” Ms Madew says.

“Public building projects have a great responsibility to deliver ongoing operational efficiencies, long-term value and community pride – all things that this spectacular Green Star building will deliver,” Ms Madew concludes.