Smart and sustainable space for learning

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Australia’s first completed Green Star library has officially opened its doors, providing a spectacular showcase of why sustainable buildings are smart spaces for learning.

The Melton Library and Learning Hub in Victoria has been awarded a 5 Star Green Star – Public Building Design PILOT rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). 

“The Melton Library and Community Hub is more than a repository for books. It’s a place for the community to gain insight and inspiration into the benefits of working in or visiting a sustainable building,” says the GBCA’s Chief Executive, Romilly Madew.

“These benefits range from reduced costs to a healthier, more productive place to learn.  On a purely practical level, the new library will save almost $30,000 each year on utility costs when compared with other similar sized buildings that aren’t built to Green Star benchmarks,” Ms Madew says.

Located on Melbourne’s western fringe, the City of Melton is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in Australia.  This brings many challenges, but also opportunities for innovative projects, explains Cr Kathy Majdlik, Mayor of Melton City Council. 

“Melton City Council is very proud of the new Melton Library and Learning Hub and its 5 Star Green Star rating. It is a central focus for lifelong learning and community activity and we will educate our residents on the sustainability aspects of the building and encourage them to apply them at home where they can,” the Mayor adds.

The Melton Library and Learning Hub incorporates a range of spaces, including an 80-seat auditorium, community services including maternal and child health, ICT classrooms, a cafe and a range of activity and breakout rooms.  Environmental achievements include:

  • 82% reduction in potable water use when compared to a standard practice building
  • 92% recycling rate of the previous buildings which were demolished during the construction process
  • 43.7% reduction in total CO2 emissions related to the building use
  • Annual utility cost savings of $29,800 a year, including $23,700 savings in gas and $5,000 in water, when compared with non-Green Star buildings.

“When building projects are funded by public money, councils must be able to demonstrate the value of their investments and the accountability of taxpayers’ dollars.  A Green Star rating gives the people of Melton confidence that their community’s assets will deliver ongoing operational efficiencies and long-term value,” Ms Madew concludes.

About Melton City Council

The City of Melton embraces a series of townships and communities, the larger activity centres being in Caroline Springs and Melton Township. Caroline Springs is just 19 kilometres west of Melbourne’s CBD and Melton Township is 35 kilometres west of the CBD. The city offers diverse lifestyles, which is a significant reason why the community grows approximately by 42 families per week making it one of the fastest growing municipalities in Australia.