Leongatha Campus earns Australian first

Leongatha 5star
GippsTAFE’s new state-of-the-art campus in Leongatha has already achieved an Australian first. The new campus facilities have been awarded the 5 Star Green Star Education Design v1 rating, making GippsTAFE the first TAFE in Australia to achieve such a rating.

The 5 Star Green Star rating represents ‘Australian Excellence’ in environmentally sustainable design and operation. GippsTAFE Chief Executive, Dr Peter Whitley said it was an outstanding achievement by the design and building team, as well as GippsTAFE staff, to be the first TAFE institution in Australia to earn the rating. Dr Whitley acknowledged the valued contribution of architect Paul Morgan and building company Kirway Constructions to the success of this development. 

“GippsTAFE set out to make the Leongatha campus a model of sustainability as well as an effective and high technology learning centre,” Dr Whitley said. “This is proof that we have succeeded in the sustainability target and our staff and students are already finding it a wonderful place to work and learn.”

The award is made by the Green Building Council of Australia. Green Star is Australia’s first comprehensive rating system for evaluating the environmental design and performance of Australian buildings based on a number of criteria, including energy and water efficiency, building management, indoor environment quality and resource conservation.

The rating system, by recognising and rewarding environmental leadership within the built environment, aims to assist the building industry in its transition to sustainable development.

The GippsTAFE building at Leongatha has a number of elements in its design and operation that have enabled it to meet the rating criteria.

The basic mechanical services philosophy for the building is evaporative cooling, with heat recovery fan coil units providing heating to classrooms, staff rooms and administration areas.  Heating and cooling is delivered via the sub floor space which acts as a tempered airspace (a poor man’s labyrinth) to minimize energy use in cooling or heating the air.

A new restaurant area incorporates a 100 percent outside air package heat recovery/air conditioning unit, while standard DX air conditioning is provided in the Conference Room, FLAIR Room and Library.

The campus has rainwater collected and treated for reuse throughout the building, together with water and electrical sub-metering and zoned motion and daylight sensors, to reduce lighting in unoccupied or naturally lit areas.  The building is monitored with a BMS (Building Management System), a weather station and sensors to allow it to respond to internal and external conditions.

The building is orientated East-West on the site, with the faÇade designed to provide high levels of daylight and views, while reducing heat gain and glare using shading devices.

High performance glazing also reduces heat gain through glass areas and strategically positioned wind scoops increase the natural ventilation effect in conjunction with roof vents. 

Indoor Environment quality is improved with low VOC (volatile organic compound) materials, reduced noise levels, formaldehyde minimization, good ventilation rates and carbon dioxide monitoring.

Building materials include recycled content and good environmental materials such as: PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) timbers and fly-ash mix in concrete to minimize cement usage.

The site has had its ecological value maintained and enhanced with a landscaped ephemeral wetland for stormwater detention; a significant planting of indigenous trees; and a blackwater sewer treatment system which redistributes treated water on the site as sub-soil irrigation.