St Benedict’s Catholic School is the first ‘Design and As-built’ 5-Star Green Star primary school in Australia and won the Master Builders North Queensland – 2018 Housing and Construction Award winning education facility for Excellence in Energy Efficiency and Environmental Management.
LCJ Engineers was heavily involved in the process of material selection and the innovative solutions that were required to achieve the 5-Star Green Star rating.
Through the use of a suite of innovations the school has minimised both its environmental impact and energy usage whilst achieving excellent year-round comfort. Intelligent selection of construction materials such as the concrete sealants and paints has reduced the amount of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compound) used within the facility. This was noted by school staff commenting on the lack of a “new” smell.
A 99kW solar photovoltaic array was installed on the roof of the multipurpose building. Utilising the naturally high levels of solar irradiance in Townsville the school has an energy profile during the day that closely mimics that of the solar generation, allowing for high onsite usage of the energy generated.
Additionally, a 90,000L rainwater storage tank was installed to capture rainwater when available to offset water main reliance. The collected rainwater is used to service non-potable services such as irrigation, whilst reducing surface erosion and runoff.
In addition to the innovations above, the school installed a recycling centre which takes centre stage at the bus turnaround facility. The recycling centre will reduce waste over the long term and will provide an opportunity for school students to investigate and learn about waste management – knowledge that they will have for a lifetime.