Australian Hearing Hub
The Australian Hearing Hub (AHH) building is a unique facility, purpose-designed to facilitate collaborative research into hearing and related speech and language disorders.
Following on from the 5 Star Green Star “Design Rating” awarded by the Green Building Council of Australia in 2013, the AHH was awarded a 5 Star Green Star “As-Built Rating” in 2014, consolidating its credibility as a world-class facility.
The Design Rating ensured that sustainability was considered from the initial stages of the building’s development by providing a recognised set of best practice benchmarks for sustainable design. The award of the As Built rating demonstrated that this promise has been delivered through construction.
Green Star sustainability points of focus include:
- Energy: reduction of greenhouse emissions from building operation through peak energy demand reduction. Features include lighting zones so lighting can be targeted to occupants, low energy intensity lighting and use of thermal energy storage tank.
- Emissions: reducing emissions from the building including reducing discharge to sewer, stormwater treatment and lighting design that minimises light pollution.
- Water: a reduction of potable water use for the building was achieved through efficiency, re-use and smart metering to track usage.
- Indoor Environmental Quality: creating a focus on the human experience of the building to contribute to the human health and happiness of the occupants.
- Transport: encouraging the use of alternative transportation, mainly bus and train, and providing preferred parking for carpool and hybrid vehicles.
- Land use and Ecology: topsoil from the building site was saved and re-used for the project landscaping. Landscaping and native gardens have improved the ecological value of the land the building is on (previously a carpark)
- Building Management: sustainable principles were adopted all the way from project conception, design, construction and commissioning, to tuning and operation of building services.
- Materials: reducing resource consumption during the build through recycling of building waste and following best practice guidelines.
What is Green Star?
Green Star is a voluntary, building rating tool that was developed and is administered by the Green Building Council of Australia. The objective of Green Star is to improve green building performance by providing a rigorous process of validation against a set of pre-determined criteria.
What are the criteria?
It varies from project to project, as the way the system is set up allows you to select certain criteria that meet your project and users' needs. To get a 5 Star Rating you need 60 points, so a 5 star building means that you have complied with at least 60 criteria that are an improvement on average sustainability practice. Some of these might be cumulative (for example, you achieve one credit point if you improve on an average performance by 30%, but two points if improve by 60%).
How does the AHH meet the Green Star As Built criteria?
The points against which the AHH rated are categorised into the following areas:
- Land use and ecology
- Indoor environment quality