The Melton Library and Learning Hub in Victoria is the first library in Australia to be awarded a 5 Star Green Star – Public Building Design PILOT rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).
Designed by FJMT Architects, the library has successfully achieved an 82 percent reduction in potable water use as compared to standard practice building, and a 92 percent recycling rate from the demolishment of the previous buildings on the site.
It has also achieved a 43.7 percent reduction in total CO2 emissions related to the building use. These improvements have allowed the library to save $29,800 a year in utility costs, with $23,700 savings in gas and $5,000 in water, when compared with similar sized buildings that are not built to Green Star benchmarks.
Key instigators for these significant reductions include a 48,000 litre tank that has been installed to collect rainwater for non-potable uses including landscape irrigation and toilet-flushing. Car parking for the library is also 94 percent less, which promotes public and alternative transport use.
At the same time, the building's orientation and facade is designed to maximise natural light penetration into the building, helping to minimise electricity consumption.
“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 GBCA’s Chief Executive Romilly Madew.
“These benefits range from reduced costs to a healthier, more productive place to learn.”
Incorporating a range of spaces such as an auditorium, ICT classrooms, a café and activity and breakout rooms, the Melton Library and Learning Hub is now four times bigger than the old library and spreads over two levels.
It also boasts a suite of services, programs and facilities that are made available to the community, including 68,000 book, DVD and video game titles, free internet PCs, a recording studio, a specially designed children’s area, and a youth chill-out and games area.
Located on Melbourne’s western fringe, the City of Melton is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in Australia. Mayor of Melton City Council Kathy Majdlik notes that this poses many challenges, but also provides more opportunities for innovative projects.
“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 Melton Library and Learning Hub, which officially opened on 15 June 2013, was built with the assistance of the Federal Government’s Regional Development Australia Fund ($4 million) and the State Government’s Living Libraries Infrastructure and Community Support Funds ($1.25 million). Madew says that this funding makes the Green Star rating even more important, but also offered the Council an opportunity to follow through with their first Greenhouse Action Plan, which is committed to a 10 percent reduction in the Council's 2010 corporate greenhouse gas emissions levels by 2015.
“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 longterm value."
To find out more about the Melton Library and Learning Hub, visit www.melton.vic.gov.au/library.
Owner: Melton Shire Council
Architect: FJMT Architects
ESD Consultant: Murchie Consulting
Main Contractor: ADCO Constructions
Structural/Civil Engineer: TTW
Acoustic Consultant: Arup
Building Surveyor: Slattery Australia