Hazel Glen Child and Family Centre uses a vibrant patchwork of glazed bricks, along with various timbers to create a welcoming family centre.
This state-of-the-art building consists of four childcare rooms, maternal and child health consulting suites, various sized community rooms and a central flexible community gathering space. Located in the heart of the Plenty River Valley, the centre references the winding Plenty River in its meandering walls and verandah lines and with metaphorical flows and eddies through the central space, while the roofline responds to the horizon line of the distant Kinglake Ranges.
Hazel Glen Child and Family Centre was designed with a strong focus on environmental sustainability. While the building is a good technical example of sustainable design, the key conceptual intention was to root the building in its surroundings in a positive way and provide experiential connections with the natural world, encouraging learning through direct experience.
- The key sustainability initiatives were designed to be experienced by building occupants as a part of their lived experience in the building.
- The building's energy use is kept low via its smart building management system that coordinates the in-slab gas hydronic heating, evaporative cooling and associated automatic relief louvres, large ceiling fans and the night purging system.
- Passive solar design - all of the main spaces face north and thermal mass in the floors assist in stabilizing the internal temperature, boosted when necessary by the in-slab hydronic heating system.
- The building's fabric is insulated well beyond the minimum requirements.
- A screen has been installed in the foyer that allows the display of information captured from the rooftop weather station and PV array alongside the building's gas electricity and water usage data.
- Daylight levels have been modeled using BIM programs to ensure they exceed the Greenstar standards. This, combined with external views from all habitable spaces, creates a bright and welcoming learning environment.
- Although public transport was limited to the area, parking is shared with neighbouring facilities, allowing for a smaller parking footprint. Bicycle racks, showers and lockers are provided to encourage cycling.
- Rain water is conserved in a 50,600L underground tank that consists of an array of 110 QUAD ATLANTIS FLOW TANK MODULES located beneath the playground for toilet flushing, laundry washing and evaporative cooling.
- All sanitary fixtures achieve a WELS 5-star rating (except where no 5 star fixture is available, in which case the highest rating unit was specified.
- All materials, floor finishes, paints, sealants and adhesives were carefully selected to be low in VOC's and formaldehyde.
- 95 per cent of timber used in the project has acceptable forestry certification.