The Shepparton Art Museum has been formally awarded a 6 Star Green Star rating, which sees it officially recognised as the first public art museum in Australia to be given the rating.

Designed by Denton Corker Marshall, the Museum has been awarded a ‘Design & As Built’ v1.2 certification, representing globally-recognised leadership in sustainable design of a public building.

DCM’s design utilised Passive House principles for airtightness, allowing for an energy efficient, thermally comfortable, and healthy indoor environment. The building’s compact floorplan – created in the shape of a square across five levels – results in an efficient floor-to-facade ratio which decreases the demand for energy. The decision to build upwards as opposed to outwards accommodates a floodway across the site and maximises green space.

“Denton Corker Marshall are proud of our design for the new Shepparton Art Museum and are thrilled with the 6 Star Green Star sustainability achievement, the highest Green Star rating possible, and the first museum/art gallery in Australia to achieve this level of rating. It is also extremely rewarding to see the significant cultural contribution SAM is making to the Shepparton region,” says Denton Corker Marshall Founding Director John Denton.

The rating underlines the Greater Shepparton City Council’s commitment to reach sustainability targets beyond the requisite benchmarks. Councillor Kim O’Keeffe says the building has all the hallmarks of an internationally recognised institution.

“SAM will set the standard for healthy, resilient, positive buildings and places across the globe – and it is right here in Shepparton,” O’Keeffe says.

Two of the four exhibition spaces have been designed to international standards to exhibit international works. Low VOC materials and ventilation systems were implemented to minimise air pollutants, with acoustic separation and reverberation reduction applied to create comfortable acoustic conditions. 162 photovoltaic panels contribute to the Museum’s energy generation, with additional energy sourced from renewables. Toilet flushing in both the Museum and the adjacent public toilets is supplied from an underground rainwater tank, with water for irrigation recycled from the Victoria Park Lake.

The site has been remediated in order to restore significant wetlands, with the vertical design allowing for more land to be preserved. A number of native plantations and landscaping reduces the heat island effect across the site. Materials have been locally sourced with environmental responsibility in mind. 95 percent of the steel used in the building was sourced from a responsible steel maker. Local Blackbutt timber was used throughout the Museum, with furniture upholstery designed and created by the local indigenous community.

Housing over 4,000 artworks, the Shepparton Art Museum features four main gallery spaces including a dedicated Kids Space, Visitors’ Information Centre, Kaiela Arts Aboriginal community arts centre, an outdoor amphitheatre and Art Hill, on-site cafe and 150-capacity event space and terrace across four levels.

The Museum opened to the public late last year. For more information, visit

Image: Photographer - Tim Griffith  /  Supplied.