HDR Rice Daubney's Wollongong Central was awarded Australia’s first five star Green Star ‘As-Built’ rating for a shopping centre.

The rating represents ‘Australian excellence’ in sustainable construction, according to the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), which assessed a range of factors including the management of the centre, indoor air quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land use and ecology, emissions and innovation.

The GBCA rating recognises the $200 million Wollongong Central expansion as one of Australia’s most sustainable retail developments with its energy-saving innovative passive design being an important element. Key examples of this include the use of a large skylight to reduce the need for artificial lighting and the large food court facade awning, which can be opened or closed automatically according to the weather.

‘Comfort modelling’ was provided by sustainability and engineering consultancy Cundall during the design of the Wollongong Central expansion to ensure maximum comfort for visitors by using minimal energy.

Cundall Associate David Collins believes that Wollongong Central’s 5 Star Green Star rating confirms the commitment of all stakeholders to achieve a retail development that not only reduces its impact on the environment, but also creates an environment for shoppers to enjoy.

The positive social impact that the Wollongong Central expansion had on the surrounding community by providing healthy environments and performance spaces for local artists was also a factor that contributed to the 5 Star Green Star rating.

Photography by Tyrone Branigan