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    Noosa Flexible Learning Centre by Bligh Tanner and Fulton Trotter Architects

    Nathan Johnson

    The Noosa Flexible Learning Centre by Bligh Tanner Consulting Engineers, Fulton Trotter Architects and InSiteEMLA for Edmund Rice Education offers a welcoming and distinctly non-institutional learning environment for disenfranchised youth in Noosa.

    The project's stormwater strategy uses low-impact design approaches to mimic the site's natural hydrology, thereby avoiding the need for any underground pipes or stormwater infrastructure. It is a great example of how good design can achieve better environmental outcomes at lower costs.

    This project is important as it demonstrates that stormwater quality and hydrology can be managed in a way which exceeds best practice standards, while also reducing development costs.

    Key initiatives:

    • Maintaining ground-level permeability across 90 per cent of the site
    • Developing approximately 1/3 of the site with buildings on raised piers (consistent with a Noosa beach-house feel) to preserve ground level infiltration characteristics, large areas of vegetation and shallow tree roots
    • A carpark made of permeable pavement to avoid stormwater runoff
    • Roofwater runoff captured in rainwater tanks
    • A 20 per cent reduction of peak flows (based on a hydrological analysis)
    • The overall water quality performance was analysed and found to exceed best practice load reductions for total suspended solids, total phosphorus and total nitrogen
    • The use of lightweight, raised construction (in favour of slab-on-ground)
    • Extensive roofwater capture and reuse
    • Infiltration of surplus roofwater into soils beneath buildings
    • Trafficable, permeable paving
    • No underground stormwater pipes
    • The site design mimics the natural hydrology of the site through avoiding ground-level impervious surfaces and capture and reuse of roofwater. Pre-and post development flow frequency curves are almost identical

    Images: Fulton Trotter Architects

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