Maintaining three full-sized lawn bowling greens throughout a Newcastle summer takes a lot of care and a lot of water. It can also cost a lot of money.

While a building designer can’t predict the weather or keep all eyes on a club’s greenkeeper, they can certainly help lessen the economic burden of landscape maintenance with clever design.

This was the premise behind TERROIR architects’ recently completed Club Maitland City (CMC), a three-stage $15 million redevelopment program that included the fitting of a new roof to provide a 5,000sqm rainwater harvesting tool for the club’s bowling greens.

TERROIR won the brief for CMC through a design competition back in 2000 on the proviso that they would reorganise, rebrand and - from a sustainability viewpoint – bring new life to an old building.

“Key to our sustainability strategy was new roof that worked as a ‘sustainability backpack’, providing rainwater harvesting, solar protection and containing new spaces and new services integrated with the residual building shell below,” said TERROIR.

“The idea of a ‘sustainability backpack’ came from working on heritage buildings where new functions are often attached to an existing building as a ‘machine’ that brings a building’s functionality up to contemporary standards.”

“We thought this could be applied to the sustainable transformation of existing buildings where new ‘machinery’ could be attached to an existing building, transforming its performance.”

A void between the old and new roofs acts as a thermal buffer, reducing the load requirements on the new A/C plant TERROIR says new lighting and equipment has led to increased energy efficiency, achieving a significant drop in energy consumption.

Besides the obvious, the new roof serves three main functions for CMC:

  1. It collects rainwater for the bowling green.
  2. It creates a thermal buffer void between the existing roof and the new one.
  3. Its large overhang to the east and bowling greens provides solar protection for the heavily glazed facades.

TERROIR chose Lysaght’s Colorbond KLIP-LOK 700 HI-STRENGTH for the roof sheeting as it has a completely concealed fixing and the depth of the trays means it can deal with cross falls that the roofscape design generates.

Because the roof conceals the plant equipment, TERROIR also chose the KLIP-LOK fixing system because it allows roof sheets to be removed and replaced if future works below the roof were required.

Club Maitland City is currently being considered for the Australian Institute of Architects 2015 NSW Architecture Awards.

Photography by Brett Boardman.