Netball Central by Scott Carver is an example of a building that makes sustainability legible through form.

As Australia's first large span public building made of LVL, the implementation of this structure in the design of Netball Central reduced the carbon footprint of materials employed and used lowgrade renewable plantation timber.

Energy efficiency has been achieved through several principles including natural ventilation, no artificial heating or cooling to court halls and taking advantage of midday winter solar heat gains. Through maximising the use of day lighting, the venue avoids using artificial light sources on the courts during the day.

Water efficiency has been accomplished through the addition of timer taps in the general changing rooms to reduce water consumption, which has been further enhanced by water saving specifications for taps, showerheads and toilet systems.

The biggest challenge was working within a limited budget, restricted by the joint funding of multiple parties including the Australian Government, Communities NSW Sport and Recreation, and Netball NSW. Satisfying all parties and ensuring they received value for money was of high importance and as a result, building performance was paramount and sustainable solutions were needed in order to provide sufficient evidence that a desirable outcome would be achieved.

As Netball is a sport predominantly played in winter during the evenings, working to eliminate the impact of temperature extremes was a key driver to reaching a successful design solution. Netball Central had to provide a comfort factor for spectators and a brief was developed for 'comfortable seating with coat', which was a challenge as it was impossible to provide heating in an economical or ecologically viable manner due to the large volume of the built structure.


  • Sustainable initiatives play a significant role in reducing energy consumption, whilst providing a healthy environment for players and spectators
  • The large span LVL structure reduces the carbon footprint of materials employed and also uses lowgrade renewable plantation timber
  • Angled blade walls and light-diffusing materials prevent glare interfering with play and enable 100 per cent natural ventilation
  • Natural ventilation via operable wall systems and ridge monitors adapt to annual and daily weather conditions, while a thermal labyrinth works with the system to provide passive tempering of the internal air
  • The passive heating and cooling principles and thermal labyrinth provide comfortable conditions and a healthy environment for players and spectators year round
  • The building is a large shed that follows the gradient of its site, draining counter-intuitively along its entire 140 metre length to a theatrical array of downpipes at its southern end
  • Large profile Aramax roofing negated the need for purlins and led to minimal use of structural material
  • The courts are lit by daylight from both the roof and the walls. Large LVL louvers are used to temper glare from the northern façade, while enabling solar heat gains to be captured during winter
  • Each façade is tuned to its particular environmental orientation and together with the courts stepping down the site, the solution is uniquely suited. Through environmental tuning the building captures its own powerful sense of place and optimises its chances of earning affection over a long period of time