Environmentally sustainable design in the DNA

Article image - Environmentally sustainable design in the DNA An aerial shot of the Cockburn aquatic and recreation solar array.

City of Cockburn, Western Australia, is leading the way in the field of environmentally sustainable design, adopting a policy to ensure all new buildings reduce operating and energy costs, lessen negative impacts on the environment, and are healthy and comfortable for those who use them.

The policy is not a new practice for the City, where sustainable building and design practises have been a hallmark of its major facilities since 2014.

City of Cockburn Sustainability Officer, Jennifer Harrison said the City’s first major development featuring environmentally sustainable design (ESD) was its $50 million Cockburn Health and Community Facility, which incorporated Success Library, Cockburn Integrated Health and Centrelink.

Its sustainability features include a 99 kW solar PV system, LED lighting, undergroundrainwater tanks, high levels of insulation and shading structures for improved thermal comfort.

These were recognised in 2015 when the facility won the Builders Western Australia Excellence in Energy Efficiency Award (buildings over $20 million).

Cockburn’s efforts to embrace sustainable design principles as part of its project management and procurement culture have been captured in the policy.

All the City’s new community facilities and infrastructure exceeding a $1million budget, must have a minimum three percent set aside for environmentally sustainable design over and above standard practice.

“The City has been walking the walk for many years now,” Ms Harrison said.

“We are proud to lead the way in such an important area that can easily be adopted by other local governments, especially those already showing ESD initiatives with their civic projects.”

Other completed City of Cockburn building projects that feature ESD include the $109 million Cockburn ARC (aquatic and recreation centre) and the new $11.5 million Operations Centre and Animal Management Facility.

Future developments that will feature ESD currently total more than $30 million and will include an Aboriginal cultural and visitors centre, several sporting facilities, community centres and a wetlands education centre.