A Catholic primary school in Townsville is proof that showcasing world-class sustainability is possible, no matter the size or scale of a project. Source: Townsville Catholic Education.
St Benedict’s Catholic School, Shaw, which opened last year, is now also known as Australia’s greenest school. The school embraces sustainable practices for the natural and built environments, nurturing a love for creation and stewardship.
The school was aiming for a Green Star rating of 5, however it has been awarded a 6 Green star rating – the highest certification offered by the Green Building Council Australia.
A Green Star is Australia's mark of quality for the design, construction and operation of sustainable buildings, fit-outs and communities. The Green Star assesses the building's operations against nine sustainability categories – management, indoor environment quality, energy, transport, water, materials, emissions, innovation and land use and ecology.
With just over 160 students enrolled, St Benedict’s is a small school with big ideas on how Green Star can be used to solve the environmental and social sustainability issues.
- Key innovation and design features that contributed towards its Green Star rating include:
- Energy efficiency measures
- Consideration of low maintenance costs with low impact on the environment
- Indoor air quality
- Sound ambience
- Water management
- Graduated lighting
- Variable air conditioning
Townsville Catholic Education's Ross Horner said that despite challenges in funding the Green Star rating, the outcome has exceeded expectations for the project team.
“There were roadblocks with being able to find ways to fund the additional upfront costs to secure a Green Star – capital funding agencies are not prepared to fund the extra over initial costs,” Mr Horner said.
“However, being able to implement teaching and learning in flexible learning spaces that really support best practice, such as sound ambience, adjustable lighting and air-conditioning means that students are more engaged than ever and can learn in an environment that helps them thrive.”
St Benedict’s receives 6 Green Star Rating (Townsville Catholic Education)