|April 19, 2007|
Melbourne Convention Centre Sets Global Environmental Standard
|Melbourne is set to take the global lead on environmental standards, creating one of the greenest convention centres the world has seen. Due to open in 2009, the centre is designed to achieve the first six green star environmental rating in the world. Speaking at IMEX in Frankfurt, the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre's Chief Executive Leigh Harry says it means detailed planning in all aspects of the construction. "Many of the building materials are even sourced from renewable sustainable industries." He says the end result will create a whole new experience for delegates attending conferences. "Delegates will literally breathe easier. Cool air will be released at a lower level of the building, not second hand air which is traditionally pumped through the ceiling of large buildings."|
Environmental experts say this results in far more attentive delegates.
Natural light and lighting controls on installed lighting will cut down energy usage and the centre will have solar panels on its roof which will deliver all public amenity hot water requirements.
A black-water recycling plant will recycle waste water to supply toilets, cooling towers and irrigate landscapes, reducing water consumption by 50% comparative to what would normally be used in a building of this size.
Nik Karalis from the joint venture architects on the project, Woods Bagot and NH Architecture, says the centre will not only have leading environmental features, but it'll be a 'feel good' space. "As well as doing the right thing by the environment, the use of colour and architectural design will also leave delegates who experience it with a real sense of joy. Gone are the black box convention centres of the past - this one has real personality."
Leigh Harry says this builds on what the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre is already doing in its current day to day operations. "As a team we are dedicated to ensuring our business is conducted in an environmentally friendly way - this covers everything from the way we recycle and/or dispose of waste to how we educate our clients to ensure they too are thinking about the environment in the way they run their meetings, events or conferences."
Executive Director of the Green Building Council Australia, David Craven, whose organisation is behind the green star rating system, says a six star rating represents world leadership. "The green star rating system has been through a comprehensive development process and covers a broad range of environmental impacts. Achieving world leader status is not easily achieved; it requires a real commitment to innovation."