Sustainable construction is about improving processes to minimise resource use (energy, water, materials, etc.) throughout the lifecycle of the structure or building. This framework provides an opportunity to provide input on CSU’s existing sustainability processes for construction, renovation and operations, as well as how we manage these into the future.
Buildings are important to how students, staff and the community experience an institution. Whether an office building, laboratory, lecture hall, classroom or student accommodation, a building impacts:
This framework was benchmarked in July, 2015.
The below graph illustrates our progress towards best practice across the eight (8) activity areas. The orange bars reaching four (4) highlight best practice and the lower bars in blue indicate CSU’s current baseline ratings.
This is significant for CSU as we made this decision to be sustainable and we are the first institution in Dubbo to factor sustainability construction and design principles in. Nobody else placed such a high priority on sustainability design principles. This was a fundamental change in thinking in our local community. This fits with universities acting as thought leaders.
Before in Dubbo it was an ‘old school’ attitude and sustainability wasn’t front of mind when designing and constructing large scale building developments. The local council had standard rules that CSU had to abide by.
CSU was proactive and chose to develop the campus based on sustainability principles. The intention was to be leaders in this space and our buildings won awards for sustainable designs. CSU really lead the way.
Following the construction key lessons were learnt about what works and doesn’t work in an inland environment like Dubbo. This was particularly in terms of temperature control. Moderate design solutions for suitable for other climates only work occasionally in Dubbo due to our extreme hot dry climate. The original water cooling systems were replaced with air-conditioners due to our extreme heat. Significant learnings were also made around temperature control and air flow.
What we did here was very unique. Other constructions locally have followed CSU’s lead and have endeavoured to incorporate sustainability into building design and constructions."
By Elizabeth Laidlaw, CEC Chair, Dubbo in November 2016.