8 May 2017
Striving for a new generation learning space, Mildura Eco Living Centre was designed by EME Design for flexibility, efficiency and comfort.
An open ESD textbook for visitors, the building goes beyond the standard passive design response. Mildura Eco marries the latest technological ESD design with natural building techniques and sustainable materials. A subterranean cooling and solar air heating system working in conjunction with an integrated subfloor heat bank, complement natural, and sustainable building materials.
The architecture embraces the temperature profiles of the semi-arid climate and uses them to its advantage, providing the building with phenomenal natural thermal performance with very little help. It demonstrates that sustainability is predominantly achievable without expensive add-ons or specialised plant and equipment.
The dramatic roof plane is the product of extensive solar diagramming. Consideration of prevailing breezes and the dusty nature of the surrounding land was factored in to the design of the building envelope.
This design utilises local earth and rocks, and incorporates other locally-sourced materials.
The architecture has embedded within it multiple alternatives for passive heat storage – traditional concrete slab, subterranean rock air plenum and earth wall.
As part of the embedded educational aspect, the building has two modes of operation: at the change of seasons the building is “dressed” for summer (via two custom-made vertical fabric elements protecting the building from the west and east) and these are removed for the colder months. It is planned that this change over becomes a local ritual/celebration/party for people to enjoy and learn.
The entire roof of the building is connected to a 10,000 litre water tank. The collected water will service all water requirements of the building as well as provide water for irrigation of the surrounding landscape. All fittings within the building are water saving, 4-star toilets and low-flow taps.
RADIAL TIMBER, BATTEN & BOARD RADIAL CUT WEATHERBOARDS
RADIAL CUT SHIPLAP BOARDS, WEATHERBOARDS, ECOPLY
LAMINATED TIMBER SUPPLIES, DURA BEAM
LAMINATED TIMBER SUPPLIES,CUTEK OIL – BLACK ASH
WINDOWS & DOORS
DOUBLE GLAZED TIMBER WINDOWS
DOUBLE GLAZED TIMBER DOORS
NEW EARTH SYSTEMS, SOLAR AIR MODULES (SAM)
10,000L SQUAT RAINWATER TANK (GR10000RWS)
PLUMTEC MILDURA, RINNAI PRESTIGE SYSTEM I, ELEC180L, 1 COLECTOR, 3.6KW UNIT
BORAL CONCRETE, ENVIROBLEND CONCRETE
KNAUF INSULATION,ECO BATTS
COLOURS BY NATURE, LIVOS KALDET WOOD FINISH WHITE THINNED DOWN 50-50 WITH LIVOS WOOD FINISH CLEAR
DMD LIGHTING, LED AND T5 FLURO
DMD LIGHTING, TEMPEST II
“This building embraces sustainable design and construction from start to finish. It is an inspiring example to all building types on what can be achieved in a fluctuating climate at an affordable cost.
“More importantly, MELC integrates ESD into a playful and interactive educational space, facilitating a new way of learning [that] has sustainability at its very core.”