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BDAV 2013 Building Design Awards

Mildura Eco Living Centre

Winner Best Environmentally Sustainable Design - Non-Residential

Winner Public Buildings - New Project

Designer:EME Design Pty LtdBuilder:Mayne Homes
Phone:(03) 9489 8814 Photographer:Luke Middleton
Web:www.emedesign.com.au 

The Mildura Eco Living Centre combines some of the latest sustainable building technology with the use of natural building products. A subterranean cooling system compliments a solar air heating system working in conjunction with an integrated sub-floor heat bank. An internal earth bag thermal wall adds design features while contributing to thermal stability.

Supplied and installed by New Earth Systems, the Mildura Eco Living Centre (MELC) is the product of more than three years of community consultation led by the Sunraysia Sustainability Network with the support of the Mildura Rural City Council. It is a staged program aimed at assisting the Sunraysia community to move toward a more sustainable and prosperous future.

The MELC will be developed as a world-class demonstration site and a hub for programs which will encourage a positive and lasting influence on community attitudes to more sustainable ways of living.

The MELC is a multipurpose community facility displaying sustainable design elements, building practices and technologies. Site amenities and a café/bakery specialising in healthy, organic food are also planned but are subject to future funding. The MELC represents a vital step towards educating the community about the challenge of regional self-sufficiency to mitigate and adapt to climate change and drive future environmental opportunities.

New Earth Systems installed a state of the art solar air heating and a dual layer in-ground cooling system in the new MELC building. The heating system will provide 6.3KW of full sun heat for the building. A sophisticated differential controller will enable the system to heat the building with fresh air even in overcast conditions.

Solar Whiz fans will recirculate heated or cooled air through a rock thermal energy store located under the floor slab. This will allow stored warm air to flow into the building at night or early in the morning. On hot days cool air will flow from the thermal store to complement the in-ground cooling system.

Overall, an excellent exemplar of environmental sustainable design.