Buildings on Charles Sturt University's Thurgoona Campus continue to draw national attention with two awards presented last week by the Master Builders Association of Australia (MBA).
Federal Minister for Environment and Heritage, Senator Robert Hill, presented the University's Director of Design Marci Webster-Mannison, with the MBA's 2000 National Resource Efficiency Award for commercial buildings under $20 million and National Energy Efficiency Award for commercial buildings for innovations used on the Thurgoona site.
The awards recognise notable achievements in efficiencies in waste and other resource management as well as cost and energy efficient practices.
"This award is particularly satisfying as it demonstrates how Thurgoona has been accepted and recognised by the nation's leading construction organisation, placing it in the spotlight of mainstream builders," Ms Webster-Mannison said.
"It shows what can be done with existing expertise and locally available materials to conserve resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
The campus complex has been developed with full commitment to the process of ecologically sustainable development. The Main Lecture and Teaching Complex and the School of Environmental and Information Sciences buildings are constructed from rammed earth walls, metal tanks and recycled timber in a rural setting of bushland and watercourses.
Rammed earth, extensive ventilation, solar energy and circulating water are used to heat and cool the buildings, reducing energy use by 61 per cent compared to conventional air conditioning systems. Careful building design ensures around 85 per cent of lighting energy is provided by sunlight, while composting toilets also feature on the site.
Planning is now under way for the next stage of development, a $1-million student association building to complement the existing and projected growth of the campus.
The MBA awards follow other national and NSW awards for the Thurgoona Campus buildings and water management systems since 1996 from the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (NSW), the NSW Government and the Australian Water and Wastewater Association. The awards were presented during an official ceremony in Canberra on Thursday 9 November.