A building for university academics and students aiming to become the first public building in inland Australia to be rated as six green stars will be officially opened in Albury at Charles Sturt University (CSU) by Her Excellency the Honorable Ms Quentin Bryce, AC, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, on Tuesday 21 October.
The two storey building, which currently houses staff and research students with the University’s School of Business and Information Technology
, is the first part of the next phase of the University’s $40 million building program at Thurgoona.
The building includes a ground-breaking material which helps regulate temperatures inside buildings to reduce the need for air conditioning. Developed by German-based industrial chemical company BASF, the building material is in the form of special plaster boards and flooring screed. This material includes small granules of a waxlike material that liquefies at higher temperatures, increasing its capacity to absorb heat from surrounding air.
Other energy saving and environmentally friendly features included in the building are double glazed windows, good use of daylight to reduce the need for office lighting, rainwater collection for flushing toilets, an automated building management system to control ventilation and temperature, and roof funnels for purging hot air from the building at night.
The University is awaiting final notification of the ‘green star’ rating of the building with the Green Building Council of Australia.
CSU Head of Campus, Albury-Wodonga, Professor Gail Whiteford, said having the Governor-General officially open the building demonstrated leadership by women in regional Australia.
“Ms Bryce, who was raised in regional Queensland, has been a role model for Australian women since her university studies in the 1960s,” Professor Whiteford said.
Ms Bryce is known for leading the way in gender equality: she was the first woman admitted to the Bar in Queensland; she became the first woman to be a faculty member of the University of Queensland’s law school; and was the first director of the Queensland Women's Information Service.
Her Excellency was sworn in as the first female Governor-General on 5 September 2008.
The Governor-General is visiting CSU and Albury-Wodonga as part of her ‘listening visit’ to the Murray-Darling Basin to hear the views and ideas of environmental scientists and community members on concerns surrounding the current drought and the threat of climate change to Australia’s ‘food bowl’.
Former Governor-General, Sir William Dean, AC, opened the Thurgoona site in 1997.