3 minute read

Glenroy Community Hub

Michael Ward,  National Marketing and Business Development Manager, Australian Glass Group

A Centre Of Sustainability

The Glenroy Community Hub is a transformational project for Merri-bek Council in Melbourne’s north. Working with a 4,500 m2 footprint and $30 million budget, the Community Hub forms a vital resource for this vibrant suburb.

The City of Merri‑bek intended this new project to be a catalyst for social change. The Hub, with its major functions including a Library, an Early Learning Centre and a Kindergarten, as well as maternal health services and neighbourhood learning facilities, decisively fulfils this role. A Community Learning Group is also housed within the building, which features shared bookable community spaces and Council service desks.

The Council kept environmental factors front of mind when selecting its design – and the Hub richly delivers in this respect. As well as being Australia’s first public building to achieve Passive House Certification, the Hub is also currently seeking Living Building Challenge Petal Certification.ii

The design is intensely human-centred. ‘The Council’s performance-based criteria was balanced with the requirement to support community health and wellbeing’, says Project Leader Kieran Leong. ‘The quality of the user experience within the internal environment was central, with biophilic design principles used to meet these criteria.’

Natural illumination was a key concern. ‘The glazing was chosen with natural light levels carefully considered, with the Hub exceeding the minimum green star standard for internal daylight’, Kieran notes. ‘The glazing was integral to achieving exceptional thermal performance while retaining natural daylight levels.’

‘We had to provide the council with a daylight report for the Merri-bek Sustainable Building Policy, which required reducing the energy required to light the space’, Kieran expands. ‘As the results show, 69% of the Hub’s total usable floor area has a daylight factor well exceeding green star requirements.’

‘Achieving Passive House Certification required balancing thermal and environmental performance while retaining natural daylight’, Kieran continues. ‘We specified our ideal glazing performance and visual light transmittance to the builder, who carefully selected Insulglass LowE Max ® double glazing from Australian Glass Group’.

‘The exceptional performance of Insulglass LowE Max ® allowed us to pull off the balancing act of providing ample natural daylight while keeping the building extremely well-insulated — all within the allotted budget’, Kieran adds.

This ambitious approach has richly paid off. ‘Passive House Certification, which involves minimising the energy consumed for heating and cooling, is rare in Australia, and the Glenroy Community Hub achieves this decisively’, Kieran concludes.

Insulglass LowE Max ® allowed the project to receive such high levels of internal daylight, while offering superior performance in both Insulation (very low U-Value) and Solar Control (very low SHGC).

Everyone involved in the Hub’s design and construction should be commended for creating this environmentally exemplary building, which inventively employs the unique capacities of energy-efficient glazing in its future-focused design.

Architect: DesignInc

Passive House Consultant: WSP

Product: Insulglass LowE Max®

– Australian Glass Group (AGG)

Photographer: Dianna Snape https://agg.com.au/case-study-glenroycommunity-hub/

Australian Passivhaus Association, https://www.passivhausassociation.com.au/ ii Living Future Institute Australia, https://living-future.org.au/living-buildingchallenge/