Home' Independence : Independence Vol 36 No 2 Oct 2011 Contents FACILITIES
creates a campus environment, with these
facilities operating on extended hours
before and after school.
The brief to architects BVN Architecture
reflected feedback given by a cross-section
of the School community. In particular,
our students asked for light, space and
colour with as little brick as possible,
as well as spaces that vary in size,
atmosphere and purpose.
Sustainability is a key feature of
the construction and will provide
opportunities for students to learn about
sustainable design. Water retention for
campus irrigation, natural ventilation
across specifically designed building
floor plates, a floating roof and the
large cantilevers of the upper structure
provide shade and weather protection
to access ways and public spaces. The
temperature in the LRC is modified by an
air circulation system in the wall cavities
that retains warm air in winter and expels
it in summer. The lighting system has been
set up to minimise wastage of power and
solar panels have been fitted.
Landscape is also an important aspect of
the development. The lower classrooms
are designed to open up to the outdoor
space on both sides to provide external
learning areas, while the upper levels
have covered outdoor learning areas,
providing flexibility for students and staff.
The landscape design, which includes a
green wall, creates a sense of the building
integrated with the landscape appropriate
to the location.
St Catherine’s School,
St Catherine’s is a day and boarding
school for girls with 700 students from
early learning to Year 12. Principal: Mrs
Sylvia Walton AO.
Over the last few years, many features
have been implemented at St Catherine’s
to reduce the School’s carbon footprint.
Our new sports and aquatic facility, The
Marigold Southey Centre, has given the
School the opportunity to design a smart
building with a number of Environmental
Sustainable Design (ESD) features, the
main one being a co-generation plant
(CHP or combined heat and power plant).
Co-generation is the concurrent
generation of electricity and heat from
one fuel source. In the case of our Centre,
the co-generation plant uses gas to
generate electricity and the by-product of
the generation of electricity is heat. The
heat can then be used to heat the pool and
air within the pool hall.
The co-generation plant in the Centre
not only provides energy savings, but
also significantly reduces the amount of
CO2 emissions on two fronts. The first
is due to the reduction in overall energy
consumed. Secondly, the generation of
electricity from natural gas is far cleaner
than using brown coal. In addition, the
co-generation plant was a very interesting
proposal because of its ability to produce
more than sufficient electricity for the
Centre itself, thereby providing us with
the opportunity to export electricity back
to the Victorian Grid.
The other major ESD initiative of the
facility was the design of an integrated
Building Management System (BMS).
The BMS is able to monitor occupancy
and light levels and then decide when the
plant is required to run. If the building is
unoccupied, it can turn off lights and the
mechanical plant, ensuring that energy is
only used when required. The BMS also
uses new technology from Germany to
control the air delivered to the pool hall.
The sophisticated control system can
reduce the air volumes required by up
to 50 per cent, thereby reducing energy
consumed by the building.
Sustainability is now an explicit priority
in the Australian Curriculum and
the new Centre, as well as allowing
us to expand the School’s health and
wellbeing curriculum, provides a real-to-
life opportunity for our students to be
educated in the ways we can contribute to
more sustainable patterns of living.
In a wider sense, the new sports and
aquatic centre has allowed us to be very
practical in our work towards social
inclusion. Our current planning involves
working with The Catherine Freeman
Foundation, whose major work centres
on young Indigenous people living on
Palm Island in the far north of Australia.
Our aim is not only to include the
Foundation in our social service work.
Thanks to the new Marigold Southey
Centre – and the goodwill and generosity
of our community – we are able to
provide opportunities for girls on Palm
Island to attend St Catherine’s and
complete VET programs which relate to
sport and recreation management. We
are in the process of establishing this
Sylvia Walton AO
Principal, St Catherine’s School
The Marigold Southey Centre at St Catherine’s School is enabling the School to offer VET
programs in sport and recreation management to Indigenous girls from Palm Island.
16 Independence Vol 36 No 2 Oct 11
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