Wollongong Central achieves highest Green Star rating for retail development
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Multi-award winning shopping centre Wollongong Central has been awarded 5 Star Green Star – Retail Centre v1 As-Built certified rating, which is first and highest As-Built rating for a retail centre in Australia. The 5-Star As-Built rating represents ‘Australian Excellence’ in sustainable construction and includes a wide range of sustainable initiatives such as a unique operable facade for the food court which can be opened to create a natural eating environment.
The development focused on passive design which reduced energy consumption while ensuring shoppers were comfortable. The mall space utilises a passive mode of conditioning where spill air from the stores is the only source of cooling, enabling the mall to be opened when ambient conditions suit, providing an open flow to the retail environment. This solution was only realised following considerable comfort modelling by engineering consultancy Cundall including CFD to ensure sufficient comfort and operability could be achieved. A large skylight provides shoppers with daylight, without being disturbed by glare or overheating, this reduces the need for artificial lighting or increased cooling loads.
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) was considered from the outset of the project with analysis on the sub and super structure performed to review various structural options. The LCA was then utilised to make incremental improvements on materials selections.
Shoppers also have access to an external dining precinct, extensive pedestrian zone external comfort analysis which considered sun, shade, wind and humidity optimised the size and shape of this garden area to create an environment diners can enjoy throughout the year.
“Achieving this 5 Star Green Star rating confirms the commitment of everyone to achieve a retail development that not only reduces its impact on the environment, but also creates an environment shoppers enjoy” comments David Collins, Associate, Cundall who led the Green Star submission “We hope that other retail developments will look at this development and apply the design principles to their malls”
The project looked beyond consumption of resources and addressed the social impact of the project. Cundall undertook a SROI (Social Return of Investment) study which looked into the positive impact the development had on the surrounding community through reductions in crime, provision of performance spaces for local artists and reduced burden on health care facilities by creating healthy environments.
(Imagery © Hansen Yuncken)