Sustainable Design


The Mawson Centre is a State of the Art Innovative Cultural Community Learning and Information Centre.

It encapsulates the broad concepts of innovation, technology, environmental sustainable design and lifelong learning.

Mawson Centre ESD Initiatives.

ESD Initiatives were introduced in the early stages of design for The Mawson Centre building. These initiatives were prioritised in such a way that the technologies and design features had relatively short payback periods or could be classified as sensible design for other reasons.

The shared nature of the spaces has meant that the building efficiently uses resources which would normally be distributed across many and larger buildings. Because of the requirement to clearly express the functions of the building, active zones were placed around the outside of the building which used a predominately glass façade complimented by aluminium and recycled timbers.

The building was constructed around a main north-south and east-west axis. To bring light and ventilation into the centre of the building, part of the east-west axis became a courtyard, bringing light and ventilation into the tutorial, case study and education rooms which surround the building. Extensive design work also went into the plazas which compliment the northern and southern facades of the building, with good shade canopy provided along with spaces for civic activity, rest and relaxation.

The inclusion of stormwater treatment in adjacent wetlands and installation of infrastructure for the reticulation grey water as part of the Mawson Lakes sub-division has also enhanced ESD initiatives for engineering services.

The most important operational features relate to the Building Management System which encompasses power, air-conditioning, temperatures, hot and chilled water consumption, timing and modes of operation of building services, access control and security which allows the fine-tuning of the building systems to achieve better performance and use less energy. Other initiatives include:


Blend into Community

Links to community through recreational, educational and commercial activities supported by the Community Programs Area and school library, Computer Barn, community use of meeting rooms, tutorial rooms and lecture theatre spaces Recognition and support of community values including extensive local and aboriginal heritage.

Design to Promote Health and Well-being

Use of products with low toxic emissions and low levels of volatile organic compounds, and natural interior furnishing fabric products. Designed to maximise views of the lake to the south and extensive plaza developments to north and south. The design also supports and promotes pedestrian and sustainable transport links through encouragement of public transport, bicycle and walking options.

Energy Efficiency and Consumption

  • Utilisation of energy efficient equipment, appliances and processes
  • Provision of manual override switches to equipment, and timer switches to light, power and air-conditioning controls with zoned use for tutorial rooms, library, lecture theatre and computer barn
  • Positioning of internal and external materials to reduce heat in winter and or absorb sun in winter
  • Design of roof to improve heat flow
  • Asset Management
  • Efficient use of space
  • Life cycle assessment of selected building materials and systems
  • Grey water connection from Mawson Lakes development
  • Refurbishment construction
  • Extensive reuse of formwork during construction
  • Floor finishes to timber are water-dispersed for easier recoating without fumes in occupied building
  • Installation of materials with high sink capacity