17 June 2013 — Australia’s first Green Star-rated library has officially opened.

The Melton Library and Learning Hub in Victoria has been awarded a 5-star Green Star – Public Building Design pilot rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

“The Melton Library and Community Hub is more than a repository for books,” said GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew. “It’s a place for the community to gain insight and inspiration into the benefits of working in or visiting a sustainable building.

“These benefits range from reduced costs to a healthier, more productive place to learn.”

Mayor of Melton City Council Kathy Majdlik said the council was very proud of the achievement, and that they would “educate our residents on the sustainability aspects of the building and encourage them to apply them at home where they can”.

The library incorporates a range of spaces, including an 80-seat auditorium, community services including maternal and child health, a cafe and a range of activity and breakout rooms.

Building achievements include:

  • An 82% reduction in potable water use when compared with a standard practice building
  • 92% recycling rate of the previous buildings, which were demolished during the construction process
  • A 43.7% reduction in total CO2 emissions related to the building use
  • Annual utility cost savings of $29,800 a year, including $23,700 savings in gas and $5,000 in water, when compared with other non-Green Star buildings.

“When building projects are funded by public money, councils must be able to demonstrate the value of their investments and the accountability of taxpayers’ dollars,” said Ms Madew. “A Green Star rating gives the people of Melton confidence that their community’s assets will deliver ongoing operational efficiencies and long-term value.”