BRIEF – The Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre has taken out the 2009 Banksia Environmental Award for the Built Environment.

Officially opened in June this year, the centre is believed to be the only convention centre in the world to achieve the equivalent of a 6 star green star environmental rating, awarded by the Green Building Council of Australia GBCA).

A key sustainability feature is displacement ventilation, which ensures fresh air is continually brought into the building. With an 18 metre glass façade fronting the Yarra River, the centre has the first privately funded black water treatment plant in a public building in Australia and uses 8500 square metres of sustainable harvested timber veneer board.

Regarded as the most prestigious environmental awards in Australia, the Banksia Environmental Awards recognise members of the community and organisations for their positive contribution to the environment.

Finalists in the Built Environment Award included:

Faculty of Economics and Commerce Building, University of Melbourne (in partnership with Donald Cant Watts Corke) (VIC) – the first Victorian building, and largest in Australia, to be awarded a 5 Star Greenstar Education Pilot rating by the GBCA.

Stockland Head Offices, Stockland (NSW) – the first, and largest tenancy, to receive a 6 star Green Star Office Interiors v 1.1 from the GBCA

Surry Hills Community Centre, City of Sydney (in partnership with Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp) (NSW)– the building endeavours to set new standards for integrated sustainable design in public buildings.

EastLink motorway project , Thiess John Holland (VIC) – a $2.5 billion project, and Australia’s largest road infrastructure development, features two 1.6km tunnels, 17 major interchanges, 35 km of pathway and 88 bridges, traversing a number of sensitive ecosystems and cultural sites.