Sustainability elements feature strongly in the plans, such as passive solar design, natural light and ventilation, water harvesting for irrigation, re-use of salvaged building materials and low-carbon content building materials for external construction, such as recycled bricks.

Additionally, the centre supports environmental, social and economic sustainability through the following methods.

Environmental sustainability

This is achieved through elements of the building and passive controls such as:

  • Adaptive use of old depot -reusing existing resources
  • Water permeability: gravel driveway and pathways
  • Recycling pavers from other CRA’s projects – City Walk pavers
  • High performance double glazing
  • Energy efficient light fittings
  • Buildings orientated to maximise natural daylight and passively heat and cooling
  • Light colour roof sheeting helping to building cooler, reducing reliance on mechanical ventilation temperature control
  • Cooling fans - improved air quality and control airflow through operable windows
  • Cooling outdoor space by shading open pergolas with vine plantings

Social sustainability

The following features lead to mental and physical health benefits for the wider community:

  • Creating healthy environments through improved public amenity and creating memorable spaces
  • Improved connection to nature
  • Flexible design focused on blurring separation between indoor and outdoor spaces
  • Close access to a variety of soft and hard green spaces promoting outdoor use
  • Providing community space in the heart of the city for easy access / active travel option
  • Enhancing walking and cycling opportunities / drinking fountain
  • Catering to a wide diverse user groups
  • Delivering a Nature Play outdoor play space for toddlers and educational spaces for adults
  • Accessible to people of varying mobility levels

Economic sustainability

The community centre will play a positive role in the economy of the local area in a range of ways:

  • Deliver flexible multi use indoor – outdoor environments at low hire costs for community benefits
  • Supporting local (Braddon) businesses by attracting visitors to the area
  • Delivering public space amenity for a variety of events such as markets and spaces local small businesses can use for promotional / environments educational purposes. Examples of activities that may be possible in the centre include: composting, beeswax wraps and candle making, seed saving, bee keeping, plant propagation, mental health workshops, veggie gardens, men-shed, woodworking and painting.

Future possibilities

We hope to further develop the centre into a leading example of sustainability in Canberra. Future possibilities that can be explored in partnership with community include:

  • accessible outdoor community gardens with both edible and cultural plants, and supporting biodiversity through a variety of plants across the seasons, insect hotels etc.
  • water permeability showcased through design and choice of materials – to capture and use water wisely in the landscape
  • facilities that foster and support a shared economy, such as a tool lendery/library, or onsite in-vessel organics waste system, which support sustainable living and enable connections between people
  • diverse uses for the community centre including programs on sustainable living and active healthy living, and
  • demonstrations of innovative living infrastructure that cool outdoor space in summer such as climbing plants.

How to have YourSay

To share your thoughts, please answer a few questions by 5pm on Thursday 26 November.