Award-winning school in Victoria sets example for others to follow
In 2005, the Victorian Government and Department of Education committed AU$11 million to build a public school designed on environmentally sustainable principles. Both in the curriculum it offers and in the facilities it provides, Williamstown High School's Bayview Street Campus has
been designed as a model school for environmental education.
The architect's challenge was to not only design an environmentally sustainable campus, but to use the built environment as a learning resource for the students. The school accommodates 750 public (government funded) students in years 7-9. Situated on a magnificent coastal site 15 km from Melbourne, WHS utilises the local sea breezes to naturally ventilate all buildings.
An emphasis on natural light and views connect the
students to their local environment. Rainwater is collected via a highly visible system of pipes and tanks and used for toilet flushing and irrigation. Tactile materials such as timber and brickwork are exposed internally and the structure is expressed to give the students an understanding of how their buildings are constructed.
A measure of this project’s achievement is that it has been selected as one of 6 Educational facilities in Australia to be used as a pilot project for the Green Star Education Rating Tool. The project has also won several awards,
including the 2008 Premier’s Sustainability Award for Public Buildings,
the 2008 Australian Interior Design Award for Sustainable Buildings and
the 2007 Best Secondary School & Best Overall School Design in the Victorian School Design Awards.