Quietly pushing the boundaries of environmental and socially sustainable design
Designed by architects Whitefield McQueen Irwin Alsop (WMIA), together with ESD consultants, Cundall and Project Managers, Johnstaff Projects, the Euneva Avenue Community Healthcare centre and Living Car Park is Melbourne’s first environmentally aware multi-deck car park.
Located within the Glen Waverley Activity Centre and completed in July 2012, the new $17 million (AUD) building features extensive natural ventilation, sensor activated low energy lighting and services, innovative water management and sustainability driven materials selection throughout. A unique partnership between The City of Monash and the Department of Health resulted in a challenging brief calling for a broad exploration of ESD initiatives and the establishment of a new benchmark for the building type.
The result is a remarkable hybrid building featuring 6 levels of public multi deck parking, a ground floor community healthcare centre and private basement car park. Via a simple utilisation of the site, the traditionally deep car-park format was fractured to allow an open wedge to penetrate deep into the plan. This enabled a number of initiatives including natural ventilation and maximising access to natural light to all levels above basement.
The modular facade panels use sustainably sourced timbers (FSC certified) with slats of weathering steel mixed in. Cantilevered planters distributed on the north and west facades provide seed points for native seasonal climbers, literally bringing life to the building. Rainwater is harvested, stored on site and filtered through a central bioswale for use by the planters and the centre amenities. Enough water is stored on site to supply the drought tolerant planting for a three month dry period resulting in a garden-facade suitable for the Australian climate. The building envelope reflects the changes of the seasons and local environment so establishing itself as a built member of the local community.
Internal columns of the car-park feature extensive commissioned stencil paintings by local high school students which serve to further integrate the project into the local social fabric. This building quietly pushes the boundaries of deliverable environmental and socially sustainable initiatives and will be used by the client and others as a bench mark for future similar building types in both private and public sectors.