Bendigo Law Courts achieves 6 Star Green Star energy rating

Various people walking by the Bendigo Law Courts on a sunny day.

Marking 12 months of operation, the Bendigo Law Courts has achieved World Leadership in sustainable design and construction with 6 Star Green Star - Design & As Built v1.2 Certified Rating by the Green Building Council of Australia.

Established by the Green Building Council of Australia in 2003, Green Star is an internationally recognised rating system. The system aims to enhance health and quality of life, and drive resiliency in buildings, fit-outs, and communities.

The project joins the 12% of buildings in Victoria to achieve the standard.

Integrating specialist courts including family violence and Koori courts, the court building is the first in Victoria with dedicated circulation reserved for vulnerable persons, and separate remote witness and safe waiting facilities.

The building minimises its carbon footprint by integrating solar panels, efficient HVAC systems, and intelligent lighting controls, and boasts rainwater harvesting systems, low-flow fixtures, and water-efficient landscaping.

Warm, natural colours and textures, and outlooks over Bendigo important to the traditions of the Dja Dja Wurrung People are bathed in natural light, with skylights thoughtfully positioned to further reduce the energy needed for lighting.

In practical terms, the energy consumption performance target of 128.1 kWh/m2 has been exceeded, achieving 103.92 kWh/m2 using onsite renewable energy sources, including a photovoltaic solar panel array generating approximately 150-160 kWh per day.

The rating achievement follows a Gold award in the Australian Design Awards for Rob McHaffie/AIRBAG's custom installation in the Children's Court waiting area, Feathers in the Wind. The screen is a digital interactive experience designed for young children that uses body tracking.

Depicting a park, the interactive digital collage is inspired by the local area and follows the motion of each person's head, hands, arms, and legs as they move in front of the screen. The work was designed to ease the stress of attending court, and similar instalments are planned in other court buildings.

The work sits alongside several artworks that consider the user-experience, which is at the forefront of the building's design.

The recognition for the installation enhances the William Wardell Award for Public Architecture and a Commendation for Sustainable Architecture at the 2023 Australian Institute of Architects' (AIA) Victorian Architecture Awards.

The project's bold environmental sustainability agenda, engagement with Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Owners and use of local businesses and tradespeople has been acknowledged and the project declared one that works as "a beacon for reconciliation and longevity". 

This page was last updated: Friday 22 March 2024 - 3:55pm