April 21, 2014

Catherine McAuley Place - an Environmental Initiative (North Sydney Congregation)

Situated on the north-western corner of Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College, North Sydney, Catherine McAuley Place is innovative in its design, digitally rich, colourful, open plan and exciting.

It is designed to make the most use of natural light and uses the physics of convection currents to assist in maintaining optimal thermal conditions. It recycles what water it can capture and also uses this water to heat or cool the concrete slabs of the building.

      Catherine McAuley Place - Angelo Street perspective

The design of the water harvest, storage and supply system and water efficient landscaping and bathroom fixtures in the building greatly reduces the town-water consumption of the College. Two 13,000L rainwater tanks have been included in the hydraulic design to harvest rainwater from the roof area for reuse within the facility. All toilets within the Precinct and associated buildings are supplied with non-potable rainwater. Rainwater from the roof area is used to supply the irrigation demand. The garden area requiring irrigation is approximately 603.5m² a combination of lawn areas, native planting and lush feature landscaping. The irrigation system contains moisture sensors, to ensure that water is only provided when required.

This results in annual potable water saving of 740,000L/year equating to approximately $830 saving in annual water usage costs.

To further reduce the potable water consumption at the College, 11 existing toilets were upgraded from single 11L flush to 6/4L dual flush toilets. This will result in an additional water saving of 1,200L/day (440,000L/year), which is an annual water purchasing saving of approximately $530/year.
The total domestic water consumption saving to the community is 1,180,000L/year.

The potable water has also been extended into the refurbished McAuley Courtyard for irrigation of its landscaping.

As a result of these measures the College was awarded a $45,000 grant from the Australian Government’s Community Water Grants. ‘The Grants are part of the $2 billion Australian Government Water Fund. It provides grants of up to $50,000 for community organisations to put in place practical on-the-ground solutions to either help save, reuse or improve the health of the local water sources.’                                                 Ground Floor view

The opening and blessing of Catherine McAuley Place took place on Sunday 26 August 2007. Jennie Ryan rsm, Congregational leader of the Sisters of Mercy North Sydney, opened the building followed by a blessing by Bishop David Cremin.

Heating and Cooling
A unique heating and cooling system together with automated ventilation provides an efficient conditioned environment for students and staff. Heated and/or chilled water, depending on the season, is passed through piping imbedded in the slab of each level during the night. Automatic louvers control the amount of airflow through the building to maintain a comfortable learning and working space. This system offers great flexibility in selecting heating or cooling output. The Off-Peak energy used to heat or cool the concrete floors over night is released during the day to provide a constant room temperature.

Messages to: Ann Buchanan - Communications and Publications Administrator

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