Thursday, 14 March 2013

Wind turbine a feature of Centennial Building's stage two at Grammar
18 Feb 2013

DESIGNED to be quiet but highly efficient, Ballarat Grammar's new wind turbine has a peaceful, pinwheel-like appearance when it picks up the breeze. The white futuristic blades literally cap off Grammar's new sustainability friendly Centennial Building. It arrived just in time, installed on Friday via a 25 metre tall boom crane, before yesterday's official stage two opening.

The one kW vertical axis UGE wind turbine was a partial gift from the environmental group in the graduating class of 2011, with a goal to off-set their carbon footprint at school. When in full force, the turbine will generate 1000kW of power. This has set a trend, with the 2012 graduates raising money for a Green Wall-a living, growing wall-set within the Centennial Building.

Grammar's sustainability co-ordinator, Clarice Lisle, said the Centennial Building's design as a whole re-inforced the school's five-star sustainability rating in the ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic framework. "The building's windows are all about bringing the outdoors in, so there's a lot of natural light right through the building and you can see nature", Ms Lisle said.

The exposed, thick concrete structure helps moderate temperature inside the building so walls and floors will absorb heat in summer days and hold natural heat inside in winter. Energy-efficient evaporative cooling will switch on only at a pre-set temperature.

Ms Lisle said the building complemented existing sustainability projects about the school, including a horizontal axis wind turbine on the Heinz Centre, installed in 2001 to draw power from high winds, and solar panelling. The Centennial Building stage two was opened yesterday by City of Ballarat mayor John Burt and was blessed by Anglican Bishop of Ballarat Garry Weatherill. Stage one was opened last June by Govenor-General Quentin Bryce and it is named in honour of 100 years of Anglican education in Ballarat.

Centennial Building houses VCE students and includes open study spaces, common areas, classrooms, science laboratory, a gallery, the John HD Roberts Museum and the Butler Archives Centre, which is responsible for gathering Ballarat Grammar history and memorabilia. Sculptures outside were designed by past student Anderson Hunt, who also sculpted for the Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts.